e-Formatting Gems for Novel Writers #2 ~ Ellipses

Tidying up your ellipses

These articles are to aid writers who do not wish to pay a formatter, or would rather have a much smaller formatting fee, or who need a fast turnaround (badly formatted manuscripts take longer and are sometimes moved down the work-pile).

Once you have removed any bloat as in ARTICLE #1 the next step is to make the layout epub- and Kindle-friendly. Save the document under a new name before you begin, so if anything goes wrong you still have the original.

Firstly we should change any ellipses formed by 3 periods (...) into proper ellipses, which are formed by pressing the Ctrl, Alt, and Period keys together, thus: …

To make this change, search for 3 periods by typing 3 periods into the Find and Replace search field; then click Find Next.

You then block over the first one you find in the document and then key in the Ctrl, Alt, and Period keys to change it to a proper ellipsis (…)

This done, you now block over and copy the new, proper ellipsis (Ctrl and C keys) and then paste this (Ctrl and V keys) into the Replace field in Find and Replace. So now you have 3 periods in the Find field and a proper ellipsis in the Replace field.

You now click on the Replace All button and these are now all changed.

The next step is to remove any extra periods (if there were 4 periods in some of your instances) by copy and pasting the proper ellipsis into Find and adding a period after it. Click Replace All and then remove the period in Find and place a period before the proper ellipsis. Click Replace All and now we are done.

But to make sure that any ellipses do not get stranded on a new line, in e-formatting it is a good idea not to have any spaces either side of the ellipses (though this is not essential). To execute this, type a space character after the ellipsis in Find and then Replace All.

Next, you remove the space character in Find and place a space character before the ellipsis, then select Replace All, and you are done tidying.

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