June 17, 2016 9:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm compiling chapters in a single Word file, and I'm doing the thing where I strip it of formatting before I paste it in and apply styles, but the endnotes are all fucked up. And I'm confused about how to do the Table of Contents.

This question from a week ago is exactly what I'm currently doing, but I'm having different issues. Each chapter has endnotes that are completely fucked when I save the chapter as plain text and then copy & paste it into The Big File. Is there any way to save them, or do I have to go back through one at a time and replace them so they're proper endnotes and not just numbers after sentences?

My next issue is the Table of Contents. Should I do that after I have everything in place, so it can automatically fill it in or something? At the moment, the formatting is just weird and inconsistent no matter how many times I double check that I'm applying the correct styles.

Thanks for any help. I'm struggling REAL hard with this.
posted by there will be glitter to Technology (3 answers total)
I think you do have to re-do all your end-notes, just be sure you use a field, so they are properly linked.
The TOC is just another field, so insert it at the appropriate point in the doc and update it after *everything* else is complete. At that point, you can fuss with formatting.
To ensure the TOC 'behaves' be sure you are using your heading styles correctly, and not just indenting an H2 so it will look like an H3 - that kind of thing will screw up a TOC.

Don't know if this was helpful. Yes, this kind of thing is incredibly tedious - just put on some good music, and take a break about every 50 minutes, or you' ll fry your eyes/brain!
posted by dbmcd at 10:03 AM on June 17, 2016

If you're saving the chapters to plain text (.txt) format when you're using complex Word features like end-notes, then yes, you're going to lose that formatting. Plain text by definition contains no formatting or features, and once it's saved to plain text, Word has no idea that end-notes were ever a thing in your document.

I'd imagine it'd be easier to either copy and paste or use the insert text from file option and then go through and look for formatting gremlins than it would be to try to recreate your endnotes from the plain-text documents. Either way, it sounds like you'll need to spend some time on proofing things.
posted by Aleyn at 4:46 PM on June 17, 2016

Microsoft Word has lots of garbage code strewn about-- is that the reason that you are dumping into a text file? Hope I am not patronizing you with these remarks-- I have struggled with MSWord since the days of 5.25 floppies.

One thing that could help you in MS Word is to turn ON non-visible characters and fields. The screen appears more cluttered and you have to get used to the PILCROW SIGN (backwards P that stands for end of paragraph.)

At this point you will see the codes floating in the middle of the text. Text is like the tip of an iceberg, with hidden messages that cling to certain words. HELLO I AM THE BEGINNING OF A CHAPTER. (hello, I am the link to a reference.) If you move the chunk of text, the Table of Contents will update with new numbers and the reference will float along too.

It's not the end of the world if you have orphaned end notes. you simply need to rebuild the hyperlink that connects the end note to the correct text in the document. Don't use a staple gun and manually number the notes and insert the numbers in the text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit INSERT FIELD. Matching the correct reference in the end notes.

For your chapter headers, dump a bucket of HEADING 1 over the text. Once the text is formatted as HEADING 1 it will update the table of contents.
posted by ohshenandoah at 7:35 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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