- Converting text to a PDF (SIMPLE)
- Basic Formatting Options in OpenOffice Writer
- Changing The Page Size And Margins
- Re: PDF Reader Popup Table of Contents
MS Word Online is an online version of Microsoft's Word. You need to start an account there to use it but signing up for your account and using the program is absolutely free with no strings attached. It is very similar to OpenOffice and LibreOffice Writer but the placement of the tools is different. Although the software version has more features, the online version has a surprising amount of features itself. This option for setting up ebooks is very useful especially to someone who is borrowing a computer to work on because you do not need any software to use it. It is a fairly powerful word processor. It also has a function to convert a document loaded into MS Word Online (or created in it) into a fairly quality PDF file. The conversion to PDF is fairly simple. You can sign up for your account and access MS Word Online HERE.
The program's word processing itself is fairly complicated in some respects until you become familiar with all it's features but if you just want to create a simple PDF of ie a Facebook post, you can simply Copy the text and Paste it into the program and follow the below instructions to create a PDF. That by default will create a printer sized PDF which may not be the best if people are going to be viewing it on smaller screens as the reduction will make the text quite small. I will deal with the function of changing the size of the output to a more "book sized PDF" below.
Converting text to a PDF (SIMPLE)
Once your are satisfied with the way the text looks you can simply choose "File" in the upper left hand corner. A drop down menu will appear. Click on "Save As." In the drop down menu that appears, click on "Download as PDF."
A separate box will appear related to exporting the document as a PDF. This operation will create a simple PDF. Just choose "Download" at the bottom of the box. Unlike OpenOffice Writer and LibreOffice Writer. This will not give you any options but it works fine. Whatever you see in your document is what you will see in the PDF. Unfortunately, I don't see anything where you can add to the meta data in the PDF file things like title, author, description, etc.
Another Box will appear that will allow you to choose the file name you want and the location. It's pretty much standard procedure as with all programs. When you are finished naming the file and selecting the directory to put it in, simply click on the "Save" button at the bottom right of the page. You now have a PDF of the document. It's that simple!
Basic Formatting Options in MS Word Online:
Basically, the icons for formatting functions in the image above are pretty standard today in most word processors. Most of these functions require you to select the text that you want to format. (You can even select the entire text of the document. In the lower left section of the menu you will see drop down boxes to choose the name of the font and the size for different elements you will select. As you make that choice, the selected text will automatically be changed to what you have selected. Now the most common formatting items are to the right of the font selection boxes in the lower right of the image. (Note that the menu goes farther to the right than the image shows.) The six most common formatting items you will likely use are to highlight text are:
A^ Enlarge font
A, Shrink font
B for bold
I for italics
U for underline
You can use all three (B,I,U) at the same time if you like. They are independent of each other. Once you have clicked on one of the above it will show up with a square frame around it so you know it is active. Reclick it to turn it off.
The next three icons to the right of that are:
1. Font background color
2. Font color
3. Clear direct formatting
By clicking on the 3 horizontal dots a dropdown menu will appear with the following other text formatting options:
The next five icons to the right made up of horizontal lines allow you to place the text where you want it in the line. From left to right they are:
3. Decrease indent
4. Increase indent
5. Text alignment
Click on "Text Alignment" and a dropdown menu will show with 4 horizontal lined icons as in the image below:
1. Text align left
2. Text align center
3. Text align right
4. Text align justified
There are more text formatting options and paragraph options by clicking on the horizontal three dots to the left of "Styles" as per the image below:
You can see more paragraph options by clicking on the last item in that menu. Another popup will appear with more paragraph options as indicated in the image below:
Changing The Page Size And Margins
The default page size is printer paper size. If you want a smaller more book sized PDF then you will have to adjust the page size and margins. Your basic formatting options are located on the item at the top, "Home." You will have to return to "Home" after doing this.
Click on the item "Layout" near the top left of the page as shown below. Then click on "Margins" then click on "Narrow" if you are using a book size for your PDF. (Items are shaded in the image.)
Then click on "Size" as seen it the below image. You can then choose something like "A5" for your book size. To return to formatting your text, click on "Home" in the top items of the page.
Now you have a pretty good start on learning to use MS Word Online. These are by no means all of the finer professional functions available in the commercial pay version but for the most part will do quite well for most normal formatting of your document. The reality is that the best way to learn is to practice on the program with something none-essential that you are not under pressure to finish right away.
Re: PDF Reader Popup Table of Contents
If you have a larger document and want to include a popup external "Table Of Contents" or "Bookmarks" that is actually easy to do. You simply highlight the text of each "Section Heading" individually and click on "Styles" and a drop down will appear with a list of styles. Click on ie "Heading 1." You can change font size later to that. If you want a nested TOC with subtopics, you can simply do the same thing but choose ie "Heading 2" and choose a smaller font size. Ditto for subsequent layers. Now there is one thing about what I am telling you is that if you use the "Heading 1,2,3, etc." for anything else, that will show up on your popup TOC/bookmarks items as well so you will have to avoid using that except for TOC items.
After you have saved the document you can follow the directions to "Save as PDF." The program will automatically create your TOC from the above header/bookmarks when it creates the PDF. You do not need to create special bookmarks to do this.
There is a catch though to doing this. In the text that you highlight and choose "Heading 1,etc.," there must -NOT- be any line breaks in that text or it will show up as two bookmark/TOC items instead of one. If the text wraps around to the next line that is ok but never have a line break in the text. <ENTER>