Yesterday with the book went well, so what did I do today?

I spent the day messing with my fonts library, caused Word to screw up with some of my most useful fonts, spent way too much time deleting and installing one particular font that just would not display correctly after I’d installed newer versions, deleted my font cache again, (and again), and finally got things working correctly by digging out some files I’d put into a backup folder in case I messed something up.

I do appreciate that I had the foresight to do that.

Because boy did I mess something up.

At one point I had Word displaying everything in an italic font for what was supposed to be a regular font and I have no idea how that happened.

But what a waste of a good day. I can’t even understand why I did this.

I finally started writing at 11:24 and spent most of an hour and three minutes editing stuff that probably didn’t need to be edited.

Oh, and about mid-day, I reached across my kettle while it was boiling water for my coffee and steamed the crap out of my arm. Right where it touches the edge of my keyboard when I type. Those burns hurt! Of course it blistered. It’s a very ugly burn, in fact, and will probably leave a scar.

So “Yay” for today.

I’m ending my writing session with a negative word count. I knew when I sat down today that tomorrow was not going to be a writing day and that I really needed to make some progress today.

I did none of that.

It was just not a great day. I’m glad to see it over.

Trying to like Word 2016 or Excel 2016

I much prefer Word 2007 to Word 2016, and that preference goes for Excel too. In fact, I will candidly say I hate the newer versions of all the Microsoft Office products. Really hate them.

However, I also hate to see myself sticking with something just because I don’t like change. Because of that, I’m challenging myself to use only the new versions for the next week. If after that, I want to return to the 2007 versions, then I’ll do so with no regrets. :D

Here’s what I don’t like about the 2016 versions (was also applicable to the 2013 versions). I’ve had them on my computer since early September, but just haven’t been able to bring myself to use them much at all.

  • Fonts look terrible on my computer in the new versions.
  • Menus and borders in the new versions take up more space. In a side by side comparison of the same document, I get fewer lines of my spreadsheet visible in Excel 2016 and fewer lines of text in Word 2016. That’s without the ribbon visible. I didn’t check how it looked with the ribbon because that’s not how I typically work.
  • The style set icons are so much less readable than the simple list from Word 2007.
  • The flat icons and colors of the menu are not appealing to me. In fact, I find them very busy and hard to identify when I’m skimming the menu. They all blend together.
  • It takes at least 1 extra click to get to my recent and pinned documents list than it does in Word 2007 or Excel 2007. I just discovered that this isn’t actually true if I set up my quick access toolbar with the “open” icon on there. That takes me directly to the pinned doc list. It only makes me feel like it’s taking more clicks because it’s a page and not a menu that comes up, but the number of clicks is the same.

I do, however, really like the way the search function for Word 2016 works now, by moving into a sidebar and allowing me to see the list of results. That’s the reason I’m giving myself the challenge to use the 2016 versions for a week. If not for that, I probably would have just said forget it and stuck with 2007 anyway.

Microsoft Word and Embedded Fonts; Open Type Is a Problem

These things matter because I need embedded fonts to generate the right kind of PDF file for CreateSpace. I never noticed a problem with this before, but apparently the font I’m using is an Open Type font and Word won’t embed that font.

Now, this really surprised me when I researched the issue today, because the book I’ve been preparing is the third book in a series and is the third book to use that same font. Why I didn’t notice, or why it didn’t seem to matter, the last two times is beyond me, but this time, it came up as a problem in CreateSpace’s Interior Reviewer.

What I discovered is that Microsoft Word won’t or can’t embed Open Type fonts even if you have license permissions for those fonts to be embedded. I checked, and sure enough, I have the right permissions. Word just won’t embed Open Type fonts.

The solution was ditching the Word “save to PDF” option, and a search for a decent PDF printer that would embed those fonts for me. I installed several, including doPDF, CutePDF, and finally, PDF Creator (their website seems to be a bit broken, but this is the one that worked for me in the end). I couldn’t get any of them to print to the right sized paper for my book (5×8).

Turns out I had to create a new “form” for my printers.

That was tricky to find, since I’d never heard of this before. I found it under my control panel, printers, and when I clicked one of my printers, it was something I needed to do in the “Print server properties.” I created a new 5×8 form, with measurements of, you guessed it, 5×8 inches, and then when I “printed” my Word docx to the PDF Creator printer, it saved just fine!

A lot of work just to get some fonts embedded in a PDF file but it was worth it to know I’ve done it right.* I’m left wondering, though, how in the world did I get my last two books in this series through CreateSpace?

Also, although I ended up using PDF Creator to successfully create my PDF file, I have to wonder if the others would have worked just fine once I had created the new 5×8 form. I didn’t discover that I needed to do that until I found a FAQ on the website, Word documents with custom page size are converted in default size:

By default, PDFCreator only knows the paper formats that are created when it is installed. If a custom format is defined in Word, PDFCreator does not recognize it and thus Word will use the default page size.

To create new paper formats, they have to be created under Print Management->Server settings. There you can create name and dimensions of the format. Aftwards, you can use it in Word.

And there was the tricky bit. I had no idea what “Print Management->Server settings” meant. But once I figured it all out and did it, my file came out great.

I uploaded it earlier this evening, and there weren’t any apparent issues according to CreateSpace. Yay!

*What I really need to do is learn Adobe InDesign, but for what I do, it’s just not worth it at the moment.