Hazel Buchanan

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With thanks to those who have gone before

Posted by Hazel Buchanan on 1 February, 2016 at 3:20

It turns out that the problem I was experiencing with inoperative links in my eBook Table of Contents occurred simply because I'm using Microsoft Word on a Mac. Not through choice, I hasten to add. Personally I love Pages, the Mac word processing software. I find it intuitive, user-friendly, accessible - all those wonderful, useful things that so many other word processing apps aren't. But since Word is the popularized, universal platform, I regularly find myself exporting my Pages documents into the docx format that everyone else seems to want.

Apparently, in the PC world of Word, when a Table of Contents is being created, there is a checkbox option for page numbers and another for hyperlinks. The same does not apply to the Mac version; which means, as I had already suspected, that for eBook purposes the hyperlinks have to be inserted manually. Fortunately, other Mac users had discovered this before me. Searching for tips in the KDP Support "Ask the Community" forum, I came across a highly relevant thread. Gratefully murmuring my thanks to 'rfwknights', whose detailed instructions on creating manual hyperlinks in Word made perfect sense, I was able seamlessly to weave said missing links into my Word document and reconnect my chapters to their headings in the Table of Contents. Problem solved at last!

It's nice to have a win once in a while; but especially when the paragraphs you thought you had managed to subjugate are refusing to be indented. I really thought I had got this one licked. Indenting paragraphs even in the Mac version of Word is pretty easy. Option-Command-M brings up a paragraph formatting window which enables the selection of various indenting options. I had chosen to indent the first line of every paragraph except at the beginning of a chapter or new section. Having made the overall first line indent selection for the whole document, I had religiously gone through and changed each first paragraph in a chapter or section so that its first line would not be indented. It worked beautifully. So long as I didn't view it in the KDP Preview for iPad or iPhone. There, regardless of my careful formatting, every single paragraph indented. More frowning and hair-pulling ensued.

Oh Google, what would we do without you? I found the solution of course - eventually. In fact, I found a variety of different suggestions for overcoming the indenting/not indenting problem. For me, the answer was Calibre. Downloading this nifty piece of software enabled me quickly to convert and upload my document to KDP as a mobi file rather than a docx. And, so far, it appears that the paragraph formatting I intended has actually remained across multiple devices. At this point, that simple statement seems almost too good to be true. I have my fingers well and truly crossed.

My escape from the formatting jungle was definitely accompanied by a hop and a skip, even a little heel click of victory. I wasn't gloating exactly. I wasn't! But I did feel relieved and perhaps just a tiny bit self-satisfied. Lurking at the back of my mind was an innocuous sounding 'm' word. But the great thing about the jungle was how absorbing and all-consuming it had been - the 'm' word hadn't really got a look in. It wasn't until I was leaving the jungle behind that the forest in front of me began to take shape. And boy what a shape! If the jungle had seemed impenetrable…


Welcome to the marketing forest maze!

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