05 16

Book writing software ubuntu

A book is a huge writing project with many steps, each step needing it's own tools. So it's best to use several applications along the way, one for each phase your in: 1>Brainstorming 2>Drafting 3>Editing 4>Publication.

  • LaTeX scripting using LyX or Kile to professionally format text files
  • Scribus to format Graphical Books
  • [or] LibreOffice to draft and format in one step
  • FocusWriter for Drafting text without formatting distractions
  • Tomboy Notes for Brainstorming
  • Artha a handy Thesaurus and Dictionary
  • [or] Zim Wiki, an alternative to Tomboy Notes for Drafting, Brainstorming and organization
  • Calibre for ebook creation

The chief problem is with the organization of potentially hundreds of pages of manuscript during the initial drafting stage. That can be tackled by creating numerous documents for each project, for example one per chapter. LIBREOFFICE would handle that approach well.

Some writers have issues with creating numerous files for each project because it makes it far more difficult to move text around among the various chapters as they draft the book. For instance, if they are looking for something specific that they drafted a while back and try to search by keyword, then they may have to resort to search through many chapters individually until they score.

With a single file project, Libre Office is very difficult to draft a book. You have to scroll what might seem like forever before finally reaching the desired portion. There isn't an easy to use Table of Contents for the file that organizes one file into units available at a click. With Libre Office you will inevitable end up scrolling much more of your writing time away compared to other tools that automatically navigate around a file to specific sections, like a table of contents.

ZIM WIKI DESKTOP is an excellent way to draft a book length manuscript, quickly organizing the raw text into sections. The output can be exported into numerous formats including HTML, and of course WIKI format, its primary design purpose.

Prior to the drafting stage, TOMBOY NOTES makes an excellent way of sketching the book and writing preliminary chapters in text format. The user creates notes, i.e. chapters, ideas, or anything that typed up. The advantage with it is that it excels above other applications in it's ability to search and retrieve keywords from among all its notes, or a selected portion of notes that fall under a user created notebook. Tomboy Notes can be imported into ZIM WIKI DESKTOP or exported to HTML, or TEXT.

Both ZIM WIKI and TOMBOY NOTES are fairly distraction free compared to heavy weight applications like Libre Office.

FocusWriter is designed specifically to eliminate distractions. The application can takes up the entire screen and has a foreground (page) and background (frame around the page). A menu pops up at the top of the screen when moused over. When mousing over the bottom of the screen the writing goals pop up, such as the percentage of words per day completed. A timer can be set also. When mousing over the left edge of the screen a table of scenes list pops up, to easily navigate from among those defined, making navigation around a lengthy document possible. There is also spell check, as is the case with all the other programs I've mentioned in this post.

Another handy tool is ARTHA It's a powerful thesaurus and dictionary that automatically pops up on any word highlighted on any of the programs mentioned. The user simply presses ctrl-alt-W or the tool gives definitions, alternatives, relatives, and antonyms to the highlighted word. The user can also redefine the ctrl-key activator to anything that suits their taste.

After the manuscript for the book is drafted, it has to be formatted for printing.

Publishers frequently require submittal in RTF or DOC format, then they use this to generate their own proprietary format that they print to paper on. The specified DOC or RTF formats have to be rigorously adhered to else the publishers will reject them outright. Still, It's worth reiterating that this is just a preliminary format, not the format the book itself will be printed to paper directly from.

If you are self publishing, then ebook formats are a frequent focus. HTML is the best format to export to because it can easily be converted to popular ebook formats such as epub and mobi, by a third party vendor who offers the service of ebook publication. Also, the CALLIBRE application can easily convert html formats to epub and mobi since all three are essentially markup language formats, designed for indefinite viewing dimensions. (Various ebook reader sizes, or monitors)

If you are printing your own books to paper, then LyX (an application that uses LaTeX TeX for formatting) is a method that's popular, at least in the academic world, and for thesis papers. An alternative to the complex LyX application is to use a much simpler LaTeX editor, like Kile. You can write a book in plain text, then you can use a customized LaTeX template with /input{chapterFile} statements to "bring in" the chapters. You can automatically format a book to see it's progress whenever you like. What I've done is actually use LyX to develop a LaTeX template, then export the LyX template out for usage with the much simpler Kile Program, and whenever I get anxious to "see the book" I switch from my FocusWriter to Kile and press a button to generate my book.pdf file. It's beautiful!!

A master of LaTeX can craft a book in simple text, than automatically have LyX or Kile mark it up for Fancy Book output, and do this all with minimal fuss, letting the program handle all the formatting specifics and keeping it out of sight, out of mind to the author. That is a markup approach. You could even get a LaTeX/TeX developer help you develop a template. Just tell them that the only thing you want to have to do add the proper chapterfile names in the \input{someChapterFile} commands, and perhaps create a few special markup commands for repeated formatting themes inside your book, like for instance if you have inset poems, letters, clips, or scenebreaks, or special chapter starting text formats. And then, your chapter text files would be all text, except for a rare markup commands, perhaps something like \being{aPoem} to start a new formatting environment, followed by \end{aPoem} to end that special format and restart the default. LaTeX can be just that easy if you have someone help you setup a template.

For graphical books, final formatting and layout can be done with SCRIBUS which offers a true What You See is What You Get approach. A master of Scribus can craft unique books with lots of graphics, and do this artistically as she sees fit, seeing the exact final output on screen as they edit, and do this more effectively than with a traditional word processor like Libre Office, or a non traditional markup "document" processor like LyX.

All of those final formatting methods will require a significant learning curve to master, but they can offer special advantages.

The key is taking the time, LOTS of time, to learn those tools. LibreOffice can also format a final draft of a book for final print to paper. Its easy to start, but still takes quite some time to discover all its capibilites. Prepare to also have learning time with this application. Hopefully you've got a first draft done else the learning phase could be a major distraction from the creative writing process. Still, the hurdle of success is stepped much lower with Libre Office than with LyX or Scribus. Prepare time for any of these, though, to vent from software frustrations as you learn.

Lastly, Calligra Suit with Calligra Author was in fast paced development (not to be confused with Calibre for ebook creation and management). It's an alternative to LibreOffice. In addition to the word processor, Calligra Words, it offers an additional tool called Calligra Author that focuses on distraction free writing, organizing and easy ebook exporting directly into the ebook formats: epub and mobi. After a spurt of development, in 2014 the Calligra Author tool seemed to have slowed down, but it's worth keeping track of. When their project finally reaches fruition it should become an extremely powerful tool. But until then, I'm still waiting.

--SOFTWARE INSTALLATION NOTE-- I use the Software Center in Kubuntu to install all the software mentioned except LaTeX. For that, I want to make sure I get the FULL INSTALLATION of fonts etc. (the default installation in particularly limited) So, instead I recommend opening a terminal window to download from the command line.

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install texlive-full

book writing software ubuntu

book writing software ubuntu Ubuntu book writing software websites - novelist.ch, Ask.


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