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Ken Leonard Jr.Formatting Your Article For The Web/Email

Once you've finished the editing, you want to make your article as easy to read as possible. Formatting an article does this, putting it in a standard form that is accepted by onlinepublishers.

You'll need to use a full featured "text editor" to do this. I recommend UltraEdit32, a useful and inexpensive tool that I use daily.

Other Text Editor Options

Here is a list of other text editors that will work well for creating and formatting your articles for internet publication. If you're short on cash, grab a free one. Otherwise, the money you'll spend on a copy of UltraEdit will be the best $35US you have ever spent.

By the way, MS Word, MS Wordpad, and MS NotePad are not
recommended for creating and formatting your articles. Try one of these, or go for UltraEdit.

Boxer Software Text Editor

EditPad Lite

NoteTab Lite

EditPlus Text Editor

NotePad Plus

Using UltraEdit

You will learn how to use this text editor quickly. Don't worry about all of the different features, just follow these instructions to format your articles like a pro. Later, you can learn all of the other functions from the help menu.

When you start UltraEdit, a new, blank document appears. Set the font to your preference for online viewing (I use Courier New). A 10 point font size will work fine for your articles. Use the Change Font button at the top to do this (two 'A's with a double-point arrow below them).

Make sure that you have your office set up so you can type with proper posture. This will help reduce fatigue. A copy holder, attached to your monitor, would be great.

Saving the article

After you type the title at the top of the page, it's a good time to save the new file you've created to a folder of your choosing. Choose File\Save As... and enter the name of the file. Now choose the folder to save the file to and click Save.

To save your work as you go, now that you've created the file, just hit Ctrl+S. Do this after every few paragraphs. Can you imagine, typing for two hours (and not saving your work), then your PC crashes and you lose everything? Ouch!

Save your work often.

As you type, be aware of the format you need to use to have your article look (physically) like other author's articles. The standard for ezine publication is 65 characters per line. The bottom status bar of UltraEdit shows the character number as you type it. You'll see when you are approaching 65, then hit the Enter key. You are now typing on the next line.

I start the first line with a space, then use 64 more characters (equals 65/char per line). Every new line will automatically start with a space. This moves the text away from the edge of the document a little bit. Some publishers don't like that indent on the whole piece, so be aware of their requirements.

Use short sentences and paragraphs whenever possible. This makes the article easier to read for the busy internet surfer. When ending a paragraph, double-space (at least) before the next one. White space makes it easier to read on a computer monitor.

When the entire article is typed, it's time to double-check the formatting, and to do a spell check.

To Spell Check, highlight the whole article (Edit\Select All or Ctrl+A). Now hit Edit\Spell Check (or Ctrl+K) and the Spell Checker appears. Check to see if you are offered a better option to spell that word as each word comes up in the text box. If you've already spelled it right, hit Ignore (Alt+I). If you goofed, and the correct spelling is in the Change To list, hit Change (Alt+C). Do this process until the Spell Check Complete box appears. Click OK.

To check your formatting, or to reformat an article, use the Reformat Text tool. To set the tool to format as you would like, go to Format\Paragraph Formatting\ Paragraph Setup Formatting. When the Reformatting Options box appears, click to fill the button next to Specify Margin, and enter "1" (no quotes) in the blank to the right. In the space after Right Margin, enter "64" (no quotes). Under Alignment, click to fill the button next to Left. Click OK.

To reformat, highlight the paragraph or entire article, and go to Format\Reformat Paragraph (or use Ctrl+T). Your article now looks perfect, in an instant.

Make sure that after spell checking and reformatting, you save the changes (Ctrl+S) that were made.

The Resource Box

Also known as Sig File, your signature is the chance to promote YOU! You can include a short author bio (including your name is a must) and a teaser for your product or service. Include a link to the website you are promoting, or an email link, if you are giving away a free course or ebook.

Have Your Work Proofed

Have someone read and critique the article. The best way to do this is to hire a professional editor. You may not have the cash for that yet, so a friend or relative will do. Take their advice, and use your good judgement, to make a final edit. Cut out anything that is not absolutely necessary. Polish it to a brilliant shine. This gem has YOUR name on it.

In Part Three, you will learn who to contact, and where (and how) to submit your original article to many websites and ezines. I hope you have finished your rough draft and editing of your piece. After reading today's lesson, you'll be ready to type and format your article like a pro. Have it finished by next week, and you can follow along with that lesson, and have your article submitted to many places in a couple of hours. Then you can start on your next masterpiece.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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