How to format and name text files

"Plain Vanilla" Texts

Project Gutenberg has done an excellent job of maintaining a balance between readability and portability of electronic texts. To maintain wide accessibility across a broad range of platforms, the text formatting needs to be very simple and consistent.

If we are to submit the completed text to PG, it needs to meet their requirements for Plain Vanilla texts. However, there are certain complications when collecting a set of files from several people who will most likely use different tools and perhaps even operating systems. In this instance I would like to collect the files in a modified version of the PG format, and then I will reformat the entire collection so it will be consistent.

Text Format for this project   [EXAMPLE]

All files should be in plain ASCII format with the following formatting:

Other special cases will probably come up, and we can address those as they arise. The FAQ page at Project Gutenberg goes into much greater detail.

Naming conventions

Please put each chapter in a separate file with the name alecforbnn.txt where nn is the chapter number, e.g., alecforb01.txt, alecforb22.txt, alecforb45.txt, etc.

What software should I use?

Whatever you are comfortable with. Microsoft Word will work fine as long as you 'Save As.../Text File only' and NOT 'Text File with line breaks'. Simpler text editors like Notepad, EditPlus, emacs, etc. are better at making plain ASCII text files, but may lack the spell checking features, which come in handy (except for the Scottish Dialect!). If you want some entertainment, turn on the Grammar checker in Word.

BE AWARE that the Auto Correct features in tools such as Microsoft Word can unexpectedly do strange things to Scottish dialect. I recommend turning this feature off.

Format of final version   [EXAMPLE]

After I concatenate all of the files, I will add hard wrapping with a CR/LF at 70 columns to meet the PG format specifications. Different tools and operating systems use different codes for hard returns, so this will guarantee consistency, and make it easier for those submitting files.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to send a test case, don't hesitate to contact me.

- Last updated: Dec 7, 2005 -