This is topic File format for Hatrack reader in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by WouldBe (Member # 5682) on :
I looked in the Hatrack FAQs but found no guidance on what file format to use if someone requests to see more of a work. My guesses in order of preference:
.swx (but why not .doc?)
Posted by Grijalva (Member # 3295) on :
Usually rtf safe, so is doc, sometimes, and word works. I usually send a rtf one and a word one.
Posted by Snorri Sturluson (Member # 5807) on :
I can't speak for other people, but I loath .pdf format. The files are large, notes can't be inserted easily, it generally requires special software to view (and even more to insert notes). Unless specifically asked for, I would recommend shying away from it.
Posted by lehollis (Member # 2883) on :
Because I used to do technical support for Word, I usually work with that since I know it inside and out. For sending things out, I try to remember to convert to RTF, but I usually forget.
Posted by oliverhouse (Member # 3432) on :
I used to send stuff in PDF until people told me they hated it. It's cross-platform and all that, but it's not good for inserting comments inline. Now I use Word unless I'm told otherwise, and everything I've ever been asked to critique has been sent to me in Word or RTF.
Posted by JeffBarton (Member # 5693) on :
Here's another vote against .PDF because you need special, expensive software to insert comments. I like to put comments in the text right at the places they apply.

.DOC and .RTF both work with MS Word. RTF works with other editors like WordPad that I have to use occasionally. Many submission guides call for .RTF.

My order of preference:

TXT - including embedding in the body of email

with pdf and swx not on the list.


Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
Hmm. I guess it would be a good idea to put something like that in the FAQs.

I'd recommend ASCII text or RTF format if the writer and the potential critiquer don't have the same word processing software, but if they both have MS Word, then it's fine to stay with that. MS Word's tracking feature is a pretty cool way to do critiques.

Posted by Spaceman (Member # 9240) on :
I send everything in rtf. The problem with .doc files is that they can contain viruses. rtf is generally seen as safer, and in MS word, it look sjust like a .doc file.
Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
Well, the one time I passed something around 'round here (so far), I just pasted it on the bottom of the e-mail. (It was short.)

When I used to hang around this Internet Fan Fiction community, we generally passed our work around in HTML format, as attached files to our e-mails. I don't know how suitable that would be here, or whether there are any inherent problems with this format. (My main beef with it was that it eliminated all paragraph indentations, and I wasn't savvy enough to figure out to put them in.)

.pdf format, when I've used it, always produces a bunch of weird typos, and I have to go over the new file to eliminate them.

Posted by RMatthewWare (Member # 4831) on :
I really prefer .doc. Most people have MS Word. I have a Mac and have MS Word on it. And if you don't have Word, your PC will read it with Wordpad (or whatever its called).

When it comes to submissions, they'll usually tell you if they prefer .doc or .rtf. No one wants Apple's word processor, one of the reasons I bought Word for Mac.

Posted by lehollis (Member # 2883) on :
I send everything in rtf. The problem with .doc files is that they can contain viruses. rtf is generally seen as safer, and in MS word, it look sjust like a .doc file.

You can, and should, disable the macros to prevent that. Macros are the only way virus-like behavior can infect word files most of the time. The exception is the ones that can infect any file, but I think those are usually easier for antivirus software to detect.

Macros themselves are usually pretty easy to detect, too. If you scan the file first, or your email does, you shouldn't have many problems. If you're in doubt, right-click (Windows) the file and instruct it to open with Notepad or Wordpad.

Posted by Rick Norwood (Member # 5604) on :
Always read the guidelines. A lot of on-line magazines will only accept one format.
Posted by lehollis (Member # 2883) on :
Oh, I thought we were talking about sending manuscripts to other Hatrackers for critiques, not to Online Magazines. You should definitely send a publisher whatever format they request.
Posted by debhoag (Member # 5493) on :
all the online submits I've been doing request that the text be pasted into the body of the email (granted, it's all query stuff, so it's pretty short) but, man, I hate how it looks.

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