Category Archives: Technology

Scripting Saturdays: Creating a Three-Tier Table of Contents

by Matt Weilert

Again, with news that is too excited to wait a week, Scaling Time wrapped up its launch week landing top-25 standing on Amazon Kindle for our launch category!

In Scripting Saturdays we have covered productivity in weeks 1 & 3, with a macro to save your work in five places and links to Paul Beverley’s macros.

In part of week 1 & all of week 2 we covered marketing with embedded tweets, to foster community building & inspire your readers!

In this fourth week of Scripting Saturdays we cover refining your Table of Contents. While an index turns a book into a library, the other bookend to your written work is how you greet your readers: do you offer them sashimi-style overview with granularity, or do you make them guess?

Offering a detailed table of contents equips your readers to actively recommend your work, because they can find what they are looking for more readily. Our readers are our customers, they want the hole not the drill.

Here is how to build a sashimi-style hole for your book, with a compound metaphor that makes English majors ill just reading it! (No extra charge…)

Steps to Table of Contents Success

  • Apply heading styles 1, 2 & 3 to your text as appropriate.
    • If using decorative text or numbers only for your chapter titles, insert the text to appear in your Table of Contents with TC fields.
  • Set the tabs for ToC styles 2 & 3.
  • Generate the Table of Contents with the menu, then reveal codes and correct it: type the field elements directly, then update, choose entire table.

That’s all there is to it! There is a long way and a short way. For background, read the long way as well described by Shauna Kelly while Suzanne Barnhill identifies key Table of Contents switches. We will not cover the initial step of applying styles to text, as Shauna does such a great job.

TC fields

If you use just a number or other decorative elements for your chapter introductions or markings, TC fields insert text into your Table of Contents that does not appear in your narrative itself. In Scaling Time, we have an episode guide separate from the ToC, but TC fields would allow these to be integrated.

Scripting Saturday 3-tier table of contents tc-fields tier 1

Setting tabs

scripting saturday 3-tier table of contents, menu

3-tier-table-contents-tier-3-tab (highlighted)

 

That sets up the framework to accept your text. Creating the Table of Contents itself is deceptively easy with a systems thinking perspective.

Generating the Table of Contents

This is very different than all the mouse clicking most tutorials advise. With your text marked and your tabs set, generating the actual table is easy-peasy. When you reveal codes on an existing Table of Contents, this is one example of what you might see:

toggle field codes to see the Word syntax for generating the Table of Contents

 

Read Suzanne’s notes on table fields thoroughly, as it is the only way that I personally have been able to consistently get the results our in-house style guide calls for. Once you insert the menu-driven table of contents, you may see lots of nonsense, as we typically do. Not to worry! Use alt-F9, to reveal the ToC syntax: it says TOC \o “1-3” \h \z \u which is far from the results we want. We are smarter than the bear, so we use Suzanne’s guide and directly edit the field code to read TOC \o “2-3” \f, then update fields (WinOS right-click), and choose “update entire table” to regenerate the ToC with the corrected syntax.

Scripting Saturday 3-tier table of contents result

 

That’s all for this week!

Color comparison between old and new twitter bluebird hues of blue.

Scripting Saturdays: why details matter in our work + pre-coding tweets

by BonnieRobin Mariela Watau

I’m so excited to post the second edition of scripting Saturday! For those of you way out west, it is still Saturday(!), so we’re good. Started this on Tues, yet it has been a very full week with the workup to four books launching on Monday! So we are splitting this six-week series into alternate weeks on specific writing helps and marketing | branding your work. I was feeling feisty in this first week of our new President’s keeping his campaign promises and originally titled this: Why Li’l Snowflakes don’t design bridges. A touch more bite than it needed.

When detail matters, such as avoiding the tragedy of the Kansas City Hyatt skywalk collapse, the feel-good shallowness that I see in a lot of girls makes me work twice as hard to represent us women well. Tough love is part of helping us grow, right? In our forthcoming business fable, (follow us at the just launched @bizfables, thanks!), Hillary Poczek Jakowicz gives an example at their fall quarterly business conference:

“To force others to live as we do is one of the greatest mistakes mankind repeats,” often attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, who lived 106-43C BC. The lesson is not just the timeless truth of the quote. The bigger lessons for understanding our upcoming brand rollouts are:

  • looking at the origin story,
  • looking under the hood, and
  • looking at the context.

“Perhaps most importantly, who is delivering the message and what are their goals? The phrase on the screens is actually paraphrased from #4 of the Seven Mistakes of Life, in Secrets of personal culture and business power, a book by Bernard Meador, published in New York City in 1914, some 2000 years later!”

Gasps from a healthy fraction of delegates.

“Memorable quotes have a name, for you Scrabble® lovers like me out there. An aphorism is a commonplace saying expressing a deep truth.  Our commitment to families arises from Ars longa, vita brevis, one of the collected sayings of Hippocrates, father of medicine, circa 460 – circa 370 BC. The reason we teach not taking things at face value when they are literally thousands of years old is simple.

“So often we find what we have been told is either sourced carelessly, like the Cicero | Meador aphorism or the original is different from what has been handed down.

When we dig into the structure of the twitter layout, the bird is part of a sprite group:

various twitter sprites: bluebird, validation check marks large & small, add person, refresh and lock
twitter sprites

(multiple image sprites on same .png)

Here is the gimp-verified actual twitter blue, as referenced on my favorite color-site: http://www.perbang.dk/rgb/55ACEE/ »

  • RGB Hex: 55ACEE
  • RGB (0÷255) 85, 172, 238
gimp color-picker verifies twitter blue

Let’s get into specifics: Brittany Patrice wrote a piece on the Twitter bluebird blue, where she presents the color as:

  • RGB Hexdecimal 4099FF
  • RGB 0÷255 64, 153, 255
Short & sweet. Except when it isn’t. It was true in 2009, but twitter has updated their logo & color scheme since then.
twitter-verified-blue-subtle-shifts-from-web-sourcing

This week’s marketing push is: go to the source, rather than guess, because better matters, as so well said by the Brothers Heath in their best-seller, Decisive.

Accomplish your branding goals as a part of your writing!

So here is a quick lesson on pre-formatting tweets. I leave it to others to promote linked-in, because our tested showed their recommended syntax failed as often as not! Google already stores favicons (16×16 pixel miniature icons) for twitter & zillions of other social media properties, but theirs is the outline, not the bird itself. So I prefer a social icons font to embed directly into my articles, because it gives them sizing, kerning, etc.

This is just one example: http://www.dafont.com/social-logos.font. The social logos run from A-N, twitter bluebird is M 0077, so a capital M.

Tip: Make Sure to have a Space after the logo, or it may not show up! We found that out the hard way in pre-screening our latest business fable, Scaling Time.

Twitter syntax

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=[your content here] with this handy table of must-use character translations if you want your tweet to post as you intend!

  • %23 » hashtag (#)
  • %26 » ampersand (&)
  • %3A » colon (:)
  • %7C » ‘pipe’ (|)

Two references for you to look up more:

Step-by-step examples to get you started:

Original Text: “By setting the fenceline” she says, “with the unique single-side, single-edge properties of the Möbius strip, we have ingeniously set behavioral boundaries allowing travel in only one direction.”

Craft your text to fit 140 char: Möbius #training|formación = #ingenious #boundaries: allows1 #way #travel.

Add branding: #ScalingTime .@stipress .@bizfables #BlueTwo #logistics = #people

Convert|Encode URL-safe characters: #training|formación becomes %23training%7Cformación and every other instance gets replaced as well. Note that our hashtags address our global audience. Matt does this as well as anyone I know. (Attention to detail) 🙂

The easiest way to get all the spaces replaced with %20 is just to copy & paste your pre-code right into the brower address bar:

Next-to-last-step: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Möbius %23training%7Cformación = %23ingenious %23boundaries%3A allows1 %23way %23travel. %23ScalingTime .@stipress .@bizfables %23BlueTwo %23logistics = %23people

Final pre-coded string: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Möbius%20%23training%7Cformación%20=%20%23ingenious%20%23boundaries%3A%20allows1%20%23way%20%23travel.%20%23ScalingTime%20.@stipress%20.@bizfables%20%23BlueTwo%20%23logistics%20=%20%23people

Try it yourself twitter-blue-bird-icon for fun!

Until next time, happy tweeting & great writing…