I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by JD16 » Sat, 12 Dec 2009 06:34:47


Version: 2008
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
Processor: Intel

The way things are now, every time I switch from the narrative to dialogue I have to reset the margins or tabs. I am guessing there is some way to do it in one click but I am pretty weak when it comes to knowing computers. <br><br>Is there a way and if so, please explain it to me in the simplest of terms. <br><br>Thanks!
 
 
 

I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by John McGhi » Sat, 12 Dec 2009 07:32:21

In Word, we typically set the margins once only, for the entire document.

We then use Styles to contain the settings for indents and tabs.

A style is simply a named "collection" of formatting properties.

You would use one style for Narrative (maybe named "Narrative") and one
style for dialog (maybe named "Dialog").

You would drag each style onto your toolbar, so when you wanted to change
you would click a single button.

In the Word Help, look for the topic "Format your document by using styles"
which is a video course showing you exactly how to do this.

Cheers


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I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by JD16 » Sat, 12 Dec 2009 11:22:58

Okay, I will try that out. It sounds like even I could do that but I'll let you know if I have trouble figuring out the process. <br><br>Thanks!
 
 
 

I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by JD16 » Sat, 12 Dec 2009 16:40:47

Well, I haven't quite figured it out. There's a toolbar on the right and I found "styles" but there seem to be some pre-existing ones called "dialog" and "action" and I don't see how to alter the margins to match what I've already been writing. <br><br>For example, DIALOG is set with a 2.5" left indent and a 2.89" right indent so you can only fit a 6-letter word on each line. I went into "modify" but don't see how to correct this. <br><br>That's a stopper.
 
 
 

I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by CyberTa » Sat, 12 Dec 2009 23:19:46

Hi JD;

Here are a couple of observations...

The "toolbar on the right" is called the Toolbox. It displays several
different Palettes, one of which is the Formatting Palette which contains
the Styles group. You're headed in the right direction :-) You could also
use Format> Style to get where you need to go.

Word does not include any built-in styles by those names. Apparently they
were created by another user... Is this a document you received from someone
else? Regardless, you have the option of modifying those styles or creating
new ones... If you choose to create new ones you simply need to use
different names unless you delete the existing styles first. Keep in mind
that if you modify or delete the existing styles any content to which
they've already been applied will be reformatted accordingly.

Next, as John suggested *forget* the term 'margin' -- that is not what you
want to change. Altering margins within a document requires the use of
Section Breaks which is overkill for what you want to do. It also weakens
the document structure if you repeatedly do so within the document. What you
want to set is Left/Right 'Indentation'. The Modify dialog window, itself,
only provides a few formatting options. You need to go deeper...

In the dialog for creating a new style or modifying an existing style click
the Format button in the lower left corner & select Paragraph. The settings
you need to modify will be on the Indents & Spacing page. Enter the values
for the amount of indentation from the margin you want the style to apply.

HTH |:>)
Bob Jones
[MVP] Office:Mac



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I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by JD16 » Sun, 13 Dec 2009 03:05:55

This was a previously owned Mac and I suppose there's a chance I unknowingly set these "margins" myself. I've actually already written the first draft but I am now reformatting the script so that it looks more polished. I have one literary agent that is already waiting for me to submit it so I am trying to get through this tedium as quickly as possible. <br><br>I'll try to hammer this out with the tips you've given me and do plan on taking a Word class at some point in the future. <br><br>Thanks!
 
 
 

I am writing a screenplay and am wondering about setting margins easier.

Post by MC » Sun, 13 Dec 2009 03:36:44

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There are a lot of free screenplay templates out there. Most get the job
done pretty well, but if they contain macros don't expect them to work
in Word 2008.

You can also download demo versions of Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 (my
preferred one) and Final Draft. You can export as an RTF from both of
those and create your own template.

There's a no frills version of Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 called
Hollywood Screenwriter for around $90 I believe, that will let you
export your script as an RTF.

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