Word processors give us many advantages over the typewriter days, but they also can add other problems. I began saving my documents in Rich Text Format (*.rtf) because of formatting problem that I ran into, but I still run into line spacing issues. Using a plain text editor allows for cleaner files and control over encoding. If I want control of my typesetting; I need clean text. I lose immediate appearance benefits of word processing but plain text has advantages.
Thinking in terms of coded or encoded text helped me understand why my line spacing issue kept showing up. Distraction free editors offer few thrills but many will save to a clean text format and don’t tempt you into using coded script. I’ve decided to change my writing format to the simpler is better formula. Using the master document feature on a word processor will still act as the the best way to combine individual chapters into one document. The PageFour text editor seems to combine chapters without a word processor, but I’m not sure how many other tools provide this feature.
I used yWriter as a formatting tool, but it saves in Rich Text Format. If you write short scenes, yWriter will probably avoid the line spacing problem but I don’t write short scenes. I believe the problem occurs when auto-formatting makes page breaks, for appearance sake. The PageFour can save in plain text, but the abundance of free text editors makes me wonder if the small advantages to PageFour pays off. Scrivener appears to give the option to save as plain text.
A tabbed text editor serves most of my needs, but other options tempt me. If the Master Document features of my word processors work without problem, I’m satisfied. Changing methods may introduce new bugs. Catching all the line spacing corruptions is a hassle I want to eliminate. Saving as plain text should fix this problem.