Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about:

Book Writer — word processing for creative writing

Finders Keepers — text and file searches

Book Writer™ FAQ

  1. My writings are in various files—how can I organize them?
  2. How will Book Writer™ help once my files are organized?
  3. Does Book Writer™ have the features in Word®, WordPerfect™, etc.?
  4. Can I use the files from MS Word® that I already have?
  5. Will editors, agents, professors, and other be able to read Book Writer™ files?

My writings are in various files—how can I organize them?

With Book Writer projects, you can organize and manage your writings.  A project can be a book, class papers, research notes, or any collection of writings that you want to organize and manage centrally.  Use the Project Manager or the Project Wizard to create a new project.

The Project Wizard has simple step-by-step instructions.  Access the wizard by selecting Main Menu | Project | Create Project with Wizard.

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How will Book Writer™ help once my files are organized?

Once you have your files in a project, you can open any or all at once for editing, copy or move the files, zip them, search them, replace text in all of them, make a table of contents, and so on.  See the help file in Book Writer™ for complete information.  To get the help file, press the F1 key anywhere in the program.

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Does Book Writer™ have the features in Word®, WordPerfect™, etc.?

Book Writer™ has all the word processing features that a creative writer needs without the additional features that businesses use.  By omitting business features, for example, mail merge, Book Writer™ provides a writing environment specifically for creative writing.

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Can I use the files from MS Word® that I already have?

You can import Microsoft Word DOC files or WordPerfect WPD files that you want in your project.  If you have a compatible version of MS Word, you can import the files automatically by selecting Main Menu | Project | Import Word Files.  If that does not work on your computer, you can import existing files manually by following the simple instructions in the help file under 'Manual Imports.'

When DOC or WPD files are imported, copies are saved as RTF files.

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Will editors, agents, professors, and other be able to read Book Writer™ files?

Book Writer uses rich text format (RTF) files.  RTF is universally readable; that is, any mainstream word processor can read RTF.  Word®, WordPerfect™, and any other word processor your reader is likely to have can read RTF files.

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Finders Keepers™ FAQ

  1. What search do I use if I am not very technical?
  2. Can I find a name in a file if I don't know the spelling?
  3. How can I look at all files containing "John Doe"?
  4. Why would I want to keep the results of a search?
  5. How can I narrow my searches easily?
  6. Is there a way to skip files with gobbledygook characters?

What search do I use if I am not very technical?

Three of the four file searches in Finders Keepers™ are "non-technical":  Plain-text, Sound-alike, and Approximate.  In the first two of these, you don't have to set anything; in the Approximate search, all you set is how many errors, or discrepancies, you want to allow in the spelling--usually 1 or 2.  Besides direct file searches, you can use indexed text retrievals:  that may sound technical, but it simply means you can look for a word in an index of your files instead of searching the files themselves.

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Can I find a name in a file if I don't know the spelling?

Yes.  Use the Sound-alike search, which will find names that sound like whatever guess you make at the spelling.  Or use the Approximate search, which will allow for errors in spelling.  Of course, if you are technical at all, you know that Regular Expression searches can find variations in spelling.

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How can I look at all files containing "John Doe"?

First, type in "John Doe" and click the Find button.  Then, in the Results window, double-click on any file name or any found line:  the file will open in the default viewer you picked in Options | Set Options | Results | Viewers.  A second method is to click on the navigator buttons atop the Results window, which can take you forward or backward through all your findings.  A third method is to right-click in the Results window for a local menu with several choices for opening a file.

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Why would I want to keep the results of a search?

Since we don't know what your occupation is, we'll give you broad answers to give you an idea:

1)  Keep search results so you don't have to search for the same thing again the next time you forget where it was.  For instance, find all the files that have your key word "payroll" in them; save the results as "Payroll Files I Keep Looking For" or any name you choose.  The next time you forget, open this file and double-click on any line in the Results window to open the respective file.

2)  Keep search results in order to study or work on all the found files later, overseeing and launching them from a central place.  (Central places in computer swamp are good things.)

3)  Keep search results because later you are going to use File | Copy Selected Files... to take your found files to class, court, or meeting on a disk, or to send your found files to your portable computer.

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How can I narrow my searches easily?

After a search, click the main menu selection:

Edit | File List | Take from Results

This causes the program to take the found files in Results as the file list for the next search.  Suppose you searched for "animal" and found 100 files.  Now you want to find "small."  To find it only in files found with "animals," select Edit | File List | Take from Results.  

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Is there a way to skip files with gobbledygook characters?

Yes.  If you have no reason to search binary files, which provide the gobbledygook, select "Auto-detect and skip binary" under Options | Set Options | Find | Reading Files.  The program will then skip all files it detects to be binary.  (If you are not an IT professional, programmer, or daredevil,  you probably do not need to search binary files, which have file extensions such as ".exe" and ".dll".)  To skip all files of particular file extensions, go to Set Options | Exclude | Always Skip Extensions.  There, you can select or name the extensions to skip during Find and Replace operations.  Press F1 there for help.

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