How to format your text

General Tips
Copying and pasting text into MacGuffin if you're on a Mac
Copying and pasting text into MacGuffin if you're on a PC running MS Windows
What should I put in the 'Description' field?


General Tips

To ensure that readers have a consistently good experience, and to make your story or poem more accessible to people who have difficulty reading text on screen, we apply some standard formatting to your text.

You can choose to apply poetry formatting (just tick the box that says 'Apply Poetry Formatting'). This removes indents from the text.

The buttons at the top of the MacGuffin text editor allow you to apply header case, italics, left-align, right-align and centering.

Once you've published your story or poem, you can hit the back button on your browser to return to the text editor to make changes.

NB. You don't need to include the title, description or author name in the text field - enter the title and description in the fields above the text editor. Your author name will be automatically added as a tag to the story (to change your author name, go to the 'Stories' page from the header menu, then click 'Your details').


Copying and pasting text into MacGuffin if you're on a Mac

Most people prefer to copy and paste their text into MacGuffin from another document (e.g. a MS Word doc), rather than write it from scratch.

Word Processing software tends to write a lot of extra html code (such as proprietary html tags that can't be read properly by other programmes) into your documents, so for best results, it's a really good idea to follow these simple steps to clean that up before you paste it into MacGuffin.

1) Open your story or poem document in your Word Processing application (e.g. MS Word or Mac Pages).
2) Select all the text of your story or poem (cmd+A).
3) Copy it (cmd+ C).
4) Open a new TextEdit document (TextEdit is native to Macs. You'll find it in your Applications folder). The document should be set to 'Rich Text Format'.
5) Paste in the text (cmd+V).
6) Still in TextEdit, select all the text again (cmd+A), and copy it again (cmd+C).
7) Paste it from here into the MacGuffin text editor (cmd+V).

Now use MacGuffin's text editor buttons to apply any additional formatting you need.

Tip: you don't need to include the title, description or author name in the text field - enter the title and description in the fields above the text editor. Your author name will be added automatically (go to your 'Account' page to change it).


Copying and pasting text into MacGuffin if you're on a PC running MS Windows

Most people prefer to copy and paste their text into MacGuffin from another document (e.g. a MS Word doc), rather than write it from scratch. Try copy and pasting your document directly into the MacGuffin text editor. If you notice any strange formatting, or it doesn't look right, try the following steps to clean the html:

Word Processing software tends to write a lot of extra html code (such as proprietary html tags that can't be read properly by other programmes) into your documents, so for best results, clean up the text before you paste it into MacGuffin.

1) Open your story or poem in your word processing application (e.g. MS Word).
2) Save a version as a Web Page, Filtered document (.htm file). Click File > Save As > Save as type: Web Page, Filtered. Make sure you give the new file a new name, so the original is not altered.
3) Open this new file in Word. The page will look slightly different, with no page parameters showing.
4) Copy and paste the text into NotePad. (NotePad is native to all PCs running with a Microsoft operating system; a simple system search should find it for you). You can save this file if you want to come back to it later.
5) Select all the text of your story or poem (ctrl+A).
6) Copy it (ctrl+C).
7) Paste it from here into the MacGuffin text editor (ctrl+V).

Now use MacGuffin's text editor buttons to apply any additional formatting you need.

Tip: you don't need to include the title, description or author name in the text field - enter the title and description in the fields above the text editor. Your author name will be added automatically (go to your 'Account' page to change it).


What should I put in the 'Description' field?

The description helps readers know what your story or poem is about, and whether it'll be worth reading.

We suggest your description takes one of the following approaches:
A. Comprehensive.
1) Form. Is it a poem? Short Story? Novel chapter?
2) Genre. Is it a crime story? SF?
3) Content. Some indication of what it's about.
4) Author qualification (where appropriate). It may be worth you mentioning how this poem or story relates to the rest of your work (e.g., if it's taken from a particular collection of poems or stories).
Example: 'A classic Sherlock Holmes crime short story about a phantasmagoric hound, by the master of the Victorian whodunnit.'

B. Teaser.
Example: 'On the bleak tors of Exmoor, a phantasmagoric hound claims its latest victim. But is it all as it seems?'

Tip: You can add tags (keywords to help readers find your story or poem) in the 'Add Tags' tab of the MacGuffin upload page.

Still stuck? Here's a walk-through video about how to upload a story):