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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:13 pm 
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OMG Doomsday Laser
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I was thinking that it wouldn't be too terrible if we could all help each other out a bit with one another's writing. An easy way to do this is to provide some resources that we typically use. I don't have too many, but I'll be glad to share a few. These resources I have aren't tailored specifically for mecha fanfic writing, but they're useful. =p

Encyclopedia Mythica. This is probably the most useful resource I can share. It has mythology from nearly every major world culture, and simply reading through the articles is fascinating. It does wonders for inspiration or naming conventions.

English/Japanese Dictionary. I use this when I'm in a hurry to translate something. I'm not too sure how reliable it is, but it does the trick. The engine also includes dictionary services for a good number of other languages.

This is a highly refined japanese/english dictionary. It's probably much much more useful than the other one, but gets a little hard to use at times. It also tends to crash often??

Some Japanese names and A giant encyclopedia of everything having to do with Medieval Japan.

An english/chinese translator. This was surprisingly difficult to find and is slightly strange to use. Does anyone have a better one, Pinyin specifically?

Yeah, so nothing I have is really mecha specific. I gathered these resources while working on a different kind of project. I'm sure this stuff will still be plenty useful, though. Do you guys have anything to share also?

Edit: How did this slip my mind? I guess what I'm needing help looking for is something that can help me describe clothing and also expressions and gestures. Of course I can think of these things, but it's always very hard to articulate in words. Sounds kind of like a difficult resource to find. =/

+Paperclip subject+

I was also thinking that having some kind of library or reference system for the stories in this forum could be useful. Just breezing through pages of story titles doesn't do much justice for our authors here. Of course, one of these takes a lot of work to put together and we'd all have to agree on some kind of organizational system that would work out well. One of these will probably need mod approval before it flies, and if we get the green light, I guess we can use this space to talk out what kind of format we want it in. Just let me know if this is a good idea or not.

_________________
"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


Last edited by Seraphic on Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:16 pm 
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I like this idea. I shall provide a few things:

The Universal Mary-Sue Litmus Test. Far from definitive or exhaustive, nonetheless I find it gives you a decent ballpark idea and a reasonable quantification of how many of the cliches and conventions your original character is following.

Free Translation.com. Sort of like Babelfish, I find it useful for translating certain phrases and words, and getting translations for things like numbers (ex, one through ten in German). It's as suspect as something similar, like Babelfish, and it most certainly does not produce any fluent-sounding or even intelligible translations, but it's better than nothing. What I usually do is translate an English phrase or sentence into a different language, then translate the result back into English and see if it still makes any modicum of sense.

Baby Name World. A site I hope to never use for its intended purpose. Handy for creating names for characters.

And of course, Wikipedia is useful for general information on all kinds of stuff, although it wouldn't hurt to bring the grains of salt along either and do some checking first.

I will take your idea for a fanfic library or something of the sort to the shadow masters who control me and see what they say.


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:27 am 
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Der Bigen Slicen
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On fanFiction.net they've recently started a Beta Reader profile program which makes finding a Beta soooo much easier. Perhaps we could do something like that here?

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Seraphic wrote:
I was also thinking that having some kind of library or reference system for the stories in this forum could be useful. Just breezing through pages of story titles doesn't do much justice for our authors here. Of course, one of these takes a lot of work to put together and we'd all have to agree on some kind of organizational system that would work out well. One of these will probably need mod approval before it flies, and if we get the green light, I guess we can use this space to talk out what kind of format we want it in. Just let me know if this is a good idea or not.


What exactly do you mean by this? Just a thread at the top of the section where everyone can post a link to their stories and a blurb about them?


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:52 pm 
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OMG Doomsday Laser
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MBF-06/ZGMF-X12A Arbiter wrote:
On fanFiction.net they've recently started a Beta Reader profile program which makes finding a Beta soooo much easier. Perhaps we could do something like that here?


That probably would be very nice, but it seems rather difficult to arrange. It's good for mechatalk readers to be our beta readers, since they would know what is going on in our stories (or have a general idea at least.) The main problem would be finding people that are both willing to participate and are also qualified betas. Probably not everyone in the fanfiction section will be a good editor. Shadowcell might have some fun gutting some stories and leaving them for dead. I suppose I could help do some beta reading also, but the only problem is that I just really don't like CE, and I'm not qualified to betaread CE stories. Most of the stories that show up here seem to be CE based, so that's a problem. I could look at originals, maybe? That may prove to have some problems of its own, but yeah. Beta reading sure is going to put a lot of pressure on the volunteers though. Some stories can end up pretty long. =/

Quote:
What exactly do you mean by this? Just a thread at the top of the section where everyone can post a link to their stories and a blurb about them?


That may work, but that kind of library organization would still carry over the inherent weaknesses of just browsing through pages. The organization might end up more or less random, and most likely, some authors will just have their blurbs passed up or ignored. The current way of looking for stories is ordered chronologically from the latest post, and only then all people see is the title of the story, the author, and also the post/view count. This causes a lot of works to simply be ignored due to 'popularity' or old age or simply having the author be relatively unknown.

I think a stronger organization would be to have a single person create an organized library that can be viewed in a single post. The best arrangement would probably be by subject matter, or to have it organized by universes. Have a UC section, list the stories and a few things like the author and a link to the story. Then a CE section, AC, and so forth. I believe this is the strongest organization we can have because it allows readers to browse according to their interests. I guess that after this initial 'library post' the subsequent thread can be used for authors to add blurbs or whatnot in their own posts.

Of course, this kind of library puts a lot of work on whoever creates it, since that person will have to organize the existing 5 pages of stories and also be in communication with writers who want changes made to the library. It would make the most sense for a fanfiction mod to create this post, but still, that really is a lot of work. I suppose I do not mind making the library myself, if a mod were to approve and maybe also assist in editing the initial post as time wears on. It would just take a while to put up such a library because I do not have much time on my hands currently. Still, I could do it.

But anyways, I tried that litmus test, and I was laughing the entire time through. There were a lot of questions in there that blatantly tested the author for social and psychological problems. :P And I remember freetranslation.com from when I was struggling through spanish in high school. I still didn't do that well, if you're wondering, hahah.

Back to the point though, I'm guessing we just need more opinions as to whether a library should go up, and if one does, what sort of organization it should have. Give us some suggestions. Anything!

_________________
"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:06 am 
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If I might chime in for a moment, I think ShadowCell's idea (or question) of authors swinging by a designated (preferably stickied) thread to post a link and brief hook for their story would be the best idea. It saves people the hassle of sifting through pages of material with a handy appendix.

Your idea is by no means bad, Seraphic, but it sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth. What would happen if the user falls asleep on the job, so to speak?

It's easier and more reliable method, I believe, that the various users take it upon themselves to post in the appendix topic rather than laying it all one person, who could let the topic fall by the wayside.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:24 pm 
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Yeah, that does sound like more work than it's worth. If we just start a thread and sticky it for authors to make their sales pitches, then if they don't do so, that's their problem.


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:07 am 
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Okay, it's probably more work than it's worth, but I haven't been convinced not to go through with it yet. =p

ShadowCell, if you're cool with the library, you should probably do the honors and create the thread. I'll create my own 'comprehensive library post' within the thread afterwards, or if I can beat you to the punch, I can create the thread also. I'll be in contact with authors who want adjustments, but I'll be sure to make a notation in the index that states "AS OF...." so that the library just doesn't go to hell in the event of my death or something. I should be able to complete it this week or over the weekend. Something like that.

I'm liking the ideas we are discussing here, but we'll need more people to voice some opinions or post more resources before we get off the ground. Can we get a beta system to work? Any other ways to just generally improve things?

_________________
"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:20 am 
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Before I can make any thread, I would need guidelines on what to post, and probably an example or two.

Also, what I'm under the impression you're talking about is just a thread in which someone (in this case, me) supplies some guidelines, and then authors who want more exposure for their work post in the thread to provide a summary and make their sales pitch to would-be readers. That strikes me as a better idea than one person going through the whole section and indexing everything. That would require someone who has read every single fanfic in this section, and it probably would not produce a summary or sales pitch that would do it the justice the author of the work in question would want. So I think letting authors do their own pitches would be better--and if they don't want to, well, their loss.

And we'd have to have some way of dealing with fanfics that never get finished. I know that they can take a while to get finished--it's a demon that haunts me as well as anyone else. But otherwise, this library thread will get clogged up pretty quickly with abandoned fanfics.


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:02 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser
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Hm...you're right about those abandoned stories. That's a pretty tough call to make, but I can't figure any solution at the time. But about our library, I have a rough idea.

Each person who wants to submit to the library should each get one post that lists what that person has authored. Changes or updates to one's section should just be made with the edit button. Subsequent posts about updates shouldn't be necessary because the library is likely going to be a sticky thread, and it'll be obvious if you update your story because we'll see it bumped on the forum. Each story entry should generally include:

The title. Duh!?!
A link to the thread where the story is posted.
What continuum the story generally is based on: what specific UC era, CE, ZoE, or original.
The date of the latest update, including the latest chapter number.
A blurb to generally tell what the story is about or what the author is trying to accomplish with it.
One or two picture links, if available. (Don't post ALL of your available artwork.)

We must remember that this is a library post and not an encyclopedia. Authors should refrain from posting character profiles or mecha stats. And of course, after an author has made his/her initial library post, the thread can be used to generally discuss the library or some of the stories in general with other members. That's the rough system I've come up with. Feel free to modify this to your own reasoning.

As for myself, I'll create the library's "Index Post." I know you guys have your doubts about it, but I'm the only one wasting my time, so don't worry. I'm going to organize it by continuum so that readers will have an easier time searching for works within their interests. It will have an organization similar to this:

Continuum>>Author>>author's assorted stories for this continuum.

With each story I'll include a link, and also a status for the story. I'll have tags such as "declared," "in progress," "complete," and maybe "postponed/unknown." And "postponed indefinitely/discontinued" for those that are dead in the water. I'm not sure if it'll be at all productive to include in the index stories that are simply declared but contain no writing within them, but I'll consider this as I create the index. Remeber, this index is simply for the sake of organization and is not meant to give comprehensive coverage of details. The library posts and then the threads for the stories themselves would be where the most information would be.

We don't have to be in a rush to implement these ideas though. You can make the library if you feel you are ready, but I am content to hear from more people. Whatever works.

_________________
"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:11 am 
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I don't think letting people post "declared" stories is a good idea. I've seen numerous threads on this forum and others that start out with someone saying something like "Hey, I had an idea, what if Amuro Ray had to team up with GI Joe to fight the evil COBRA?" and that's the last you ever hear of it. Similar to fanfics that just get abandoned, I can already see a prospective library thread getting totally clogged to hell with "declared" ideas.

I'm dubious of letting people discuss their library posts in that thread, as well. If the point is to create a single repository of information about all the stuff in the section, then it would seem to me sensible to keep the thread clear of everything that isn't somebody's fanfic pitch.


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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:10 pm 
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Holy mother of jesus. *chokes

Okay, I finished our Index. It took about 3 days and it's about 11 pages long (in MSword). I've done my best to accurately reflect the format of our users' names and the format in which the titles were presented. I did make a few grammatical corrections, but avoided any modifications that I could. I have put any mention of SEED in all caps to reflect that it is an acronym. I have serialized "double oh" with the letter O rather than the number zer0. I'm not sure which it should be. I have only included entries that have at least "a chapter" posted. (How many people must call the chapters "phases"? Even when it's not SEED?) And I have discovered that Chris has posted only a single time in this forum, and it was in OpMegs' thread. You'll notice that most of them list as "in progress" which realistically about 65% of these are "left for dead." However, I think reflecting such status accurately in the index may cause people to shy away from reading what is there. It is organized by era and lists authors in alphabetical order. You'll notice some chronological influences to the organization also.

Here is a sample:

Quote:
Updated as of 4.19.2008


Cosmic Era: Gundam SEED

Antares
Gundam SEED Phoenix
In progress.

artmaster0792
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Crusade *fan manga
In progress

assault gundam
Gundam SEED Eagle
In progress

bloodyknight
Gundam SEED: Divine Intervention
In progress


The asterisks* are to be taken as grains of salt, haha.

Do we have a green light yet?

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"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:21 pm 
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Quote:
I have serialized "double oh" with the letter O rather than the number zer0. I'm not sure which it should be.


Actually, all the official depictions of the title show it as two zeroes. It's just spoken as "double-oh," as in, say, "double-oh seven."

I still think trying to index all the fanfics isn't going to work out very well, but if it's something you want to do, knock yourself out. Sometime next week I'll start up a fanfic library, like what you suggested, and work out some guidelines for it.


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:11 pm 
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*sees a long-dead topic lying on the ground, walks over to it and sticks it with a syringe filled with a strange translucent-green chemical, then watches as the topic is revived*

Does anyone happen to know a Russian-for-dummies translator? Something that would provide "akula" as a translation for "shark", instead of "АКУЛА". Or do I have to bite the bullet and memorize some symbols and pray "bars" is an accurate approximation to "БАРС" (panther)?


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:03 pm 
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Yay, a contributor. ^_^ Wait, you're not contributing anything!! Damn moochers! >=o

Hahaha, anyway: here you go.

Just make sure "transliterate" is checked. And make sure you select Russian first, 'cause the default translation is Arabic. I test translated 'shark' and got a bunch of scribbles instead. That weirded me out until I realized. :lol:

I would also like to note that using google.com is useful when you are testing names or terms you supposedly made up yourself. For instance, I thought "phwoar" was just a noise I happen to make from time to time, but it means "an attractive woman" or "to flex your abs/suck in your beer gut in the presence of the opposite sex." I guess urbandictionary is good for that, too.

Also, I didn't know two of my characters had famous names. Apparently, one is a rock star, and the other is a stripper in a famous court case. -_-;

Anyway, I'm looking for two things: I need some documents that can help me describe postures and gestures. I also need an extensive encyclopedia or something of combat and martial arts terminology. I mean, I can picture everything and choreograph pretty interesting stuff, but putting it into words is something else! Thanks. =)

+Paperclip Subject 2+

Should the "Originals" section of the Index be separated into Original Gundam works and then pure originals? I felt a slight need to make the distinction, but I'm not sure if there will be much of an advantage (or possible detriment) to doing that.

P.S. "Bars" is "leopard," apparently. Many people will be pissed if you mistake a leopard for a panther. :lol:

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"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:15 pm 
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Wiki has a big article on romanization of Russian, and probably several other languages that don't use the Latin alphabet.


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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:38 pm 
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Took a few tries to get around a glitchy Circuit City ad that took up all the valuable screen-space, but it works pretty well. I usually cross-reference translations anyway, working translations in reverse across multiple translators, so I would have caught that leopard/panther problem, I just need help finding words to cross-reference. This provides that. Thanks, Seraphic. :)

I don't have much to help you out, but I'd say that generally, if you can picture it in your head, you can use common words to transpose it onto paper and it will convert back into images for the reader pretty effectively. A thesaurus might help spice it up a little; as long as you use a thesaurus to remind you of words you're already comfortable with, it works pretty well. My point is, you don't want to bog down an ignorant reader with elaborate fighting-stance/maneuver titles just to sound authoritative.

For concrete contributions, I use several sites when I need help with names. I use this one when I need surnames, this one when I'm looking for some obscurity, and this one when I'm looking for a little background on names or am looking for an even more precise selection for ethnicity. Occasionally, I'll slightly modify existing names to represent futuristic ones.

@SC: I took a look at that already, but that's still a rather slow approach. I've used it to audiolize (another new word I made up?) words and names, but it's a little too slow and tedious when it comes to helping me select them.


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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:44 pm 
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A good site (although there isn't a whole lot of things on it yet) is http://springhole.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Troubled that your italics and bolds filled, overformatted MS-Word-writted fanfiction is a pain in the ZOINKS to convert to BB Code to post on the forums?

Try this method out, if you don't already use it.

Convert it to BB Code using a simple technique called Macroing. Take the following code:

(Spoiler'd because of wordiness)


Spoiler: show
'Word2BBCode-Converter v0.1

Sub Word2BBCode()

Application.ScreenUpdating = False

ConvertItalic
ConvertBold
ConvertUnderline
ConvertHyperlinks

ActiveDocument.Content.Copy

Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub
Private Sub ConvertBold()
ActiveDocument.Select

With Selection.Find

.ClearFormatting
.Font.Bold = True
.Text = ""

.Format = True
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False

.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue

Do While .Execute
With Selection
If InStr(1, .Text, vbCr) Then
' Just process the chunk before any newline characters
' We'll pick-up the rest with the next search
.Font.Bold = False
.Collapse
.MoveEndUntil vbCr
End If

' Don't bother to markup newline characters (prevents a loop, as well)
If Not .Text = vbCr Then
.InsertBefore ""
.InsertAfter "
"
End If

.Font.Bold = False
End With
Loop
End With
End Sub
Private Sub ConvertItalic()
ActiveDocument.Select

With Selection.Find

.ClearFormatting
.Font.Italic = True
.Text = ""

.Format = True
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False

.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue

Do While .Execute
With Selection
If InStr(1, .Text, vbCr) Then
' Just process the chunk before any newline characters
' We'll pick-up the rest with the next search
.Font.Italic = False
.Collapse
.MoveEndUntil vbCr
End If

' Don't bother to markup newline characters (prevents a loop, as well)
If Not .Text = vbCr Then
.InsertBefore ""
.InsertAfter "
"
End If

.Font.Italic = False
End With
Loop
End With
End Sub
Private Sub ConvertUnderline()
ActiveDocument.Select

With Selection.Find

.ClearFormatting
.Font.Underline = True
.Text = ""

.Format = True
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False

.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue

Do While .Execute
With Selection
If InStr(1, .Text, vbCr) Then
' Just process the chunk before any newline characters
' We'll pick-up the rest with the next search
.Font.Underline = False
.Collapse
.MoveEndUntil vbCr
End If

' Don't bother to markup newline characters (prevents a loop, as well)
If Not .Text = vbCr Then
.InsertBefore ""
.InsertAfter "
"
End If

.Font.Underline = False
End With
Loop
End With
End Sub

Private Sub ConvertHyperlinks()
'converts Hyperlinks
'24-MAY-2006: only convert http..., mark others with error marker

Dim hyperCount&
Dim i&
Dim addr$ ', title$

hyperCount = ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks.Count

For i = 1 To hyperCount

With ActiveDocument.Hyperlinks(1) 'must be 1, since the delete changes count and position

addr = .Address
If Trim$(addr) = "" Then addr = "no hyperlink found"
'title = .Range.Text

'http, ftp
If LCase(Left$(addr, 4)) = "http" Or LCase(Left$(addr, 3)) = "ftp" Then
.Delete 'hyperlink
.Range.InsertBefore "[url=" & addr & "]"
.Range.InsertAfter "[/url]"

GoTo ConvertHyperlinks_Next
End If

'mailto:
If LCase(Left$(addr, 7)) = "mailto:" Then
.Delete 'hyperlink
.Range.InsertBefore "[email]" & addr & " "
.Range.InsertAfter "[/email]"

GoTo ConvertHyperlinks_Next
End If

'file guess
If Len(addr) > 4 Then 'the reason for not nice goto
If Mid$(addr, Len(addr) - 3, 1) = "." Then
.Delete
.Range.InsertBefore "[file://" & Replace(addr, " ", "_") & " "
.Range.InsertAfter "]"

GoTo ConvertHyperlinks_Next
End If
End If

'unidentified
.Delete
.Range.InsertBefore UnableToConvertMarker & "[" & addr & " "
.Range.InsertAfter "]"

ConvertHyperlinks_Next:
End With

Next i

End Sub




And paste it into wordpad. Save it somewhere you know how to find as w2bb.bas (the ending is very important), open Word, if you have 2007 (as you should) then go to view, go to the end of the taskbar and hit Macro, and then choose view macros, create new, and when the window pops up, hit file-import file-(go to where you saved w2bb.bas)-choosew2bb.bas and go back to file-save normal. Then, when you finish your story, simply click the macro and it will convert it to basic BB Code. After that, copy and paste, and violá! You're good to go!

Spam away, boys (and girls, and spambots and such)!

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:56 am 
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Location: Inside the barrel of Wing Zero's left Buster Rifle.
Wow, I was just wondering if there was a quick way to do this. Thanks a lot, prog! I'll have to test it out when I finish my chapter.

You should consider finding my "Writing Resources" thread and posting it there, also. =o

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