Here are a few tricks for working with text blocks in Lectora that will speed up your production. First, a simple Ctrl-V paste will retain any formatting applied in programs such as Word or PowerPoint, but these sometimes include hidden characters that can be an issue on publish. There are other options for pasting. Right-clicking on the text box brings up a contextual menu with several options.
The first, “Formatted Text (RTF)” is the same as a Ctrl-V paste; RTF means “Rich Text Format” which keeps all the text style of the original. The next, “Unformatted Unicode” strips all formatting and gives you plain (UTF) text. This is a sure fire way to avoid hidden characters, but requires reformatting once pasted. The last option “Unformatted Text” is the most interesting, as it will adopt the formatting of any text already present in the target text box, but still strip hidden characters. Even better, there is a keyboard shortcut, Shift-Ctrl-V. This can greatly speed up the process of transferring text from a storyboard.
But wait there’s more! If you have copied formatted text, the option to paste as several image types is available. Using any kind of decorative type is always risky, since it will not display correctly on computers that do not have the font installed. Pasting as image gets around that and looks better than the “convert to image” option under the Properties tab. One thing you will have to do is add any soft returns you want to keep the text from running all the way across the page before pasting as image.
Speaking of returns, it’s sometimes useful to know where return breaks and double spaces are. The “Show Text Formatting” option under the Home tab lets you see these hidden characters.
One last thing about Lectora type boxes: they sometimes publish slightly bigger than shown in the program and may, therefore, wrap differently and even run over the bottom margin of the text box. It’s a good practice to give the right edge and bottom margin a little wiggle room to avoid this.
What are some of your tips for making text look better in Lectora? Let us know in the comments below!