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Short tutorials on how to accomplish various productivity actions

On this page you'll learn various how-to's. But even before you're here, we strongly recommend you first go through the introduction and check out the tags documentation. Some of the examples here repeat the ones in the tags documentation, just in a different way of explaining the concepts.

Using the vault for custom content

The service looks for files in your vault and uses them if referenced in your manuscript.

Here's how to use:

  1. upload the .md, .gif, .docx files per instructions

  2. In your Manuscript, simply refer to them by the name - e.g.

@insert mybackmatter.md for Markdown or text files

or, in the case of images, [](myimage.png)

and the service will pick and process them as part of the output. It's that easy! Once you're done with the usage, delete them to make space for new ones. Or keep the ones you always use as long as you want.

The Vault is a powerful feature so make the best use of it. If you use standard header ornaments, backmatter, standard thank you etc. then use the replacer and insert tag features to use them in every manuscript. This is a great way to standardize and optimize your book production.

Important note

The vault is not and should not be treated as a backup service for your sensitive files. Make sure you have your own local (or wherever you store them) copies.

Naming the vault files

The vault isn't a "Explorer" or a "Finder" in that it's just a listing of files. If you have many uploaded, it could get confusing. One way to name your files for easy recollection is to name them this way:

<series or title shorthand>.<intent>.png

for e.g., if you had a series called Lord of the Bracelets, and you used a map, you could name it as

lotb.map.png and refer to it in your Manuscript as

![](lotb.map.png)

Similarly, if you're using your own header ornaments, you could name them as

ornament.1.png or ornament.flower.png and so on.

note: the service first looks for files in the vault before it looks in the template library, so even if you name a file exactly as the ones in the template library, your file is picked up first.


Excluding a chapter from appearing in any output

Use the exclude tag and the whole chapter is ignored as far as generating output goes. You can use it as a notes and book metadata chapter. You can have as many exclude chapters as you want, there are no limitations.

@exclude

@author John Doe

@title John and the Lion

@version 2.1.3

[[body]]

put your notes here, it won't go into the final output

x-------------x

Personalizing the output

The standard word templates work great for most people. But what if you wanted to have your own style for the generated output?

Here's how to do it.

  1. download the standard Microsoft word template from templates

  2. open the file and modify the styles using Word's styling option (do not add new entries, they won't work)

  3. save the file, and upload it with a simple name to your vault

Now, when you go to generate, the styling dropdown will show your template. Just choose it and generate!

It's that simple.


Excluding some chapters from output

Sometimes, you want the full version of your book, and a separate version with a few chapters excluded (maybe for beta reading). The @inverse tag lets you do that.

@inverse

[[body]]

## Dedication

This book is dedicated to my dog.

Numbering your chapters flexibly

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way you could number your core manuscript chapters, and have them appear in your Word doc, in ePub, in a clean processed final Markdown output, in Text?

What about avoiding pains of dealing with chapter heading numbers in Microsoft Word?

PublishQuickly solves this with a simple in-built out-of-the-box replacer called {{#n}} along with a handy numbering resetter called {{#r}}

{{#n}} is replaced by a sequentially increasing chapter number, +1 from the previous—this is fantastic for novels and saves a ton of time fiddling with numbering, removing them selectively and so on.

You can specify only those chapters that need to have a chapter number (e.g., a novel with many parts with chapters in-between in a running sequence).

For example:

[[body]]

# CHAPTER {{#n}}

## NEW YORK, 2048

Becomes

CHAPTER 10. 

New York, 2048

You can use variants like CHAPTER {{#n}} or CH {{#n}} or even just {{#n}} —it doesn’t matter

Use the replacer only in chapters you want. For example, you might be certain PART separators in your book (like Part I, Part II). You may even want to leave some chapters out of numbering

The best way to use {{#n}} is in conjunction with Heading 1, but there is no such requirement. All the app cares about is replacing {{#n}} with a number 1 higher than the previous—so use it however you want!

Wrote up all chapters as CHAP {{#n}} and had a change of heart? Just Find-Replace on your editor and turn it into CHAPTER {{#n}}-that’s it

Numbering Reset using {{#r}}

Instead of {{#n}}, if you use {{#r}} then your chapter index resets to 1. This is great if you have multiple parts in your book and you want to renumber your heading 1’s from 1 in each chapter.

So, whenever you want to reset to 1, in that chapter just use {{#r}} and all subsequent {{#n}} will number onward.

Limitations

Numbering is linear. There is no outline numbering (i.e. 1.2 or 1.2.2)

For most novels, where numbering is linear, this works great and is simple to manage.


Generating outputs that include or exclude specific chapters

So, you’ve written the manuscript (or are in the process of) and you want to share it with your beta readers. You might send to one, or to many, or maybe you revise and send one after the other… there’s many ways.

How do you create a book variant that only includes the chapters you want to send, and in a format that’s easy for your readers to consume (for e.g., the word doesn’t have your licensed custom fonts)

Here are two easy ways, but before you do that, we recommend you create a version of the doc template that’s good for beta reading, or use one of our "proofread-friendly" novel templates available in the paid plan.

Method 1: When you only want to exclude a couple of chapters from your entire book

Let’s say your book has 50 chapters. And you have the cover, dedication, copyright, some other front matter, a thank you page in the end, your other works reference, some notes… and you don’t want to send all this to your beta readers. And you don’t want to keep doing:

copy word doc -> open it -> delete unwanted pages -> resend -> reformat if needed… again and again.

Something like this can be setup in minutes one time in PublishQuickly and you can then regenerate in seconds, as many times as you need.

Here’s how:

Tag any chapter you don’t want to appear with the @inverse tag. PublishQuickly will now exclude such chapters from appearing in a variant of the book, that's it!

In your generated output, you will see a inverse.yourfilename.docx which has chapters you don't need excluded.

Method 2: When you only want to send a small set of chapters from your full book

This is the reverse of inverse.

Let’s say your book has 50 chapters. And you want to only send six chapters to your reader or whoever asked you.

Something like this can be setup in minutes one time in PublishQuickly and you can then regenerate in seconds, as many times as you need.

Here’s how:

Use the @out tag for this! For any chapter you want in, give it a label - let’s say we called select - so for every chapter you want in this output, tag it as @out select

Generate!

That’s it! In Outputs you will now see a new document called select.yourfile.docx and this will contain ONLY those chapters marked select! You will still see .docx which is your full book.

And there it is. Easy to setup, powerful, and once done, you never have to waste more time than necessary again.


Creating a Synopsis/summary list for the book

It’s good discipline to have a short synopsis for each chapter. This helps not just with your writing discipline, but also to share with someone who wishes to check out your book flow.

For starters, you have to create a synopsis for each chapter by using the @synopsis tag. The generator will then give you a simple synopsis only output that you can copy-paste and email, or look at the flow etc.


Inserting page breaks in your Word document

You played with the sample, generated the output, and you’re wondering - where is the page-break getting set? Do I always need to set H1, H2, H3. … headers?

Let’s dive into that a little.

Page Breaks

Where you put page breaks and why is entirely your prerogative. The service uses H1 style to create a page break. Open the template in Microsoft Word, click on Heading 1 and then click on the styles pane. There, go to Paragraph > Page and Line Breaks. You will see the option ‘add page break before’ checked. If you do not want a page break, uncheck it.

Now, whenever you add # which is the Markdown equivalent for H1, in the output Word puts a page-break before that.

If you prefer to have page-breaks in some other way, it’s up to you. For example, you may create a Heading 7 which has the page break, and use that in the book wherever you want (by using #######)


Saving time with the migrator

Want to take advantage of the service but have a lot of existing Word documents?

Got your Word doc proofread and want to the turn the doc back into PublishQuickly format?

Enter the Migrator.

The Migrator lets you upload a Microsoft Word document and returns a best-effort Publishquickly text document.

A few rules/limitations apply.

  • The conversion is "best-effort" and will usually get you 80-90% of the way

  • The processor delimits chapters using the presence of H1's. If the Word document has no H1's, the conversion will fail (you'll need to go and add the H1's)

  • The image markups will be replaced by html tags--you may be need to delete them using Find/Replace or Regex and reinsert your Markdown image markers

  • all chapters will need to be added the synopsis and pov etc.

Even with these steps, using the Migrator will save you about 80% of the time so it's really worth using.


Saving time with the skeletal generator

The skeletal generator is a great way to jumpstart that new manuscript. With just a few clicks, you get a clean author markdown enabled manuscript with the chosen number of chapters, with the right tags and delimiters.

All you need to do is start writing, and add any new tags as you wish.

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