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rickumali (134) [Avatar] Offline
I've decided to write a short blog-type post every week here on this forum. These posts are exclusive to this forum, and they will primarily be about the writing of the book.

I'm writing this book using Microsoft Word. This may seem blasphemous. I can hear the nay-sayers now: "What?! Microsoft!? UNIX is the way to go! Write that manuscript in Emacs! Or vi!"

The biggest reason for writing in MS Word is that the editor I first worked with said it would be more efficient for us to trade comments back and forth using Word. I did not want any friction between myself and the editors so I agreed. Word has a "review and comment" capability that enables an editor and a writer (and others) to have a conversation in the margins.

I also liked that Word (and the Manning-supplied templates) gave me immediate feedback for how the book might look. WYSIWYG indeed. This helped a lot because I have a good number of figures and listings. The accurate layout also gave me a better sense for the page count.

Manning does have an XML format, and I was very close to buying into it (using a separate tool to convert AsciiDoc to Manning's XML format, and then generating a PDF from it), but that sounded like a lot of work. Once the first editor suggested Word, I didn't look back.

Thanks for reading, everyone!