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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Overcrowded Docs? Here's an Answer to the "Sell Sheet Dilemma"

Borrowing Green Formatting from the Greats . . .
Subscribers to this editing blog probably know how I feel about learning from the greats—in this case the Smithsonian magazine. You may also have figured out that I’m a greenie.

So, ta da! Introducing the paragraph icon. You know, the one that looks like a backward “P” with two heavy lines on the right. But instead of using it as an invisible formatting tool, Smithsonian can see its beauty and makes it a space-saving design element on the opening pages of their feature articles. That means the page has less white space (which costs money in print magazines), but it also may mean a little more space for nifty illustrations.

Smithsonian designers/formatters just stick one of these symbols into the copy anywhere there would normally be a new paragraph or the start of a new block of dialogue. That saves them lines between paragraphs and indent and end of paragraph space. 
 To make it ever-so-clear that this is intentional, they make the symbols a nice dark gray—a slight departure from the black used in their fonts. Here is information from Word how to make the paragraph symbol—one that can be seen—in your copy. http://www.ehow.com/how_6951039_insert-paragraph-sign-word-document.html.
I think this design element would be especially useful for authors’ sell sheets where every fraction of an inch counts. To make your paragraph icons gray, click on your Font Color icon in the ribbon in your Word program.

PS: Subscribe to my free SharingwithWriters newsletter for more articles and tips like this and get a free e-copy of my Great Little Last-Minute Edits. Find subscription windows on the upper right corner of almost every page of my Web site http://howtodoitfrugally.com.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .


  1. LOL. I try to never use a word that most readers won't understand---expecially if it scares them away from an already scary subject like grammar. Thanks for dropping by~


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