Length and Google Docs

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cvdwightw
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Length and Google Docs

Post by cvdwightw »

In my experience with Google Docs (and, judging from MLK/TIT, theirs as well), there appears to be a misunderstanding about length. Google Docs' margins are not one inch margins, and as far as I know there's no way to change that. I propose the following recommendation for writers and editing teams who use Google Docs to create packets:

A three-line tossup in Google Docs with size 10 font is roughly equivalent to a six-line tossup with 1 inch margins, and a five line tossup is between eight and ten lines long with normal margins. Thus, if you're going to write in Google Docs, keep your tossups between 3 and 5 full lines long and your bonus parts no longer than 1.5 lines long.

People who write eight line tossups in Google Docs are just killing editors because they have to cut out at least 1/3 of the material in the tossup just to get to reasonable length requirements. Editors who flesh out tossups in Google Docs by adding 3 more lines to make a six-line Google Docs tossup are killing the rest of us. Please, for the sanity of everyone involved, do not write tossups that are 8+ lines long in Google Docs.

Schweizerkas
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Post by Schweizerkas »

Yeah, I find Google Docs formatting in general really annoying. I don't think it's quite so simple to just say 3 lines in Google = 6 lines in Word, because Google Docs readjusts the lines when you resize your window, so it really depends entirely on how big your window is. I try copying the questions from Google Docs into Word to check their length, and then copy them back into Google Docs, although for some reason Google Docs seems to get confused with font sizes and line spacing a lot when I do this.

wasprsilds
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Post by wasprsilds »

Could x characters be agreed on as a target rather than a number of lines?

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theMoMA
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Post by theMoMA »

wasprsilds wrote:Could x characters be agreed on as a target rather than a number of lines?
No, because character limits result in awkward grammar and don't have the subtlety of the softer limit that line limits provide.

I really don't think there's much confusion over how long lines are in Google docs vs. Word. And if there is, it's rooted in laziness (just paste the final question over to Word, or figure out about how many lines in Google Docs equals six or eight or whatever in Word!), and certainly doesn't require something like character limits to fix.

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Jeremy Gibbs Sampling
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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

theMoMA wrote:
wasprsilds wrote:Could x characters be agreed on as a target rather than a number of lines?
No, because character limits result in awkward grammar and don't have the subtlety of the softer limit that line limits provide.
I'm gonna dissent, theMoMA. My example (N = 1) is the Ann B. Davis tournament, which uses a hard character limit of 480 for toss-ups and 120 for bonus parts, and is at least as well-written as any trash I've played. Now, for ACF and circuit academic, 480 characters would be pretty short, and I wouldn't favor a hard character cap either, but rather, in wasprsilds' word, a "target". Just as with line length, questions written could be required to fall into a given range, say, 500 to 600 characters with 550 as an optimum. If writers have the small cushion, there's no reason to assume they'll be forced into more awkward constructions just because the standard is in one unit rather than another.
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