Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
vsutherland01
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:20 pm

Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby vsutherland01 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 am

I am trying to figure out the proper way to write these things out in stories. Do I italicize, capitalize, use quotation marks?

I see some people do folders like this: 'folder'

I see some people apply italics to programs or or files in the folder. What is the best way?

I don't want to use italics in anything because italics and courier don't mingle, and I don't want to underline. It look ugly.
Honorable Mentions: 2
Rejections: 4

User avatar
orbivillein
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Anatoll

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby orbivillein » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:09 am

Grammar principles about proper noun and common noun, respectively, initial capital case, lower case all; and title of an overall facet or subfacet, respectively, italics, quote mark brackets.

jDoeDD214.pdf, unique file name and extension
folder, common noun.
Tent Junk Folder, proper noun.

Away Documents, top domain directory
"Dublin Travel Itinerary," subdirectory folder
Avalanche, brand-name computer app, program, or software, though most often unitalicized, unless part of the trademark

Simplest, least intrusive emphasis method is judicious initial capital case for proper nouns, lowercase for all else, and occasions for medial capital case according to common and brand-name conventions: WonkaTanakaCo.

Another apt empahsis format signal for digital technology labels, use a sanserif typeface for those, auxiliary to a serif typeface. Courier faces are monospace, serif for Standard Manuscript Format wants. Comparable monospace sanserif typefaces might be labeled "Typewriter," "Machine," or other; for example, "Letter Gothic," "Lucida Sans Typewriter," "Orator," "Simpson," "Thompson Typewriter," ad infinitum.

Layout editors curse a writer who uses too many feral, irrational format changes, though, for when SMF converted to Standard Publication Format proportional typeface wants and other changes for publication makeready. Arial or similar replaces a sanserif SMF typeface for SPF. A tedious annoyance to adjust instance typeface and format changes throughout a typescript. Except when the editor knows how to streamline the process, uses search and replace all and global style definitions per distinct format.

Machine labels? Okay, machine text, right? Do typewriter machine typeface uses express commentary about machines, too? Necessary and natural, then. Great!

vsutherland01
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:20 pm

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby vsutherland01 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:30 pm

Thanks so much for the detailed response. I will use this information to keep my formatting simple. In stories involving computers I sometimes name folders as well as the fictitious programs or documents stored in those folders. I will treat them as any other proper noun. For example (unrelated to any actual story I have written):

"I open the Doomsday Folder and then select the Build-A-Bomb program."
Honorable Mentions: 2
Rejections: 4

vjalrik
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:07 am
Contact:

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby vjalrik » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:48 pm

For program code or names of coding language packages or libraries you would actually change the font to something monospaced like Consolas or Monaco. This is mostly the convention for academic and professional papers, but you might also see it used in a Tom Clancy or Michael Crichton or the like for digital messages or communications, file names, etc.
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R Q3-Pending)
Latest sold stories (9 total):
"The Right Decision," Digital Science Fiction, Dec. 21, 2016
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

User avatar
orbivillein
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Anatoll

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby orbivillein » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:45 am

For general information, anymore, many publishers prefer SMF typescripts' main typeface be Times New Roman. New Courier is the traditional SMF typeface circa twentieth century up through 1990. Typeface preference and mandate varies among the Big Four fantastic fiction novel publishers and the many several short-story digest publishers. Validate typeface preferred from submission guidelines. WotF's Farland prefers Times New Roman though allows any similar serif typeface. [SMF, Standard Manuscript Format; SPF, Standard Publication Format]

An auxiliary typeface, say a sanserif face, would then be Arial for a close complement. Most or all systems and software and applications support both.

Digital publication processes prefer an SMF be as close to SPF ready as practical. Though publishers do use Times New Roman, that typeface is a newspaper face, designed to cram words onto the page for content space consciousness that favors advertisements lavish spaces. SPF favors a book typeface, say, Garamond, which is the sole book typeface CreateSpace and Lulu offer, and is a cross system, software, and platform supported typeface.

For writers inclined toward publication editor rapport, style definitions for formats are an added value, though rife with cause of greater tedium and frustration than without. Every house uses different style labels and practices. Word processor software's preset style definitions serve CreateSpace's basic mandates though cause numerous cross-platform headaches in style-inept hands of all and sundry. Plus, user-defined style definitions are near infinite and likewise headache prone. Best practice is to query an editor, once a submission is accepted for publication, about style definition preferences. If the house and writer are an amenable fit, adopt those definitions for the current and future submissions, saves misapprehensions and headaches no end.

Myself, I have composed house style definition sheets for fellow though less-practiced editors' uses in publication software: InDesign, CorelDraw, MS Publisher, and other software, and useable for Word, WordPerfect, and Acrobat. The style sheets are then imported and useable across the house, and for writers' submissions (if amenable and enough tech savvy, or not if not), much simpler and easier than decryption and adjustment of dozens or more user-specific definition labels and styles.

vjalrik
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:07 am
Contact:

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby vjalrik » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:30 am

Yeah, I wouldn't mess with the fonts in the manuscript, though you might include notes indicating which text needs which treatment. I don't think there's a standard notation in SMF for different fonts.
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R Q3-Pending)
Latest sold stories (9 total):
"The Right Decision," Digital Science Fiction, Dec. 21, 2016
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

User avatar
orbivillein
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Anatoll

Re: Format of computer folders, files, and programs

Postby orbivillein » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:39 pm

SMF originated from typewriter standards, one monospaced typeface of one type size and no format decorations, like bold and italics, etc., only capital case and lowercase roman type. Back when, a typewriter companion template's edges included a straight edge and a scalloped edge. The straight edge for underlined text signals italics; the scalloped edge underline signals bold.

No typeface or font changes altogether. Hot and cold metal type set for SPF allowed whatever format adjustments a typesetter, printmaster, and editor allowed. Cold type used to mean the precast individual type sort matrices. Post '60s technology advances labeled photo-composition processes cold type. Hot lead, oh my, always cast slug line type from a linotype machine or whole page cast machines.

If an SPF typescript accepted for publication, back when and now, the occasion is ripe for publisher request for and writer negotiation of special format and style definitions. Beforehand, less so if at all. A subsequent submission then would include, back when, nonce characters that mark start and end of special styles and formats.

Today, a digital SMF includes those special format auxiliaries and are convenient for writer compositions. A distinction today might see a publisher request a reformatted typescript to a standard house typeface, say, from newspaper Times New Roman to book typeface Jansen or Goudy Old Style, etc. Plus similar adjustments if an auxiliary sanserif typeface accompanies, or as well at most a third distinctive typeface.

"Font" labels the totality of a typeface format definition: typeface name, point size, decoration style and other; for example, Times New Roman, twelve-point, small caps, inline justified. Back when, a typesetter sorted small caps from a special case drawer, say, nine-point capitals. Italics, bold, bold italics, other typefaces and type points, separate type case drawers.

The idiom "out of sorts" describes the temper tantrum a typesetter threw when wanted sorts' convenient supply ran out and typesetter had to go find sorts in previous set pages, as yet unsorted by an apprentice back into the case drawers. Inconvenient at least.

Rare digital occasions I've been out of sorts, a house book typeface that lacks special glyph ligatures, umlaut capital O, tilde N, grave accent A's, thorns, respectively, Ö, ñ and Ñ, À and à, and Þ and þ, etc. Times New Roman substitutes served and none the wiser.


Return to “Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest