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Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
#700174 added August 20, 2015 at 4:43am
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Create/Edit a Document
This tutorial is for creating a Document. When you hit the Save button at the end, you will create a Document in your personal Portfolio, which will be assigned its own unique seven-digit ID number. By using this number in any of the WritingML item links, you and others can easily access this particular item. For instructions on how to link to a Document, please see WritingML Help for item.

Note: If your device and browser support multiple browser tabs or windows and you would like to create a Document while referring to these directions, right-click on the Create New Item link in the main navigation menu on the left to open that page in a new window or tab. In the CREATE A NEW ITEM page, click on Document to open the CREATE A NEW DOCUMENT page.


As the name implies, this section contains the basic information about your item. Essentially, this is what people will see when they find your item listed within a search or on a list. Each of the following categories has its own text box or drop-down menu (indicated by a ˅). Some are required, and some have a default setting or are optional.

Add a Cover. This area allows members to replace the default Item Icons of the Item types with that member's preferred cover image. An item's cover image will be displayed to the left of the Title/Brief Description and is shown in site listings, within your portfolio and in the item's header. Click on the Cover box to open a window with three options for setting your cover.

Set Your Cover Image.

   *Bullet* The first box allows you to upload or drag and drop a JPG, GIF or PNG file.

   *Bullet* The second box allows you to enter an Item ID number to use the cover image of that item or the image in an existing Image item.

   *Bullet* The third box allows you to enter a Stock Cover ID number. This option is available to all members.

+ Advanced.  (Click on this heading to open this section; click the heading again to close it.)

   *Bullet* Cover Sharing (˅). Your cover may be shared with all or selected members using the drop-down menu, or you may choose the default Do Not Share This Cover.

   *Bullet* Position Cover (˅). You may position your cover inside the box by using the drop-down menu.

Remove a Cover: To remove a cover from an item, click the cover image to open the Cover Image edit area, click Advanced, check the box to remove the existing cover image, click Done, and then scroll down to complete the edit of the item.

*Bullet* Title. Your title is a critical part of an item's basic information. You have just 40 characters. Even more important, this title becomes a clickable link when properly used in one of the many Item Tags offered in WritingML. This clickable link enables anyone searching through various lists to go directly to your Document.

*Bullet* Brief Description. Displayed in your Portfolio, in public listings and in other places on Writing.Com, this short description is your second chance to hook your reader. Essentially, you must have at least 10 characters, but no more than 90 characters to create a small billboard for your item. Describe the reason your Document exists.

*Bullet* Intro Rating (˅). This rating applies solely to the title, brief description and cover image, and allows for one of two options: Suitable for Everyone (E) and Not for Everyone (Non-E). An E rating is used when your title, description and cover image contain nothing offensive or inappropriate. As the least restrictive rating, it ensures your item can be listed or advertised much more widely across the site.

On the other hand, if you have anything in this section that might be considered inappropriate or offensive to anyone, including our younger members, you must choose "Non-E" for this rating. Since Non-E rated items are not listed in many places, it might be advantageous for you to clean up your title or description so you can assign an E rating and gain a wider listing base. Please read "Content Rating System (CRS) for complete information. If you have questions regarding what rating is warranted for your content, you can always post a request for help in "Content Rating Support.

*Bullet* Your writing goes here...
This is where you put your actual writing! You have three options for putting your writing here. You can type your text directly into this window. You can copy and paste your document from another program. Bear in mind that not all formatting may properly copy from some programs--check carefully to be sure your final item is formatted how you wish it to look. You can use the drag and drop system to upload your writing from an MS Word file or an .rtf file.

The bar of WritingML formatting buttons across the top of this text box includes the most commonly used formatting options. These buttons can be used to add formatting tags around your highlighted text. More WritingML can be found in WritingML: Docs & Help linked under Writing.Com Tools at the left. Used sparingly, formatting can really enhance your writing. Also, consider that many people will likely read your item online. For easy online reading, leave plenty of white space, such as a blank line between paragraphs.

In this text box you can use WritingML tags such as the open bold tag {b} and close bold tag {/b} to make selected words bold; the {i} and {/i} tags to italicize words; and the {u} and {/u} tags to underline words. Rules to remember: When you open a paired tag, you must close it, and if you open several paired tags together to format the same section of text, you must close them in the reverse of how they were opened (last opened, first closed).

*Bullet* Folder / Location (˅). You might have created folders within your port to organize your items. You can choose which folder your new item will go in by clicking on the drop-down list, and selecting the appropriate folder.

*Bullet* Content Rating (˅). The Content rating pertains to the actual content of your entire Document, including the Intro area. Even if your Intro Rating is 'E', you must choose whatever is appropriate for the entire content here. For help understanding the different content ratings, please see "Content Rating System (CRS).

*Bullet* Make PUBLIC, allow EVERYONE (˅). These access restrictions allow you to choose who can see your item. If you leave this as Make PUBLIC, Allow EVERYONE!, anyone, whether a member of Writing.Com or not, will be able to see it. Your item will show up on internet-wide search functions. Click within the box to see the options available to you. For more information, please see: "Access Restrictions.

*Bullet* Genre #1 (˅) - Genre #2 (˅) - Genre #3 (˅). You can select up to three different genres to help define your item. Choosing the appropriate genres could get your item more views from people looking for that genre. In the main navigation on the left side of Writing.com is a listing called Browse by Genre. Choosing the most relevant genres for your item puts it in front of the appropriate readers.

*Bullet* Keywords / Tags. Many people search for desired items by typing selected words into a search window that they think may be related to a specific genre. You can make your item easier to find by adding keywords here that appear in your story or that relate to your genres. You can also use this area to be more specific about subgenres.

The Genre and Keywords sections are the most neglected section within any item creation. The genres and keywords you select here set the stage for how your item can be found on the internet or by members on Writing.Com. Search engines and various lists on Writing.Com use these genres and keywords to highlight this item. It also helps people to easily find those specific items in which they are interested.

*Bullet* Document File: Select the document file you wish to upload from your hard drive by clicking in the ‘Choose File’ browse button. Be sure your document's entire path is evident in the Document File: window. Note that the per-document file size limit is one (1) Megabyte. Portfolios can accept DOC and PDF formats.

+ ADVANCED  (Click on this heading to open this section; click the heading again to close it.)

*Bullet* Default Spacing (˅). Do you have it exactly how you want it to look, and you don't want to deal with code? Change the setting from Default Spacing to Preserve Spacing and your spacing will be preserved exactly as you put it in.

*Bullet* Single Space Paragraphs (˅). Changing the setting to Double Space Paragraphs provides a double space each time you hit the carriage return key. This is convenient for giving you a bit more white space within your item, if you should find it necessary or desirable.

*Bullet* Unrestricted Rating and Reviewing (˅). The options here allow you to choose how members can give you feedback on your item. For more information, please see "Rating/Reviewing Preferences.

Unrestricted: Provides for the most feedback possible for your item. The item's average received rating and number of ratings received is publicly displayed to all viewers.

Rating Requires Review: Eliminates feedback from readers who do not wish to provide a written review of your item. The item's average rating is shown only to you.

Reviews Only; No Ratings: Allows members to review your item, but not rate it numerically. This setting is especially useful for early drafts.

Email Comments: Removes the rating and review area on your item and replaces it with an email form allowing members to send you comments instead of a review. No "anonymous" feedback may be sent to you with this option. This option also removes your item from our public listing categories, including our public "Reviewing" page. However, your item is always listed in and accessible directly from your portfolio, direct links to the item, and under Sponsorships.

*Bullet* AUTO-REWARD GIFT POINTS This option applies only to reviews you receive on this item. You may wish to entice people to review your item by offering them a reward in Gift Points for their review. If you put an amount here, 25% of the amount pays for the service fee and the 75% remaining will be awarded to anyone who gives a review of 250 characters or more, including WritingML. Remember, this reward is automatically awarded to the reviewer based on achieving that 250-character level. It makes no provision for the quality of the review. For more information, please see "Auto-Rewards.

*Bullet* Allow Free Members and Higher (˅). These options allow you to limit access to your item within Writing.Com by specifying the membership level needed to view your item. All of the non-default options involve paid memberships so be certain you know what you are limiting here. Click within the box to see the options available to you. Note that this setting is not displayed when viewing the item, and use of any non-default setting will prevent access from outside the site if the Make PUBLIC, Allow EVERYONE! option is selected in the main access restrictions drop-down menu above.

*Bullet* PassKey (˅) A PassKey option is available to members with an Upgraded membership or above. If you have limited who can view your item in any way, you can set a PassKey that allows others to see your item. For example, you might want selected members to have access to a Document you previously set to Keep Private, For My Eyes Only. A PassKey enables this to happen. PassKeys may contain only numbers, must be between 4 and 8 numbers long, and should not begin with a zero. For more information, please see "Passkeys.

*Bullet* Group Edit Access: Disabled (˅). This option offers you the ability to allow other members to edit your item. You may only give edit access to groups of which you are a member, as listed here. You cannot give a single person edit access, unless that person is the only member of a group with you. Warning: There is no ability to prevent two or more members from editing simultaneously--one edit may override another, so it is advised to come up with a schedule or plan for your multiple-member edits.

*Bullet* Group Edit Level: Disabled (˅). Not all group members may need to be able to edit your item. This option allows you to choose the minimum group membership level needed by other members for them to be able to edit your item. For more information about the Group Edit Levels and what is authorized for each Item type, please see "Group Edit for Items.


Important Information: This section is relatively self-explanatory. It provides information about the Copyright and Privacy policies for Writing.Com.


The final part of creating your Document is saving it. You have three options for saving your work. Your work can only be saved permanently on WdC by using one of these options.

*Bullet* Save And View. Clicking this option saves your item, and then moves you into the item itself so you can see what it looks like. To edit further, you'll need to re-open the edit window.

*Bullet* Save And Edit. This option allows you to save your work and continue editing. You should use this option frequently, especially when working on longer or more complex items. Note that it's a good idea to change the access setting for your item to Private during such an editing session.

*Bullet* Save Item. Selecting this option saves what you've been working on, and then takes you out of the creation screen and back into your main portfolio page. A link to your item is provided at the top of the page so you can click on it and see it if you wish. A semi-automated option to post in the Newsfeed about your item creation or edit is also displayed.

You've just created a Document and added it to your portfolio. This item may be edited at any time, and as many times as you wish. Your item now has a unique Item ID number associated with it, which will never change as long as the item exists. This number is located in the item header at the end of the line under your userlink (byline). It may be used to reference this item using WritingML links, or it can be entered directly in text boxes that request an Item ID. Note that the ID number consists only of digits--no spaces, letters or special characters.

Remember to save your work before leaving any creation or edit window. Currently there is no automatic save mode on Writing.Com. You may wish to prepare your work in another program and transfer the completed document into the Document. 1

At some point you'll want to edit your Document. When you open the "Edit" window from your Item Tools (click the gear icon *Gear* either from within your portfolio or within your item itself), you'll notice some additional editing features. The Save Item button is now renamed Complete Edit.

Premium and higher members will notice some additional features under the gear icon.

 Revision History
The Revision History is a unique tool offered by Writing.Com to enable Premium and higher members to track changes made to the main body of text in items. Using the system, an author can make notes of specific changes made during that particular edit, and may view a copy of the document from any time during its edit history. For complete information on this Premium feature, please read: "Revision History.

 Full Screen Edit
The Full Screen edit tool provides a much larger area for the editing of an item's body text and book entries. This is the ultimate way to work with your writing on Writing.Com! For complete information on this Premium feature, please read: "Full Screen Edit.

Recommended Reading

1  Updated by Northernwrites and Jace ; written by Jace and The StoryMistress

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