Plain Text Editing

Plain Text Editing

Procedures Document

Version 2.0

Table of Contents

•    Introduction
•    Format Structure
•    Page numbering
•    Headings
•    First-line indentation)
•    Parenthesis spacing
•    (foot)note referencing
•    Symbol translation
•    Superscript/subscript

•    Mathematical operators

•    Roman numerals

•    Quotation/apostrophe replacement

•    Block shortcuts

•    Block quotes
•    Unrecognized Symbols
•    Finishing a Plain Text Document


OpenBook is a screen-reader software that can be utilized to read scanned text. It is typically used for non-technical books such as history books or other materials which are not equation-heavy. The main point to remember with the Plain Text method is that you should be able to do an entire document without inputting anything that’s not directly on the keyboard.

Format Structure

1.    Attention to detail in plaintext is crucial, just as in all other formats we work in.

2.    All scanned documents are in .rtf format. For OpenBook to be able to read them, they must remain in .rtf format.

3.    To cut down on editing, remove tables and figures, and to help us recognize the scanning mistakes, follow these steps:

a.    Open the document, highlight all of the text (can be done by pressing CTRL + A or by selecting Edit from the main menu bar, then Select All), and copy the text (can be done by pressing CTRL + C or by selecting Edit from the main menu bar, then Copy).
b.    Open a Notepad file (Start button, Programs, Accessories, Notepad) and paste the text that you previously copied (can be done by pressing CTRL + V or by selecting Edit from the main menu bar, then Paste).
c.    Open a new Microsoft Word file (can be done by pressing CTRL + N or by selecting File from the main menu bar, then New) and copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) the text from the Notepad file.

4.    Once you have done this, save the file to your folder using the naming conventions in the Basic Editing Procedures, or according to the Team Leader’s instructions, making sure that it is in .rtf format.

5.    Begin editing by formatting the whole document. To format the document, select Format from the main menu bar, then Paragraph for a-g, Format then Font for h-i. The instructions are below:

a.    Alignment:                 Justified
b.    Indentation Left:             0”
c.    Indentation Right:             0”
d.    Indentation Special:           (none)
e.    Spacing Before:               0 pt
f.    Spacing After:               0 pt
g.    Line Spacing:               Single
h.    Font:                   Arial
i.    Size:                   12 pt

Page Numbering: Page numbers will be done the same way as with Triangle (bold and with an extra line above and below, except with the very first page number in a document in which a line above is not required).


Page 1

Headings: Main headings (Chapters and Sections), and authors’ names (if applicable) should have a font size of 14 and be Center aligned.


Chapter 6
Insanity in the Social Order

Section 4.1

All other headings should be bold, font size 12, and centered or justified depending on how they look in the hardcopy of the document.



Standard and Poor’s Stock Index
First-Line Indentation: The first line for the first paragraph under every heading should have no indent. However, the first lines for paragraphs which follow should have an indent of 0.5 inches. The preferred method of a first-line indent is by simply using a tab space. Another method is to select each paragraph that requires an indent, select Format from the main menu bar, then Paragraph and change Indentation Left to 0.5”.


Here’s a Header

Here’s your first paragraph.

    Here’s another paragraph. The rest of the paragraphs under this heading should look something like this.

Parenthesis Spacing: Extra spaces should fill both sides of text appearing inside parenthesis, brackets, and braces. The easiest way to accomplish this is through global replacement (CTRL + F, Replace tab, enclosing mark in the Find what box, enclosing mark with a space in the Replace with box).


( text ), [ text ], { text }

(Foot)note Referencing: References to notes (Sidenotes, Footnotes, etc.) should be referenced before any terminal punctuation (periods, question marks, exclamation points). This makes the reading clearer for the student when using OpenBook.


In the Book it looks like:

Indeed, as Frisch indicates, the interviews are an eloquent testimony as to why the Depression did not produce ‘a more focused critique of American capitalism and culture.’9

It should look like this in the finished document:

Indeed, as Frisch indicates, the interviews are an eloquent testimony as to why the Depression did not produce ‘a more focused critique of American capitalism and culture ( 9 ).’

Symbol Translation: All symbols should be written in text form. OpenBook does not read symbols in the manner that WinTriangle would.


 = alpha,  = beta, x y = summation_x ^y,  = least integer greater than begin

If you have any questions on how to write out any symbols, refer to the Greek symbols and problem symbols documents on the Alt Format server (Alt Format folder > Training Editing Procedures > Plain text stuff). If neither of these documents answer your question, ask a Team Leader.

Superscripts/Subscripts: If you have superscripts or subscripts they should be indicated using a ^ for superscripts and _ for subscripts.


8a  8^a, 8b  8_b, 8a b  8_a ^b

Mathematical Operators: Addition remains the same (+), Subtraction is represented by a small dash (-), Multiplication should be an asterisk (*), and Division should be shown by a slash (/). Unlike Triangle, these symbols should be in Arial font, NOT Symbol. With all symbols, you should have spaces on both sides.


a  b  c  d  e  a + b - c * d / e

Roman Numerals: If you come across Roman numerals in the text, in most cases they must be changed to their numerical equivalents (i.e. XVI should be changed to 16). These cases include when they appear in front pages, indices, and most places within the text itself. The only cases in which Roman numerals are to be left alone are when they are references, mainly to materials that are not in the text you’re editing.


King Henry VIII  King Henry 8
World War II  World War 2
In Chapter IV of Tergenev,...  Don’t change
...Schniever, Vol XIX, page 223 ...  Don’t change

Quotation/Apostrophe Replacement: Quotation marks (“) and apostrophes (‘) need to be changed globally in the document. They will appear initially in your copy/pasted text as marks that go straight up and down. OpenBook cannot read these. Global replacement can be done at the end. Also, many times the apostrophe scans as `. Please make sure to globally replace this as well.

Block Shortcuts: We follow the same procedures (shortcuts) for inserting footnotes, figures, examples, etc. as we use in Triangle.

Note: When you use these shortcuts, the colon (:) is found in Symbol font. Globally replace it once you are done editing the document.

Block Type                    Shortcut
Block Type    Shortcut
Example    Alt + r, x
Problem    Alt + r, p
Figure    Alt + r, f
Table    Alt + r, b
Sidenote    Alt + r, s
Footnote    Alt + r, o
Source code    Alt + r, c
Theorem    Alt + r, t
Equation    Alt + r, e

Block Quotes: A block quote is a section of text that you’ll find indented on both sides. Usually, these blocks of text are references or quotes from other sources. When finding block quotes, one should treat them using the same procedure as with footnotes, sidenotes, equations, etc. There is currently no macro for citing block quotes. When citing block quotes, the following convention is to be used:


In the book it looks like this:

This is a block quote. It is indented on both sides from the normal page margin. You use this when you insert an extended quotation from another source.

It should look like this in the finished document:

Block quote:
This is a block quote. It is indented on both sides from the normal page margin. You use this when you insert an extended quotation from another source.
End block quote.

Note: Notice that the tab spacing on each side of the block quote has been removed.

Unrecognized Symbols: Occasionally, you will run across Copyright (), Registered (), Trademark (), Set Addition (), and Set Multiplication () symbols. These are NOT to be inserted. Rather, put the letters inside parenthesis. For copyright, this would be (C). For registered, this would be (R). For trademark, this would be (TM). For set addition, this would be (). For set multiplication, this would be ().

Finishing a Plain Text Document

When finished with the document, before submitting it as done, please make sure to check the following:

a. Make sure all page numbers are indicated. A quick way to do this is to use the find feature (CTRL + F). Type in Page in the Find what box, click the More button, and check the Match case box. Checking that box saves you the trouble of finding every occurrence of the word page in the text, and only finds the one with capital P’s.

b. Check that there are tab spaces for the first line in every paragraph except those at the beginning of a section.

c. Check the spacing between paragraphs. Only one blank line (depression of the Enter key) should be found between them.

d. Make sure to move the completed file to its necessary location.

e. Make sure to leave a comment in the database, and upon completion, close your task.

Triangle Editing Procedures

Version 4.0

Table of ContentsCo
•    Cover Sheet   
•    Table of Contents   
•    Introduction
•    Getting Started   
•    Superscripts and Subscripts
•    Fractions and Parenthesis Surrounding
•    Over-scripts and Under-scripts   
•    Vectors
•    Limits Positioning (Integrals, Summation, Etc.)
•    Limit Expressions   
•    Equations
•    Matrices and Determinants   
•    Extra/Unrecognized Symbols   
•    Tables   
•    Finishing a Document   
•    Appendix 1 (Shortcuts for Commonly-Used Symbols)   
•    Appendix 2 (Block Shortcuts, Triangle Symbols, Embedded Superscripts and Subscripts)   
•    Sample Document   


Triangle is a software program that is used by people with sight limitations to read their text. Triangle is designed especially for reading scientific data such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and other subjects which have equation-heavy material. It recognizes text that is generally used in these subjects which would be very difficult to identify if one was using other screen reading software. To edit a document to be compatible with Triangle, we can edit the document in two ways:

1)    Edit the entire document in triangle.
2)    Edit the document in MS Word, while using the symbols and conventions that are recognized by Triangle.

The first approach is the best, but it takes lot of time to edit a document in Triangle. Because of this, we generally follow the second procedure.

The following guidelines must be followed when you are editing a document to be read in Triangle. These guidelines are in addition to the Basic Editing Procedures.

Getting Started

1)    Apart from the English alphabet and numerals, the only keys that can be used from the keyboard are:

Braces { }, Brackets [ ], Exclamation point (!), Percent sign (%), Dollar sign ($), Equal sign (=), Semi-colon (;), Quotation mark ("), Question mark (?), Colon (:), Apostrophe (’), Period (.), and Comma (,).

Parenthesis ( ) are to be inserted from the Word Symbol font. This can be more easily achieved by global replacement once you have finished editing the document. All other symbols are to be used from the Word Symbol font.

2)    To insert symbols, first search through Appendix 1 to see if the symbol has a shortcut. If you find the symbol, use the given shortcut. If you can’t find a shortcut, or if the shortcut keys are not working, then you must insert the symbol manually. To insert a symbol, select Insert on the main menu bar, then select Symbol.

a.    Make sure you are using the Symbol font, select the symbol you want, and then press the Insert button.
b.    If the required symbol is not found in Symbol font, try searching for it in the MT Extra and Triangle. If the exact symbol is still not found, ask a Team Leader for assistance.

Note: The dagger symbol (†) can be found under the (normal text) font. Beyond using the dagger, refrain from using any other symbols from (normal text) if possible. For mathematical operators, it is best to place spaces before and after the operators.

3)    Common symbols that are often mistakenly taken from the keyboard which Triangle does not recognize are: left parenthesis, right parenthesis, the minus symbol (-), and the division (/) symbol. Take care to use these symbols from the Symbol font.

Editing Procedures

1)    Subscripts and Superscripts: To make a character subscript or superscript, select it and press Alt + l, o for the subscript and press Alt + h, i for the superscript. Make sure that the character was raised or lowered by 5 points when you are doing it for the first time. To bring the raised or lowered text to normal, select the required text and press Alt + n, o. You can also do it by navigating to the Character Spacing tab and changing the position to Normal in a similar way you would do for raising/lowering the text.

Note: If for any reason, the shortcuts are not working, you can make subscript or superscript by selecting the required text, right-click and open the Font window. Go to Character Spacing tab, change Position to Raised by 5 pt for superscript and Lowered by 5 pt for subscript. When a superscript follows a subscript, leave a space between them.

2)    Fractions: For all fractions we use the hot-keyed expression from triangle: nd. This can be found by opening WinTriangle, select Insert from the main menu bar, then Hot-Keyed Expression, then Numerator Denominator. The numerator goes where the first capital F is while the denominator goes where the second capital F is. For Example,   is represented as ab. Please do not use brackets before and after the fraction markers  and . For your convenience, a shortcut symbol for creating a fraction can be used by pressing ALT+ n, d.

Note: Units are not done using the Triangle fraction symbol. They should be edited normally with a slash. For example, 10 ms is the right way of editing instead of 10 ms. Also note that the symbol  is always from Symbol font.

3)    Parenthesis Surrounding (Fractions): Don’t use any extra parenthesis around numerator or denominator while using fractions. The fraction mark up will serve as implicit parenthesis for the numerator and denominator. For example, it is sufficient to write a + bc + d instead of writing (a + b)(c + d).

4)    Over-scripts and Under-scripts: For expressions with an over-script, we use the shortcut ALT + v, o (abc). Enter the over-script value between the parenthesis, making sure to select “abc” and then entering your value. If you delete all the letters first and then type in your value, your text may appear blue and WinTriangle may not recognize what you have put in. For example,   can be written as a. For under-script, the shortcut is ALT + v, u (abc). For example,   can be written as a.

5)    Vectors: For the vector variables we use the vector symbol  which can be found by using the shortcut ALT + v, e. For Example,   can be written as B. Similar symbols are script (), Roman (), overbar (), tilde () and hat above (). Refer to Appendix 1 for shortcuts.

Name    Found in Text    WinTriangle Format
Hat Above   
Bold    B    B
Script    B    B
Roman    III    3

Note: The Script shortcut is only to be used with script symbols, not function definitions found in the text (Example: f(x)). Unlike in Plain Text (a format you will learn later), ALL Roman numerals are to be done using this format. Only symbols should be bolded with this format, regular text being done using the Font shortcut menu).

6)    Limits Positioning (Integrals, Summation, Etc.): When writing definite integrals (shortcut ALT + g, i ), the limits should be listed BEFORE the integral symbol like a b. The lower limit should be lowered and the upper limit raised. However, there should be a space in between the limits in normal position. The lower limit is always placed before the upper limit. For all other cases like , ], etc., limits should be placed after the symbol like a b and ]a b.

7)    Limits: While editing limits, one should type lim and then put the limits in subscript. Do not use under-script markup from Triangle to write the same.


The above equation should be edited as follows:

lim x x + 22

Equations: Equations must be written in this form: Equation n:, where n is the number of the equation. Make sure that a colon comes after the equation number. The shortcut for an equation is ALT + r, e. When writing equations, the equation should be directly on the next line and have a margin of 1 inch from the left (press tab twice).


This is how it looks in the textbook:

E = h =   =         (equation 1)

This is how it should look after editing:

Equation 1:
        E = h
        = hc
        = ehcR4 (z  1)2

If no equation number is explicitly given in the text, then the equation macro is not used.


This is how it looks in the textbook:

F = ma

This is how it should look after editing:

        F = ma

Matrices and Determinants: Explaining the method of doing matrices is better done with examples. Here is an example matrix from a document:

This matrix has to be formatted in the following way:

[1, 3 (1st row )
2, 4 (2nd row)]

This means that the values 1 and 3 are in the top row of the matrix while the values 2 and 4 are in the second row of the matrix. Please be sure to list each row on a separate line to avoid confusion. Leave a comma between adjacent elements of a row. Do not use tab spaces.

If the matrix is part of a sentence, break the sentence just before the matrix and after the matrix. For example:

The matrix   is a square matrix. This can be written as:

The matrix

[1, 3 (1st row)
2, 4 (2nd row)]

is a square matrix.

Determinants are done roughly in the same manner as matrices, except bars are used in place of brackets. For example, in the text a determinant appears like this:

Determinant should be written like this:

1, 3 (1st row)
2, 4 (2nd row)

Extra/Unrecognized Symbols: The following symbols are not recognized by Triangle:

, , , 
The expression x denotes the least integer greater than or equal to x, and x denotes the greatest integer less than or equal to x. After editing, please globally replace all of the above symbols using the following convention:

    “least integer greater begin”
    “least integer greater end”
    “greatest integer less begin”
    “greatest integer less end”

Please put a space before and after the sentence when you replace.

Occasionally, you will run across Copyright (), Registered (), Trademark (), Set Addition (), and Set Multiplication () symbols. These are NOT to be inserted from the Symbol font. Rather, put the letters inside parenthesis. For copyright, this would be (C). For registered, this would be (R). For trademark, this would be (TM). For set addition, this would be (). For set multiplication, this would b
Finishing a Document

1) In addition to the checks given in Basic Editing Procedures document, check and replace the following with their Symbol font equivalents: +, >, <, /, and :.

2) Check for - (hyphen) and replace with minus (  ) wherever applicable. Never change globally.

3) Insure that all page numbers are in the document. This can be done in a similar method to global replacement. After bringing up the Find and Replace window, type Page into the search box. Click the More button and select the Match case box.

Appendix 1
Note: These are some of the shortcuts assigned the frequently used symbols in the Symbol font. Please use these shortcuts to make your work easier and faster. If a letter is capitalized under Shortcut, you should hold down the shift key for that letter doing the shortcut. Please do not change these shortcuts by tampering with the macros. If you identify the need for more shortcuts or have any suggestions, inform a Team Leader or your Supervisor.

Symbol    Shortcut    Symbol    Shortcut    Symbol    Shortcut
    Alt + g, i        Alt + d, g        Alt + g, p
    Alt + s, g                Alt + g, r
    Alt + l, a        Alt + p, n        Alt + g, S
    Alt + r, a        Alt + p, l        Alt + g, T
    Alt + u, a        Alt + h, b        Alt + g, u
    Alt + d, A        Alt + s, s        Alt + g, s
    Alt + d, a        Alt + s, e        Alt + g, c
    Alt + r, A        Alt + s, n        Alt + g, U
    Alt + ;        Alt + n, b        Alt + w
    Alt + 9        Alt + b, e        Alt + p, i
    Alt + 0        Alt + n, s        Alt + g, P
    Alt + `        Alt + /        Alt + g, o
+    Alt + =        Alt + m, i        Alt + n, m
    Alt + 1        Alt + m, u        Alt + g, y
    Alt + x        Alt + l, b        Alt + g, D
    Alt + d, v    (0th row)    Alt + m, n        Alt + ’
    Alt + .        Alt + g, a       
±    Alt + p, m        Alt + g, b       
    Alt + m, p        Alt + g, g       
    Alt + 2        Alt + g, d       
    Alt + p, p        Alt + e       
    Alt + 3        Alt + g, z       
    Alt + s, l        Alt + g, E       
    Alt + n, e        Alt + g, t       
    Alt + c, e        Alt + g, k       
    Alt + 5        Alt + g, l       
    Alt + m, g        Alt + g, m       
    Alt + m, l        Alt + g, n       
    Alt + g, e        Alt + g, x       
    Alt + l, e               
    Alt + 8               

Appendix 2

Block Shortcuts

Block Type    Shortcut
Example    Alt + r, x
Problem    Alt + r, p
Figure    Alt + r, f
Table    Alt + r, b
Sidenote    Alt + r, s
Footnote    Alt + r, o
Source code    Alt + r, c
Theorem    Alt + r, t
Equation    Alt + r, e

Triangle Symbols

Triangle Symbol    Symbol Name    Shortcut
nd     Fraction    Alt + n, d
x    Vector    Alt + v, e
x    Over-bar    Alt + v, b
abc    Square Root    Alt + v, q
abc    Over-script    Alt + v, o
abc    Under-script    Alt + v, u
x    Tilde Above    Alt + v, t
x    Hat Above    Alt + v, h
x    Dot Above    Alt + v, d
3    Roman    Alt + v, r
f    Script    Alt + v, s
x    Bold    Alt + v, l
i    Italic    Alt + v, i

Embedded Superscripts and Subscripts

Sometimes in an equation, a subscripted or superscripted item may have its own subscripted or superscripted item. To handle these second-level scripted items, we use the shortcuts ALT + d, n (second-level subscript) and ALT + u, p (second-level superscript). These are shorthand for “down” and “up,” easy enough to remember.

Original    Formatted for Triangle
x1 x2  P(x) dx    x1  x2   P(x) dx
ex2    ex2
ex12    ex1 2

Sample Document

Page 29

First Order Differential Equations

This chapter deals with differential equations of first order,

Equation 1
        dydt = f(t, y)

where f is a given function of two variables. Any differentiable function y = (t) that satisfies this equation for all t in some interval is called a solution, and our object is to determine whether such functions exist and, if so, to develop methods for finding them. Unfortunately, for an arbitrary function f, there is no general method for solving the equation in terms of elementary functions. Instead, we will describe several methods, each of which is applicable to a certain subclass of first order equations. The most important of these are linear equations (Section 2.1), separable equations (Section 2.2), and exact equations (Section 2.6). Other sections of this chapter describe some of the important applications of first order differential equations, introduce the idea of approximating a solution by numerical computation, and discuss some theoretical questions related to existence and uniqueness of solutions. The final section deals with first order difference equations, which have some important points of similarity with differential equations and are in some respects simpler to investigate.

Page 30

Section 2.1
Linear Equations with Variable Coefficients

If the function f in Equation 1 depends linearly on the dependent variable y, then Equation 1 is called a first order linear equation. In Sections 1.1 and 1.2 we discussed a restricted type of first order linear equation in which the coefficients are constants. A typical example is

Equation 2:
        dydt = ay  b

where a and b are given constants. Recall that an equation of this form describes the motion of an object falling in the atmosphere. Now we want to consider the most general first order linear equation, which is obtained by replacing the coefficients a and b in Equation 2 by arbitrary functions of t. We will usually write the general first order linear equation in the form

Equation 3:
        dydt = pt y = gt

where p and g are given functions of the independent variable t.

Equation 3 gives you the differential formula to be used in general.
End Sidenote.

    Equation (2) can be solved by the straightforward integration method introduced in Section 1.2. That is, we rewrite the equation as

Equation 4:
        dydty  ba = a

Then by integration we obtain ln y  ba = at  C from which it follows that the general solution of Equation 2 is

Equation 5:
        y = ba  ceat

where c is an arbitrary constant. For example, if a = 2 and b = 3, then Equation (2) becomes. Unfortunately, this direct method of solution cannot be used to solve the general equation (3), so we need to use a different method of solution for it. The method is due to Leibniz; it involves multiplying the differential equation (3) by a certain function (t), chosen so that the resulting equation is readily integrateable (refer to Footnote 1). The function p(t) is called an integrating factor and the main difficulty is to determine how to find it. To make the initial presentation as simple as possible, we will first use this method to solve Equation (6), later showing how to extend it to other first order linear equations, including the general equation (3).

Integrable in the sense expression which can be integrated. This just to show how to use a footnote.
End Footnote.

Example 1:
Solve Equation (6),

        dydt + 2y = 3

by finding an integrating factor for this equation.
End Example.