Preparing material for a theWord Module is a class on how to prepare material for making or creating a theWord module.
You must find good material before you create a module for theWord program. I would recommend that preachers use their own sermons and Sunday School classes for modules. If you use anything other that what you yourself have created, you must go through the process of seeing if it is under copyright. Mostly, all living authors still have the copyright on their products, writing works. Some people such as John MacArthur or John Piper are still living but give general consent to use their material with stipulations. Almost always, these kinds of people say you can use their material as long as you 1) do not change what they wrote, and 2) you do not charge for what they are allowing you to use for free. It is my understanding and I believe I am right that not making changes to one of their sermons for example, that this does not extend to the font type and font size of the original. So if it is in same some strange font and font 6 and you reformat that to Arial 12, then that is okay and permitted under their agreement. I would also hasten to mention that just because they give you permission to reproduce their sermons, be careful. If they sell a book, then that may not be included in the general permission.
For other copyright considerations you should check the Library of Congress website about copyrights for clarity.
Another point here is if you come across a person giving general permission and he has 2000 sermons on his website, you do not have to copy every little thing that is there. You can take a sermon or a subset of all those sermons and you are good. Just do not cut off his sermon in the middle and present only a part of a complete sermon.
Finding Material in the Right Format
The next thing is preparing what you find or want in the right format. Let me explain the problem here. Many people push out content in PDF format thinking that that format is the easiest and most universal for everybody. Yes it is probably. Apart from a simple text RTF file, pdf is good. But when you want it in theWord a problem enters in. If you select and copy text in a PDF, and then paste it in a theWord module, there is a thing called a linefeed at the end of every line (a physical amount of words and letters and spaces that fit on a single line in the PDF. That is how the PDF handles multiple lines on a single page. You have to remove these linefeeds in order for the sentences to wrap correctly in theWord. You can use any text editor that allows you to see hidden characters like linefeeds, but there is a copy and paste then editing, and this is fine for a sermon of 2 pages, but not so good when you are working with some that is 400 pages long.
Using a PDF converter
There exists programs and websites that will convert a PDF file into text (some PDFs). If the PDF was made for example with Microsoft Word and the original was in editable text, this works. If in the case of old books like archive.org, that are images of pages instead of actual text, not so good. For image PDFs you will need to OCR the book, which is a whole another situation. It is better to search the PDF libraries and find the work in a format that is rtf text. There are a few rare sites with converters for PDFs that also do OCR PDFS. But be prepared for it to take a while to go through a 100 to 200 page book. Those things are not very speedy as a rule.
PDF CONVERTER ONLINE
I have found that pdf2doc.com is a really good way to move material from a non-image PDF to text. It is free. You open a file explorer window, grab your pdf file and drop it between the two angle brackets (where it says “drop your files here”). It will upload your file and queque it for conversion. After it is fully uploaded, it converts it and gives you a download link to download that file, or if you upload a bunch of files at one time, you can download them individually or download in the button below “Download all” all the files in Microsoft Word format put into a zip compressed file format.
Open the resulting Microsoft Word file and copy and paste from that into your module.
There are basically two ways to make a theWord module, within theWord itself and by using a program out there that is similar to NT Tool Tips. Oh and if you know NT Tool Tips, you can make the program for eSword and convert it as a third way.
The program is ToTheWord. I would not recommend this program. It is very complicated to use, and frankly I don’t understand it nor how to use it. I have tried making modules with it, and if I every figure out how to successfully use it, I will make a post here about it. But from within theWord is still my method of choice. In you are making a long commentary, perhaps using the eSword help program NT Tool Tips would be easier.
There are two phases of making a module. Let’s take an example work with 25 chapters. The first thing is to make these chapters or topics in the module that you create. (To create a module, go to the main menu and click on File-> New User Module, then choose which type of module you are making, commentary with only Bible references in it, a Dictionary which has no sub-topics, or General Book which allows any title of topic and subtopics under any topic).
Getting the Title Topic
What goes here. I would propose that every module should have a Title Topic (except Dictionaries and Commentaries). This is the first topic in the module. (Note that eSword still has a tremendous amount of modules which are under the forced alphabetical order, so they use 01, 02, 03 etc prefixed to every title of every topic. In theWord you don’t have to do that. Grab and drag and drop instead.)
I would recommend only 1 Title Topic, named with the author’s last name first followed by the title of the work. Put the Introductions, Prefaces, and prefatory material in this topic.
Getting the Chapter Contents
In the first topic after the Title Topic, I would make it and name it “a”. Go back to the Title Topic with the list of Contents and select the Chapter content and paste into this “a” topic. Next edit it so that each chapter is on its own line and begins with 1., 2., 3., etc.
Creating the Topics
Note how theWord works. This is very important. When you copy say lines 1 through 25 you can either edit the current topic with Shift+Control+N or create a new topic Control+N. Select that “a” Topic and Shift+Control+N. A popup with “a” appears. Delete the a, and then paste the entire list of table of contents in its place. theWord will not paste all of them, only the first line up to the paragraph mark.
When you do this, it will drop you into this topic. Paste the entire contents you made and formatted into the first topic. Now drop down one line (arrow down) and shift+control+end (it will select from the beginning of the second entry until the end of the text). Now press Shift+Control+N and tw will create a new topic, and do it again until all the lines of the table of contents are completed.
Formatting your paragraphs
At this point, note that you should be using standardized formatting (font and font size) in all of your modules. I would recommend Tahoma 12. If when you are preparing the table of contents in that first “a” topic, you should format it there. Everything that is inserted in the rest of topics will also take on those formatting attributes. It is the opportune time and place to do a lot of formatting.
Take your converted to MSWord pdf and copy and paste your material into the module.
There are a lot of formatting problems in works, so I am not undertaking explaining how to fix these. This is just the first and most basic way to do this.