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Endnote woes, research & BFF

August 3, 2008

I spent last night and most of this morning working with the OpenOffice word processor, trying to achieve what I thought was kind of a simple task: Place endnotes at the end of a chapter, with a page break.

Source citation is going to be a key element of my book, as most historical works written around here at any time, recent and distant, have had little or no sourcing (highly annoying!), and I think it’s about time someone did it right. So, I will need frequent endnotes (I think they are easier to manage than footnotes, since they don’t get in the way of those readers who aren’t looking for sources, and they are compiled in easy-to-find groups).

Well, I first thought of having several separate documents, one for each chapter, so that when the endnotes were placed at the end of a document, it would actually be at the end of a chapter. Conveniently, endnotes were given an automatic page break this way.

Then I discovered the master document system. This way, I could link all of these separate documents to one, large master document. I figured that this would have the same result as unlinked documents, only it would be more convenient as I would be able to treat them as a single document. This meant that I could also add an automatic index for the entire document. Sounds perfect, right?

Now, for some reason, it turned out that endnotes in a master document were placed at the end of the master document–not at the end of the subdocument, i.e., chapter. So, even though the endnotes were added in the subdocument, they did not take effect within the subdocument, they just got added to the end of the entire thing, the exact thing I wanted to avoid which is why I started using the master document system.

This morning, I discovered that if you go to the Sections area under Format (which, in a master document, will list the subdocuments just like the Navigator does), you can tell it to gather the endnotes at the end of a section (subdocument). Now this seemed as if it would solve my problem, but it turned out that the endnotes were gathered directly under the text–no page break!

I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to figure out how to give it an automatic page break. You can do it manually by directing the amount of space between text and endnote (in inches, you can’t just tell it “start on new page”), but then this will have to be done separately for each chapter, and I figured if they’re going to give me this complicated system which is supposed to save me time by doing things automatically, there ought to be a way to do this very, very simple automatic process. No? Maybe I’m just picky, but the master document system seems to be messing up the very things it was designed for. It’s supposed to give you individual control over individual documents, but allow you to compile them and treat them as one. Right?

Well, anyway. This morning I also finally remembered to call the Trinity Episcopal Church. (I need a planner! I’m forgetting things already, two weeks in a row!) I asked if they had any old records, and they told me they’d need to talk to some other people about it, and perhaps I could meet them at the church in a couple of days. I said I could, and we arranged a date and time. So this week I am headed off on another research trip. I hope they have something there!

Also, many thanks to Ruth of Bluebonnet Country Genealogy for the BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) award! I am honored, and happy to hear you’ve enjoyed my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed reading yours!

Unfortunately, although I’d love to, I can’t really accept the award yet as the rules are you must pass it on to another blogger, and I’m afraid I don’t know of any other genealogy bloggers who are regular readers of this site, except for Ruth herself. So, I suppose I’ll have to hang onto the award for a while until a few more readers come along! But, thanks again, Ruth!

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