member, 87 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 01:30
Conversion of threads to longform/book
How easily can you convert threads to a readable word document or spreadsheet for formatting?

We're about to hit our 9 year anniversary in my game and I'd like to put the text together into a book for our personal use. Unfortunately, I've tied the game into knots, with 5 pages of interwoven threads that we have revisited repeatedly over the years.

I'm wondering if there is an easy way to turn the text of the messages into a separate word file, or to split the elements of each post into columns so I can more easily edit it into a book. Thread download does part of the job but I still have to go post to post cleaning up.

It would be especially nice to export to a spreadsheet where I can sort entries by date/time stamp and character.

No complaints, just wondering if I can save myself some labor on this little project.

Feel free to link me into an older thread, I'm sure someone has covered similar ground before. Just trying to find an easier method than copy-pasting each thread.
 member, 7112 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 06:49
Conversion of threads to longform/book
To the best of my knowledge, you have two options for getting threads into an editable format...neither one sounds very helpful for what you're looking for, but they are:

1--Copy and paste each individual message.

2--Download each thread.  This is where keeping the thread under the 1000 post limit is important, as the download option only retrieves up to the 1000 most recent posts in the thread.  If you close the thread at 1010 posts, then the first ten posts will be lost when you download (I'm not sure if even Option 1 can get those, I've never tried going that far back on a thread like that.)

Either way, you're still going to be stuck having to sort out the proper chronological order of the posts.

I may be wrong.  I've never tried it, only read posts about trying to make offline archives of games.
 moderator, 15774 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 06:56
Conversion of threads to longform/book
If you use the D/L button on the thread, it will provide you with several options for formatting.  One of those options is to show the time stamps on each post.  So when you save the thread you can then use your text editor of choice to search it by time stamp.
 member, 828 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 08:01
Conversion of threads to longform/book
Some browsers have a "Save as PDF" function (notably Flashpeak Slimjet, which I use, but there may be others).  If that's a good option, look into whether your browser will do it.  If not, keep reading, please.

Most browsers do have a "Save As" feature that allows saving a page as HTML.

You would still need to go topic by topic, and would need to use the [all] feature (upper right with the page menu) if your topics go more than one page in length.

This feature displays an entire thread as one long page that can be exported in one go.

Hope this helps.
 moderator, 15775 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 08:30
Conversion of threads to longform/book
In reply to horus (msg # 4):

Yep, the D/L feature I mentioned above (it's at the right hand side of the header bar when your looking at the thread) also displays the entire thread as a single page, but offers other options for formatting it when you save it.
 member, 88 posts
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 01:06
Conversion of threads to longform/book
Thanks everyone!

I thought I already knew all this, but I got a little closer by messing with the options for the D/L.

Is there any way to remove post subjects? Or suggestions for using programs outside of RPOL itself? Not sure if anyone else has tried this. We have about 9,000 posts to assemble over a number of threads.

If not this certainly got me a little further along. Much appreciated!

Some notes for others who might try this:

One method is to paste into a spreadsheet* and set columns for:

The posts can then be sorted by player, thread, and chronological order
After sorting the columns can be eliminated or the post column alone can be copied over to a word processor. For me on a windows PC going into Openoffice Writer, I hit Ctrl+Shift+V to paste without formatting. It sucks losing italics, but otherwise mostly works.

Then its a matter of setting indents and combing through the text to make it a little more book-like (and replace italics). Thngs like brackets from private messages and words like "Private to" can be removed with the search and replace feature of most word processors.

I use Openoffice Writer, though I might use Scrivener to make it easier to move things around. This is because at times threads coincide and the book format will have to be linear, or at best (worst?), split into text columns to contrast what is happening in each thread.

After that it's time to format based on the size of the book you're making, then typesetting, page numbers, table of contents, etc., and hit up a printing service, online or local, for your final product.

*It would be nice to automatically import to a spreadsheet. Lemme know if you figure this out!

This message was last edited by the user at 01:07, Thu 01 Aug 2019.

 subscriber, 614 posts
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 03:19
Conversion of threads to longform/book
MS Word, and I assume its various open source brethren, can find and replace entire strings of text.  So that might be a route to go once you have it in your word editor program in terms of dealing with deleting the post subjects en masse.

Assuming your players followed the typical conventions and more or less ignored changing the subject line for their posts.