Getting Started with Jutoh

Jutoh website

by C.K. MacLeod

Updated, December 12, 2015

Jutoh is an inexpensive ebook editor that allows you to convert Word docx files to mobi or epub formats. Below are resources and a cheat sheet to help you find your way around Jutoh.

Jutoh Resources

Manual

Julian Smart, the creator of Jutoh has written a detailed manual titled, Creating Great Ebooks Using Jutoh. It's available as a free download in a variety of formats on his website. I prefer to access the online HTML version because I can find answers to questions fastest if call up the manual with search terms in Google.

For example, if I key in the terms "Jutoh" and "pictures," Google will call up Chapter 11: Working With Pictures in a matter of seconds. If you prefer to scroll through a PDF or view the manual as an epub on your tablet, those options are available, too.

Video Tutorials

There are a few detailed video tutorials that demonstrate how to Jutoh:

How to Format .epub and .mobi (Kindle) Ebook Files, by India Drummond is about twenty minutes long and will give you the fastest way in to setting up a fiction book with limited styling in Jutoh.

Geoff Shaw has a short seven-video Jutoh training  series that walks you through creating an ebook in Jutoh, and John Griffin shows you how to use a template in Jutoh. Templates are useful if you'll be creating a lot of ebooks in Jutoh.

Dr. Julian Smart

If you've combed the available resources for an answer to a conundrum, but you've come up with nothing, don't worry. I was delighted to discover that the Doctor was indeed in. Dr. Julian Smart, that is. If you have a question that the manual and videos don't answer, you can email Julian Smart for help.

Jutoh Cheat Sheet

After viewing the videos, searching through the manual, mucking about in Jutoh, and contacting Julian Smart, I compiled a cheat sheet—a list of how-do-I questions that I can return to the next time I use Jutoh to create an ebook.

While this is not a comprehensive list, I do believe that it contains some of the tasks you'll want to accomplish in Jutoh. Feel free to let me know if I've missed anything.

The items in this list are alphabetical. I'd recommend reading through the left column quickly so you know what's there, and later, when you have a question, you'll be able to find that item quickly. 

You'll understand the items in the table better if you know what Jutoh looks like when you're working in it. Here's a screenshot of the various panes:

Jutoh panes

One final thought: the first time I converted an ebook using Jutoh, I did everything in Word—applied styles, inserted hyperlinks, and so forth—and then exported the file to Jutoh.

The second time, I created a document in Word, stripped out all of the formatting, exported it to Jutoh, and then applied all of my styling in Jutoh.

I found the first method more efficient, probably due to my familiarity with Word. Both methods created a nicely styled ebook.

Scrivener Cheat Sheet (Downloadable)

Scrivener

by C.K. MacLeod

@CKmacleodwriter

Scrivener is a wonderful tool for writing and producing book-length works. It allows you to

  • move chunks of text around with ease
  • organize research notes, references, and even notes to yourself—in the same project file
  • convert your book to ebook, web, and print formats

Help for Beginners

When you first open the program, though, it can seem a little confusing. This downloadable cheat sheet will help you to begin using Scrivener right now. Print it and stick it on the wall next to your computer.

You'll notice that I've listed the commands associated with the more common "writing moves" and grouped items by stages of the writing process.

Did I miss a Scrivener move in my cheat sheet? Feel free to leave a comment below.

A version of this post was originally posted at the Beyond Paper blog.

Image by Alan Reyes