RTF template with rule lines? (for an 8-year old)

Hello all.

Does anyone know of a way to create an RTF template with ruled lines? I didn’t find anything like this in the forums. Searching about RTF on the interwebs more broadly yielded RTF Line separator - Stack Overflow and I tried inserting the RTF code suggested there, but (as others on that page noted) I was unable to get that to actually render on Mac.

[Background: I’m trying to encourage my 8-year old to start taking notes as he reads material. I’ve looked into three methods for him: (i) typing on Mac; (ii) using the apple “speak” microphone on iPad; and (iii) using Scribble with Apple Pencil on iPad. His typing is not yet good enough for the first method. Dictation seems to require too much cleaning up and quickly gets frustrating for him. I think Scribble would be easiest for him, but ruled lines would really help him with keeping his handwriting from drifting down the page.]

Any help (or other thoughts about digital note-taking by an 8-year old) would be appreciated – TIA! (I realize of course that he could take notes on paper, but I’m trying to get him into digitally searchable methods).

How about this…


An alternative solution could be generating PDFs with lines. I use Word for that, a 10-page PDF with margins, etc. and then print it. I generate A4 and A5, and then copy into DTTG and write over it. Once finished, I delete unused pages, and if I need more than ten pages for each document, well, I’m doing something wrong and need to use Scrivener or Word.

(And to avoid OneNote-bottomless-pit when I’m forced to use it, I embed those PDFs as background with Windows Desktop version and try not to leave from the margins when editing in other platforms. Once finished, I print the OneNote page without the background).

@BLUEFROG – Thank you very much for this!

Using your example, I’ve been able to recreate that format and set it up as a template, and then on Mac I can create a new document from that template. And then opening that document on iPad enables Scribble in the document. I think this will be really helpful for my 8-year-old – so, thank you again!

The only glitch I’ve run into is that there seems to be a limit on the number of rows that can be handled by DTTG. I started with a 33-row template and that worked fine. Then I got ambitious and created a 1000-row template. That repeatedly crashed DTTG – on opening a document created from that template, DTTG would immediately crash.

Trial and error has shown that the max number of rows that can be handled in DTTG is between 300 and 400. 300 rows works OK in DTTG, 400 rows (and higher) causes the immediate crash. Any thoughts on why this might be…?

@rfog – thanks for this! Yes, I had thought of this, but was hoping to get RTF to work, so as to enable Scribble and dictation. (AFAIK, Scribble is not possible in a PDF, and I think dictation isn’t either). Fortunately, Jim N.'s method seems to be working. Thanks!

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It would depend on the crash. However, may I ask why you’d need that many rows in one document?

@BLUEFROG – sorry, I should have clarified that for my 8-year-old’s purposes I think a document with 300 lines will suffice. So I mentioned the glitch primarily just by way of reporting it.

In general though, for a document worked on by a non-child, 300 lines is surely unsurprising? A standard “page” is 46 lines, so 300 lines would be just over 6 pages, so 300 or even 1000 lines is surely hardly uncommon? (And just to clarify, although formatted as a “table”, this is meant to be a document, just one that has rule lines – hope that made sense).

Apples’s support for tables in RTF documents is very limited on iOS when compared to macOS. The crash is happening whilst iOS is attempting to render the table, unfortunately this is probably due to either a limitation in their table support or just a bug in their code.

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