How to make a chat conversation really look like a conversation? The final result should be in text, not in image since this conversation is a supplement of a research article, and it should be phone-friendly, hence MS Word is a preferred program.

If the usernames are emboldened to know who is who, the focus will be shifted to the names rather than the actual text. Together with extra space between each people's turn, the conversation will look like different sections of the article. Following how chat apps work might be a good idea, but I don't think it's necessary to right-align one person and display each message in a bubble. Screenplay is close on what I'm looking for, but it doesn't reflect the nature of chat that every sentence is always return.

How to display who is who, and have it feels like really a conversation? I want to have it formal, but not losing the atmosphere of chatting.

FYI: How to format a plain chat conversation like how chat apps display in Word?
What word processing tools that can work with complicate text boxing?

  • > Right-aligning one person like how conversations displayed in chat apps really confuses the reading flow. No it doesn't. Right aligning some paragraphs does because it interrupts the reading flow. But right aligning the name of main character is perfectly fine. You don't have to even look at right aligned name because you know it's you. I don't understand why you want to use Word when HTML makes way more sense when you want to go multiscreen (or animate texts). Your final goal sounds very unclear to me ; what do you want to do at the very end ? Is this for a play or what ? – frenchone Dec 7 '17 at 8:52
  • it is for a research article and this conversation is a supplement of it. Yes I mean the whole turn of each person, the not just the name. – Ooker Dec 7 '17 at 9:09
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    chat conversations used to be called dialogue in books, you know, before chats existed... – Luciano Dec 7 '17 at 9:34
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    I still don't understand what for you're asking help. Is this for styling ? For automatizing the plain text to word conversion ? Both ? My answer would be adhere to standards : display it like a chat application (without the right alignment of sentences which is pure nonsense) or like a drama formatted text downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/screenplaytv.pdf. I have no idea why a supplement to a research papaer would necessary be text because image won't allow it to be read in phone. This sentence just doesn't make sense to me – frenchone Dec 7 '17 at 9:37
  • @Luciano but in books, conversations are not fragment as chat. They don't return every sentence – Ooker Dec 7 '17 at 12:33

I think you're on the right track, and you're being overly critical of your own work. There is (always) room for improvement, depending on the context where you're using this (a book? magazine? poster? webpage?) There's some basic design principles you can apply here:


You can make each participant's text different from the other by making it visually a group. this can be through something obvious, like drawing a rectangle around it, or more subtle, by using whitespace


You can differentiate each speaker from each other by using color, images, or typography (though I wouldn't really recommend using different fonts, I think it'll look sloppy)

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If you want to go full plaintext (no bold, no color, no font-choice) then adding blockquote around text could make it clearer it's a conversation

char 1: "how old are you ?"
char 2: "I'm 21 years old. And you ?"

For a "web" version, remove blockquote and enclose text in a speech bubble. Replace "char X" by a photo. If there's ony 2 characters then place 1 char on the left,1 on the right (but the text should still be left aligned)

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  • can I replace the photos with only different colors in the bubbles? I'd like to keep it formal, but still having the atmosphere of chat. In case I can't find a good solution to add speech bubbles on Word, do you have any substitutes? And it's not that I want to go full plaintext, I want to design it from plaintext. Sorry for my bad English. – Ooker Dec 7 '17 at 17:54

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