What’s New in Storyist for iOS 3.3

Storyist for iOS 3.3 is available in the App Store–just in time for summer! Here’s what’s new.

iCloud and Dropbox Versions

Prior to version 3.3, you could browse and restore the previous versions (backups) of your projects that Storyist created on your iPad or iPad. Starting in version 3.3, you can access previous versions stored in iCloud and Dropbox too.

To do so:

  1. Navigate to the Storyist home screen.

  2. Tap Edit and then tap the Versions (umbrella) icon.

  3. Choose Show Previous Versions.

You’ll see a list containing the versions stored on your iPad or iPhone and the versions stored in either iCloud or Dropbox. (Please note that by default, Dropbox only keeps old versions for 30 days.) If you want to revert to a specific version, simply select it and tap Restore.

Smart Quotes and Dashes

It’s odd that the iOS text system doesn’t natively support automatic “smart” quote substitution. It’s a popular feature that the OS X text system has supported for years.

I’ve held off implementing the feature for a while now thinking that Apple would add support “any day now.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the iOS 10 text system will be any different, so I’ve gone ahead and added smart quote support to Storyist 3.3.

To enable smart quotes:

  1. Open a text file.
  2. Tap Tools > Edit > Substitutions.
  3. Turn the “Smart Quotes” switch on.

By default, Storyist follows the standard English conventions for smart quotes, but other languages have different conventions, and you can change the default behavior in the Preferences window.

  1. Open a text file.
  2. Tap Tools > Preferences
  3. Select your preferred single and double quote style.

Import and Export PNG and JPEG Files

Previously, you could add images to a Storyist project by selecting from the Photos app or by using copy and page. Storyist 3.3 adds the ability to import and export images using the document picker. Finally!

To import an image to a Storyist project using the document picker:

  1. Navigate to a project folder.

  2. Tap the Add (+) button.

  3. Select the cloud service (iCloud Drive, Dropbox, etc.) containing the image you want to import.

Similarly, to export an image from a Storyist project:

  1. Navigate to the project folder containing the image you want to export.

  2. Tap Edit, and select the image.

  3. Tap the Export button.

  4. Choose Copy to Location.

  5. Continue exporting as you would with other file types.

Bug Fixes and Stability Enhancements

As always, this release also contains bug fixes and stability enhancements. Here is the list:

  • Dragging outline items in the sidebar now works correctly in cases where the “Show Body Text” setting is off. Previously, dragging text to a chapter that contained a hidden body text section would result in the text being placed between the chapter title and the hidden section. It is now placed after the hidden section, matching the behavior of the index card editor.

  • Storyist no longer crashes in certain circumstances when undoing a drag in the outline sidebar. Previously, Storyist might crash if you reopened a project, dragged an outline item, and then executed an undo before doing any other undoable operation.

  • Folders containing images of different aspect ratios are now displayed more uniformly in the folder view.

  • Storyist now handles the case where some cloud services (e.g. Dropbox) deliver Scrivener files as zipped packages even though these packages have the proper “.scriv” extension.

  • Storyist now correctly handles the case where a Scrivener file contains a PDF that acts like a folder (i.e. the binder item has “children”).

  • Styles are now imported if necessary when you paste text from one file to another.

  • Storyist no longer appends an unnecessary newline when pasting text.

As always, thanks for using Storyist. And keep the feature requests coming.

-Steve

Storyist for iOS 3.2 is Out!

I’m delighted to announce that Storyist for iOS 3.2 is available in the App Store! It’s got support for dark mode, PDF title pages, and draft mode enhancements for iPhone.

Dark Mode

One of the most popular feature requests over the years (Storyist for iOS has been in the App Store since 2011), was for a dark editing mode. Storyist for Mac added the feature in version 3.1, and now it is available in Storyist for iOS.

Enabling dark mode is simple:

  1. Navigate to the Storyist home screen.
  2. Tap the More (…) button.
  3. Set the Dark Mode switch to on.

That’s it. Now you can write in ’till the wee hours without the glare of a white page to tire your eyes.

PDF Title Pages

Another frequent request, especially from screenwriters, was to be able to add a title page when exporting a PDF.

Now, when you select PDF as the output format, you’ll now have the option of choosing a title page from the project (or home screen) or having one generated from the file metadata.

Adjustable Font Size in Draft Mode on iPhone

Rounding out the trio of features is the ability to change the font size when in draft mode on iPhone.

To change the draft mode font size:

  1. Open a text file.
  2. Choose Tools > Preferences.
  3. Move the Draft Mode Font Size slider to the desired setting.

That’s about it. Enjoy! And keep the requests coming.

-Steve

Storyist and iPad Pro

Judging by the questions coming in to the support address, quite a few Storyist users are considering purchasing an iPad Pro to handle their day-to-day writing tasks. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help with the descision.

Does Storyist support the larger iPad Pro screen?

Yes. Storyist for iOS supports the larger 2732 x 2048 screen. It does not simply scale up the pixels from a standard 2048×1536 screen (something you’ll see on an app that hasn’t been updated with iPad Pro support). This means you can use the extra space for your text or for another app via Split View.

Does Storyist support Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture?

Yes. You can use Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture in Storyist.

  • Slide Over lets you temporarily overlay a second app on the right side of the screen.
  • Split View lets you display two apps side-by-side, and interact with both of them.
  • Picture in Picture lets you continue watch a video in a small, movable window while you write.

Additionally, Storyist uses the new Shortcut bar on iOS 9 to display extra keys and other shortcuts. Unlike the old extended keyboard row (available in many apps on iOS 8), the Shortcut bar is able to use the full width of the screen for the active view, which means your extra keys are still available to you when you’re using Split View.

Does Storyist support the new Apple Smart Keyboard?

Yes. The Smart Keyboard works great with Storyist. In fact, in the last post, I mentioned that Storyist 3.1 added a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts that make getting around even easier. Here’s a sample.

Navigation shortcuts

  • Use the arrow keys to select files or index cards.
  • Use return to start editing a selecteded file or index card.
  • Use ⌘ 1 and ⌘ 2 to switch between text and index card mode.
  • Use ⌘ option T to open and close the project view.
  • Use ⌘ [ to navigate back in your browsing history.

Text Editing Shortuts

  • Use ⌘ control C to insert a comment.
  • Use ⌘ option L to insert a link.

Press and hold the key to see some of the available shortcuts. You’ll find the complete list in the documentation.

Does Storyist support the Apple Pencil?

Yes and no. Storyist does not do anything special to support Pencil. However, it does work great with several 3rd party “keyboards” that provide support for handwiting input. MyScript Stylus, for example, is perfect if you want to write “long hand” for a change of pace.

If you have other questions, please feel free to send a quick email to the support address.

Taking Advantage of the New Keyboard Shortcuts

With iOS 9 now available and iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard on the way, it’s a great time to mention the new keyboard shortcuts in Storyist 3.1 for iOS.

As many of you know, Storyist for iOS has long provided shortcuts to make text editing with an extenal keyboard a productive experience. Version 3.1 brings a bunch more to the table. Here’s a sample.

Navigation shortcuts

  • Use the arrow keys to select files or index cards.
  • Use return to start editing a selecteded file or index card.
  • Use ⌘ 1 and ⌘ 2 to switch between text and index card mode.
  • Use ⌘ option T to open and close the project view.
  • Use ⌘ [ to navigate back in your browsing history.

Text Editing Shortuts

  • Use ⌘ control C to insert a comment.
  • Use ⌘ option L to insert a link.

You’ll find the complete list of keyboard shortcuts in the documentation. Take ’em for a spin.

And if you forget a shortcut (and are running iOS 9 or later), just press and hold the key to see the list of available shortcuts.

Should I Store My Files in iCloud or Dropbox?

Storyist 3 for iOS can store files in (sync with) both iCloud and Dropbox. Both work great, but there are some subtle differences between the services. Which one should you choose? Here is some information to help you make your decision.

iCloud

  • Works better with large Storyist projects. Storyist projects are zip archives. When you edit a project, Storyist saves your changes and compresses the project files into an archive for you. Unlike Dropbox, iCloud is able to tell which elements of the zip archive have changed, and sync only the parts of the archive that have changed to the cloud. If your project contains lots of images, storing your project files in iCloud could save considerable network time and battery life.

  • Easier Setup. If your iPad or iPhone is signed in to your iCloud account, you’re all set. There are no additional accounts to create or passwords to enter.

  • Better sync conflict handling on Mac. Since iCloud is integrated into OS X, apps like Storyist 3 for Mac that support iCloud can automatically update to a new version from another device or handle a sync conflict as soon as it occurs.

There is something to be aware of, however.

  • When you sign out of iCloud from the iCloud pane of the Settings app, files stored in your iCloud account are no longer available in Storyist. This may be what you want, or may scare the Dickens out of you. Note that when you sign out, your files are still safe in the cloud and will be available in Storyist when you sign back in to your iCloud account.

Dropbox

  • Keeps old versions of your files for at least 30 days. This is a big deal. Dropbox keeps old versions of your files in the cloud, so you can revert a change even after it’s been synced with your other devices.

  • Allows easier collaboration. If you have a cowriter or editor you can share folders and work together from a single folder.

  • Ability to change sync folders. You can change which Dropbox folder you sync with simply by re-running Cloud Setup and choosing a different folder.