Storyist 4 Sneak Peek

It’s been quiet around here. Maybe too quiet. Let’s change that. I’m happy to announce that Storyist 4 for macOS and Storyist 4 for iOS are currently in beta testing and will be available soon. Here’s a peek at what’s coming.

Storyist 4 for macOS

Dark mode on Mojave

Storyist 4 for macOS sports a beautiful new content-aware dark mode when running on Mojave. Many apps only support dark mode when your Mac is in dark mode, but Storyist 4 takes it a step further. Dark mode is available even if your Mac is running with the Light appearance and you can choose either dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background.

Quick navigation

Getting around your project has never been easier. You can use the new Go To command to get to any project view with a few keystrokes.

And More…

Storyist 4 for macOS supports High Sierra and Mojave and includes many other enhancements, including

  • Additional workflows for exporting PDF files and books.
  • Increased performance for large files.
  • Updated user interface elements.

Storyist 4 for iOS

Files App Support

The Storyist home screen is now based on the Files app, so you can:

  • Store project files where you want and edit them in place.
  • Use 3rd party cloud storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
  • Share files with others over iCloud using iCloud file sharing.
  • Organize your files using nested folders and tags.
  • View recently-edited files stored across multiple cloud storage providers.
  • Open recent files from the home screen.

New Themes

Storyist 4 for iOS includes several new interface themes, including both a light and a dark mode. Like the original theme? No worries, it’s still there. Tap the More button on the home screen and choose Themes to see the complete list.

Updated User Interface

Storyist 4 for iOS requires iOS 11 or later. The UI has been updated and includes new icons, animations, and usability enhancements.

  • Commands are organized in a simplified More menu on each screen.
  • Expanded keyboard shortcuts include cut/copy/paste and undo.
  • The text and index card editors take better advantage of larger screens on X model iPhones.

Free Trials and Upgrade Discounts

Both Storyist 4 for macOS and Storyist 4 for iOS are free to download and offer 14-day free trials so you can test all the features before purchasing. Both versions also offer upgrade discounts for owners of previous versions!

Want to Help Test?

Storyist 4 will be out of beta later this quarter, but if you want to help test, there are still some slots open for both the macOS and iOS versions. If you’re interested in helping, please send an email to and indicate which platform(s) you’re interested in.

Working with Snippets

Over the course of a draft, you probably type the same character combinations hundreds if not thousands of times. Why not let Storyist type them for you? Storyist can insert multi-line text snippets (bits of text) with just a few keystrokes.

Try this:

  1. Make sure tab shortcuts are enabled.

  2. Place the cursor at the start of a blank link.

  3. Type “lorem” and then press the tab key.

When you press the tab key, Storyist replaces “lorem” with

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras non libero vitae tortor ullamcorper pharetra. Suspendisse fringilla consequat augue, nec hendrerit orci tincidunt in. Ut leo nisl, bibendum quis porta sed, porta a leo. Aliquam et ante lorem. Nullam vel lectus tellus, quis luctus mi. Nam non eros sit amet sem ultrices consectetur eu malesuada felis. Mauris rhoncus interdum eros nec aliquam.

Now try this:

  1. Place the cursor at the start of a blank link.
  2. Type “na” and then press the tab key.

This time you’ll see the following:

What are the bubbles? Placeholders!

  1. Press tab again to highlight the dialog bubble and type some dialog.

  2. Press tab again to highlight the name bubble and type a character name.

  3. Press tab again to highlight the end of the line and press return.

Here is an example:

Using the snippet editor, you can quickly define define your own snippets. To view the snippet editor, choose Storyist > Preferences and select the Text Editing pane.

To add a new snippet:

  1. Click the + button.

  2. Add a name and tab trigger (abbreviation).

  3. Enter the replacement text.

To create a placeholder bubble, just wrap the placeholder text with <# and #> like this: "<#dialog#>?" <#name#> asked.<# #>

You might use snippets for:

  • Character names

  • Locations

  • Dialog

  • Terminology

Go ahead and experiment!


Working with the Versions Browser

You probably know that Storyist automatically saves copies your project as you write. Did you know you can interactively browse these saved versions and grab bits of text to paste into your current version?

Try it:

  1. Open a project you’ve been working on.

  2. Choose File > Revert To > Browse All Versions. This opens the Versions browser (shown above) and displays the current version of your project on the left and a stack of the previous versions on the right.

  3. Click the arrow buttons to navigate through the stack of previous versions.

  4. Click a previous version to enlarge it. The project view and search functions become active, and you can find what you’re looking for and copy it. After you exit the browser, you can paste the text into your current project.

If you’ve you made extensive changes you no longer want, or you inadvertently delete something important, you can restore your entire project to a previous version. Just navigate to the desired version and click the Restore button.

Time Machine

If your project is stored on your local hard drive, you can use the built-in Time Machine support to browse not only the versions on your local disk but also the ones stored on your remote Time Machine disk.

Follow the instructions in the Time Machine pane of the System Preferences window to get started.


If your project is stored in iCloud, the Versions browser can show versions that were created on another device. Say you’re on your Mac and the changes you’re interested in were made on your iPad. No problem! Just open the browser in Storyist for Mac, locate the desired version, and click “Load Version.” You can now copy (or restore) from that version.


What’s New in Storyist for Mac 3.5

Storyist for Mac 3.5 is out! This release adds support for a very popular feature request: Creating PDFs for Print.

Print-Ready PDFs

Starting in version 3.5, you can use the book templates in Storyist to turn your manuscript into a print-ready PDFs. The new book editor lets you add front matter (like a table of contents); specify verso/recto pages; and set trim size, margins, and bleed.

Blurb Trade Book Templates

Storyist has partnered with Blurb, a popular self-publishing platform, to provide you with book creation and distribution tools that make it easy to print and sell your work. Use the included print-optimized templates to quickly build beautiful Blurb Trade Books.

Storyist is Ten!

Storyist turns ten today!

Hard to believe, I know, but it was on January 8th, 2007 that Storyist 1.0 first saw the light of day at MacWorld. I’m feeling nostalgic this morning, so I hope you’ll indulge me in a brief walk down memory lane.

The Apple community was a little different in 2007, and MacWorld really was the center of the world for all things Mac. That year, Apple featured a Developer Pavilion next to their showroom (to call it a booth would be an understatement), and Storyist Software had a kiosk there (to call it a booth would be an overstatement).

Attendance reached 45,572 and being so close to Apple, the kiosk got tons of traffic. We talked to celebrities like the comedian Sinbad, industry insiders like MacWorld magazine editor Jason Snell, and hordes of passionate Mac users.

MacWorld 2007 also marked the start of a pivotal year for Apple. With the introduction of the first iPhone at the show, the company dropped “Computer” from its name and became simply Apple Inc.

Skeuomorphic design was still in vogue, and Storyist’s icon and interface followed the Aqua design guidelines at the time. (Apple introduced Aqua at MacWorld 2000.)

The Storyist 1.0 system requirements seem quaint by today’s standards:

  • Mac OS X version 10.4.4 or later.
  • Macintosh computer with a 500MHz or faster PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, or Intel Core processor.
  • 15 MB of available disk space
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 32 MB of video RAM

Oh, and Macs came with devices that read optical media known as Compact Disks (CDs). Here is the jacket design for the Storyist CD that we gave away at the show.

Mobile apps were still a few years away (Storyist for iOS wouldn’t launch until 2011), and iCloud was still called .Mac.

That concludes the stroll. Thanks for your indulgence. Ten years is a long time in the software industry, and I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has used Storyist over the years. It wouldn’t be where it is today without your feedback and support.

So with a tip ‘o the hat to 2007, it’s on to the second decade! 2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year for Storyist. Stay tuned.


What’s New in Storyist for Mac 3.4

Happy Holidays everyone!

Storyist for Mac 3.4 is out, and adds support for the Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pros.

Apple describes the Touch Bar as follows:

The Touch Bar replaces the function keys that have long occupied the top of your keyboard with something much more versatile and capable. It changes automatically based on what you’re doing to show you relevant tools you already know how to use — system controls like volume and brightness, interactive ways to adjust or browse through content, intelligent typing features like emoji and predictive text, and more.

Here is the “and more” that Storyist 3.4 brings to the table:

Text Bar

The text bar, active when you’re using the text editor, adds Touch Bar shortcuts for:

  • Choosing styles
  • Setting text color
  • Bold/italic/underline
  • Setting text alignment
  • Managing lists

Outline Bar

The outline bar, active when you’re in outline mode, adds shortcuts for:

  • Adding chapters/sections/scenes
  • Choosing a background color

Storyboard Bar

The storyboard bar, active when you’re in storyboard (index card) mode, adds shortcuts for:

  • Adding chapters/sections/scenes
  • Settings the zoom factor
  • Choosing an index card color

Project View Bar

The project view bar shortcuts for adding files and folders to your project.

Have a new MacBook Pro? Download the trial version and take it for a spin.

What’s New in Storyist for Mac 3.3

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and Storyist for Mac 3.3 is out with some new features to help you in your month of noveling!

Updated Goal Inspectors

The updated goal inspectors are now accessible directly from the toolbar and give you more ways to track your writing goals.

You can:

  • Use the calendar view to get a sense of how your writing sessions vary from day to day. Dates are color coded with your progress, and the mouse and cursor keys allow you to select individual dates to view.
  • Use the graph view to show your progress over time. You can get daily, weekly or monthly graphs of your word count data, or even specify a custom date range.
  • Use the summary view to see your average and best days in a given range.
  • Export your writing session data to a .csv file for use with a spreadsheet application like Excel or Numbers.

Support for macOS Sierra

Version 3.3 comes with support for macOS Sierra so you can take advantage of new Sierra features like tabbed windows and Siri.

Other New Features and Bug Fixes

Version 3.3 also includes the following new features, bug fixes and usability enhancements:

  • You can now designate a project or text file template as the default template. The default text file template is now used when creating a new text file from a wiki link or via Command+Return commands.
  • The cork board background now defaults to a solid color rather than the cork texture. If you prefer the cork texture, just open the Appearance tab in the Preferences window and set the storyboard background to the cork pattern.
  • The text view no longer “wobbles” slightly when you scroll after double tapping the trackpad to zoom in.
  • The Command+Up Arrow and Command+Down Arrow shortcuts now take you to the beginning/end of a document as they do in other text applications. Previously, the Command+Up Arrow shortcut took you to the enclosing folder (like in Finder). Now, it only takes you to the enclosing folder if you are already at the start of the file.
  • Changes to the theme’s collage background color now appear immediately.

The Dark Mode Cometh

If you’re running Yosemite, you probably noticed the beautiful new dark controls in the Notification Center and (if you found the “Use dark menu bar and Dock” checkbox in the system preferences) in the menu and dock.

Did you know that the dark mode user interface controls are available to applications too?

Starting in version 3.1, Storyist for Mac can take full advantage of the dark mode controls when running on Yosemite.

Here’s how to set  it up:

  1. Launch Storyist for Mac version 3.1 or later.
  2. Open the Storyist Preferences window.
  3. Select the Appearance pane.
  4. Select the theme you want to modify.
  5. Click the Interface tab.
  6. Check the “Use dark interface elements” checkbox.

That’s it. Whenever you switch to the theme you selected in step 4, you’ll get the dark mode UI shown above.