Dark Mode Tips

Dark Mode Tips

A few people have written to ask how I created the dark mode screenshots for the Storyist 4 Sneak Peek post. Now that Storyist 4 is out, I thought I’d take a moment to describe that process (it’s straightforward) and offer some tips for using dark mode on Mojave.

In short, to create the screenshots, I simply combined different standard accent colors and desktop pictures.

Choosing the Accent Color and Desktop Picture

Mojave lets you choose the accent color that is used to tint the buttons and other controls in the system. You’ll find the setting in the General pane of the System Preferences window. The choices are Blue, Purple, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Graphite.

The desktop pictures are available in the Desktop & Screensaver pane. Not surprisingly, Apple provides desktop pictures that look great with the different accent color options.

For the screenshots, I chose:

  • The blue accent color with Mojave Night.
  • The purple accent color with Flower 4.
  • The orange accent color with Flower 5.
  • The pink accent color with Flower 7.

If you click on the gallery above and compare the screenshots, you’ll notice a subtle effect: The hue of the toolbar and page background changes slightly to reflect the average color of the desktop image. You’ll get this effect with your own desktop backgrounds too, so experiment with photos from your albums.

Choosing the Text Editor Properties

By default, Storyist 4 displays light text on a dark background in dark mode. This is usually what you want if your project is just text. However, if you’re designing for print, or you want complete control of text color, you might want to see dark text on a light background. To accomplish this, open the Storyist Preferences window, select the Appearance pane, and select “Use light appearance” for the text editor.

As you see in the screenshot, you can also set the application appearance to be always light or always dark independent of the system appearance.

Special Considerations for Text in Dark Mode

When the text editor is in dark mode, text having the default text color (black) is automatically changed to white. However, text having another color will not change. You may run into this, for example, if you import text that is dark gray instead of black. You can easily change the text color to work in both light and dark mode by selecting the text and clicking the “Set Text Color Automatically” button in the font color chooser in the inspector.

If you have other questions, let me know. And good luck with your projects.


Working with the Files Interface

Working with the New Files Interface

Don’t be surprised if the new start screen in Storyist 4 for iOS looks familiar. It should. Starting in version 4, the Storyist home screen is essentially the Files app with a few important additions. If you’re not familiar with the Files app, you’ll find information about how to use it in Apple’s tutorial.

Here are some of the new features it brings to Storyist.

Edit in Place

If you’re a long-time iOS user, you know that files originally “belonged” to the app that created them. One side effect of this model was that you needed to copy a file to another app before editing it in that app. If you weren’t careful, you ended up with multiple copies of the file in different apps and needed keep track of which modifications were made in which app. Some apps still operate this way.

However, when using apps that support the “edit in place” Files functionality (like Storyist 4 does), you can edit a file wherever it is stored without having to copy it. This means you can organize your work in whatever way suits your project while avoiding the multiple copy problem.

3rd-Party Cloud Storage Providers

Another main feature of the Files app is that it gives 3rd-party cloud storage providers like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive a single, Apple-approved, way to integrate their services with iOS.

While Storyist 3 supported only iCloud and Dropbox, Storyist 4 can use any provider that supports the Files app. For example, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive all support the Files app.

To set up a 3rd-party cloud storage provider:

  1. Download and set up the cloud storage app.
  2. Open Storyist 4.
  3. Tap Edit in the Locations list.
  4. Turn on the cloud services you want to use.
  5. Tap Done.

Folders, List View, Tags, and Searching

Storyist 3 showed all of your files at the same level as a grid of icons. Using the Files interface in Storyist 4, you can

  • Organize your files into folders.
  • Display your files as a list.
  • Tag your files with a label or color.
  • Sort by name, date, size, and tag.
  • Search across all storage locations on your device.

Share Sheets

The Files interface works with iOS share sheets so you can

  • AirDrop your files to other devices.
  • Send a copy of your file using Messages, Mail, or 3rd-party apps that provide a share extension.
  • Share your work with collaborators using iCloud Files Sharing. (More on this below.)

To share a file:

  1. Tap Select.
  2. Tap the file you want to share.
  3. Tap Share.
  4. Select the sharing method.

iCloud File Sharing

iCloud Sharing lets you share files you’ve stored in iCloud with friends and collaborators who have an Apple ID.

As with iCloud Photo Sharing, you can

  • Give access to the file to anyone with a link, or only to those you invite.
  • Set permissions to let them make changes or just view the file.

Recent Files

The Files interface gives you quick access to recently edited files both in the app and on the home screen.

To see your recently edited files in the app, just tap the Recents tab on the Storyist home screen. To see them on the home screen, press and hold the app icon.

Tapping a file in the Recents lists opens it in the app.

Version History

One thing that the Files app doesn’t offer is access to previous versions of your file. Storyist 4 lets you view and restore previous versions stored in iCloud and in the Storyist folder in the “On My iPad” location.

To view the previous versions of a file, press and hold the file icon and select Versions from the popup menu.

If you want to return to an older version of the file, just select the file and tap Restore.

Note that version history is only available for files stored in iCloud and for files stored in the Storyist folder on your device.

If you’re using a 3rd party cloud storage provider, you may also be able to get version history from the provider’s app or website. For example, both Dropbox and Google Drive support this feature.

For more information, see the “Backing Up Your Work” section in the Users Guide.

As you can see, the Files interface brings some powerful new file management features to the app. Storyist 4 for iOS offers a free trial, so download it and take it for a spin!


Storyist 4 is out!

I’m delighted to announce that Storyist 4 for macOS and iOS are now available. As mentioned in the Sneak Peek, version 4 brings many new features and usability enhancements.

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.

Enhanced PDF Export—Sometimes you just need to make a PDF from several files in your project. Storyist 4 lets you quickly assemble and export a PDF without needing to create a book. This is useful for adding a title page to a manuscript or for assembling a couple of chapters to send to your critique group.

And More—Storyist 4 comes with many other enhancements, including an updated outliner, a more flexible full-screen view, and animation, performance, and usability improvements.

Storyist 4 for macOS requires macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later.

Storyist 4 for iOS

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

  • Store 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.

New Themes–Storyist 4 includes several new themes, including both a light and a dark theme. 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.

Storyist 4 for iOS requires iOS 11 or later.

Free Trial and Upgrade Discounts

Storyist 4 is free to download on all platforms and offers a 14-day free trial, so you can test all features before purchasing. If you decide to keep the app after the trial period expires, just use the in-app purchase window to unlock the features permanently. Even if you choose not to purchase the app, you can use Storyist as a free viewer.


As always, if you have questions, please feel free to contact support.