Storyist 4 is a creative writing application for macOS 10.14 Mojave or later. Designed with novelists and screenwriters in mind, it provides:
The Word Processor. Like most creative writing applications, Storyist provides a full complement of word processing tools, including spelling and grammar checking. And it comes with project templates that provide style sheets for industry-standard formatting.
The Storyboard. Sometimes, you want to put a face to a name. Storyist lets you cast your novel or screenplay with images from your photo collection or the web. You can also view, edit, and arrange your scenes and plot points using virtual index cards. And Storyist automatically transfers your storyboard information to story sheets for in-depth development.
The Outliner. A flexible outlining tool lets you display and edit not only your section or scene summaries, but also your plot, character, and setting notes.
Customizable story sheets. Story sheets are editable forms tailored for novel writing and screenwriting. You use them to record information about your story, such as a character’s age or a setting’s description. Storyist comes with story sheets for plot, character, setting, and section/scene. And story sheets are customizable, so you can capture the information you want to capture.
The Project View. The Project view keeps all your project files organized and accessible. The search field lets you quickly find what you’re looking for anywhere in your project and return to your writing.
Full-screen Editing. Want to remove the distractions and focus on your writing? The full-screen editing mode puts the whole screen at your disposal, turning your computer into a dedicated writing environment.
Wiki linking. Your notes become much more valuable when you can describe the relationships between them with links. Using a simple Wiki syntax, you can quickly create links to any file in your project, and even create the files themselves. And when you do, Storyist maintains your links for you. If you change the title of a notebook entry, the titles of any links to it update automatically. If you move a plot point to a new section, plot point links in your Section Sheets adjust accordingly.
Smart text. In screenplay mode, Storyist collects your scene introductions, locations, times, character names, and transitions as you type and auto-completes them for you when you need them.
Quick styles. Tab and Return key shortcuts make changing between novel or screenplay elements as simple as typing a key or two. And with shortcuts for all of your styles, you can focus on writing, not formatting.
Installing the Storyist application is easy. To install it from the website:
When you first run the app, your free trial starts automatically, and a dialog appears, giving you the option of continuing the trial or purchasing a license.
After the free trial concludes, you can continue using the app in Viewer mode for free. To use the editing features of Storyist after the trial ends, please purchase a license by clicking the Buy Button and following the prompts. After you complete the purchase, the app is unlocked automatically.
You’ll also receive an email with your license code, which you can use to install Storyist on other Macs. To install your license code:
Storyist can use your Internet connection to check automatically for updated versions. To enable automatic update checking:
Storyist is also available from the Storyist website. To get it from the Mac App Store:
Storyist 4 is a free download.
When you first run the app, a dialog appears, giving you the option of starting a free trial, purchasing a license, or running in Viewer mode.
To start the free trial:
You can also choose to use the app in Viewer mode instead of starting the trial. Viewer mode allows read-only access to Storyist projects, and you can export or copy text from it.
After the free trial concludes, you can continue using the app in Viewer mode for free. To use the editing features of Storyist after the trial ends, please purchase a license by clicking the Buy Button and following the prompts. After you complete the purchase, the app is unlocked automatically.
The Storyist main window consist of four parts:
A Storyist project can contain text files, story sheets, folders, images, and bookmarks. The Project View—located to the left of the main window—helps you organize and access these items quickly.
To hide the Project View, choose View > Hide Project View. To display it again, choose View > Show Project View.
The Main view, located to the right of the Project view, has two components:
The Main view can be split both horizontally and vertically so that you can see multiple project items at once. For more information, please see the section titled “Splitting Views.”
Much like a web browser, the navigation bar lets you switch between recently viewed pages. It also controls whether the view’s content is displayed using the Text view, the Outline view, or the Storyboard view.
The navigation bar contains the following buttons:
The Text view is where you’ll do most of your writing. It displays your text files and story sheets in text form.
To view your story elements in the Text view, navigate to the element you want to view, and do one of the following:
For more information on the Text View, please see the chapter titled “Working with Text.”
The outline view provides traditional outlining tools that let you quickly capture your ideas and work with them at a high level.
To view your story elements in the Outline view, navigate to the element you want to view, and do one of the following:
For more information on the Outline view, please see the chapter titled “Working with Outlines.”
The storyboard view gives you a high-level overview of your text files, folders, and story elements (characters, plot points, and settings) by displaying them as index cards or photographs on a corkboard or collage.
To view your story elements in the Storyboard view, do one of the following:
Headings and groups are shown as items on a corkboard.
Body text and individual story elements are shown in a collage.
For more information on the Storyboard view, please see “Working with Storyboards.”
The Storyist toolbar provides buttons for setting up the Storyist window and a status bar that shows information about the current cursor selection. The default toolbar configuration is shown below.
Starting from the left, these are the Toolbar icons:
When you create a new document, Storyist displays a dialog asking you to choose a template for your project.
The Workspaces window lets you create and quickly switch between snapshots of your project views and windows. To view the Workspaces window, choose Window > Workspaces > Manage Workspaces.
The Inspector view allows you to view and edit settings and formatting information.
To open the Inspector view, do either one of the following:
Each type of project item has an inspector. The project and text inspectors are shown below.
The Versions window gives you a quick overview of the older versions of your project and allows you to:
To view the Versions Window, choose File > Show Previous Versions.
Note: The Versions Window is not available until you’ve saved your project.
Versions are stored on your Mac, and if you’ve enabled Time Machine, on your backup drive.
You can use the macOS Fonts window to change font attributes such as typeface, size, color, underlining, and strikethrough. To view the Fonts window, choose Format > Font > Show Fonts.
You can use the macOS Colors window to change text color. To view the Colors window, do one of the following:
The General Preferences Pane lets you specify which template to use for new documents.
The Text Editing Preferences pane lets you specify:
The Appearance Preferences pane lets you customize the fonts, colors, and icons used in the application.
Many of the Storyist menu commands described in this user’s guide can be performed from the keyboard. To see a list of the available shortcuts, open Storyist and choose Help > Storyist Help, and click on the Keyboard Shortcuts link.
Some menu commands are also available from shortcut menus. To bring up a Shortcut menu, right-click or control-click an object or some selected text.
A Storyist project contains your text files, story sheets, folders, and images.
When you launch Storyist or create a new project using the File > New Project command, the template chooser appears, allowing you to select a document template. Project templates provide:
Storyist comes with several built-in templates that you can use as starting points for a new project: Novel, Screenplay, Stage Play, and Blank.
The Novel Template—This template provides a starting point for a novel manuscript and includes:
If you want to write a novel and aren’t sure which template to use, select the Novel template.
The Screenplay Template—This template provides a starting point for a feature-length screenplay and can be modified for playwriting. It includes:
If you want to write a script or screenplay and aren’t sure which template to use, choose this one.
The Stage Play Template—This template provides a starting point for a stage play. It includes:
Blank—This template provides a starting point for a project of any type. It includes empty folders to hold text files and images. To add text files, story sheets, or additional folders to the project, click the Add button at the bottom of the Project view.
You might want to designate a particular template to be used every time you create a new document. To set a default template:
Storyist can import files written in other word processors if the files are stored in one of the following formats:
Note: While some word processors do not store their files natively in the above formats, most do allow you to export your file into them. Refer to the word processor’s manual for details.
To import a manuscript or script into a new project:
To import a file into an existing project:
Note: You can also import a file by dragging it to the Project view (on the left of the window) or to a folder in the Main view.
Your manuscript (or script) and notes are available from the Project view located at the left of the main window. To view a file or folder listed in the Project view, simply click it.
Much like a Web browser, Storyist remembers which pages you have viewed and in what order. You can navigate through them using any of these methods:
You can change text appearance and size using the Format > Font menu, the Fonts window, or the Inspector.
The Format > Font menu offers basic formatting commands like Bold, Italic, and Underline that control the font’s weight and style, as well as commands to make text bigger or smaller. Most commands in this menu have shortcut key equivalents and can be invoked from the keyboard.
The Fonts window offers more precise control over font family, typeface, and size selection. In addition, it offers controls for changing text color and adding underlining, strikethrough, and shadow.
To open the Fonts window, choose Format > Font > Show Fonts.
The typeface you select determines the font’s weight and style. For instance, selecting the Oblique typeface in the Helvetica family provides italicized Helvetica. Similarly, selecting the Bold Oblique typeface provides a Helvetica font that is both bold and italic.
The Inspector’s Format pane offers control over font family, typeface, size, and color selection.
To open the Format pane in the Inspector, choose View > Inspector > Format.
Note: In some parts of the user interface, text appearance and size are determined by the program and are controlled by the Appearance tab of the Preferences window. Examples include the summary field in story sheets, text in the Outline view, and text in index cards.
You can change the text alignment and spacing by using the Format > Text menu, or by using the Inspector.
The Format > Text menu offers the frequently used alignment commands Align Left, Center, Align Right, and Justify, as well as commands for copying Ruler settings. Like the Format > Font menu, most commands have shortcuts and can be invoked from the keyboard.
To change text alignment using the Format menu:
To change text alignment using the Inspector:
You can edit tab stops using the Ruler or the Inspector. To edit tab stops using the Ruler:
To edit tab stops using the Inspector:
To change existing tab stops, double-click the desired stop, and enter a new value.
To add additional tab stops, click the Add button (+), double-click the new stop, and enter the desired value.
You can choose the type of the tab stop (left, center, right, or decimal) by selecting the corresponding value in the Alignment column.
You can also set a default tab interval. Tabs characters after the last tab specified in “Tab Stops” are placed at this default distance from the previous stop.
A value of zero causes tabs after the last tab specified in “Tab Stops” to move to the next line.
Note: By default, Storyist uses the first-line indent formatting property to indent paragraphs automatically and uses the Tab key to change styles. If you would like to use the Tab key to indent paragraphs manually:
The Margins section of the Format pane of the Inspector allows you to set page margins and specify that page margins be mirrored (used when laying out facing pages of a book to be printed).
To set page margins:
Note: You can enter margin values in inches, centimeters, points, or picas, using the abbreviations “in,” “cm,” “pt,” or “pc.”
When you specify Mirror Pages, Storyist lays out the pages so that the first (odd) page is on the right, as it is in a bound book. To specify mirrored pages:
Editing a header or footer is as simple as placing the cursor in the header or footer area and typing your text.
To edit the text of a header or footer:
All standard formatting features—including styles—are available in headers and footers.
To insert page numbers in your headers or footers:
Note: If you type a number in the header instead of inserting an auto-incrementing page number field , that number will appear in the header or footer on all pages.
You can change the location of the headers and footers from the Headers & Footers section of the Format pane of the Inspector.
To specify that adjacent pages have different headers or footers:
To adjust header or footer spacing:
Once you become comfortable with the menu commands, you might want to use keyboard shortcuts for some commands instead. To see the full list of keyboard shortcuts, choose Help > Storyist Help, and click the Keyboard Shortcuts link.
A style is a named collection of character and text formatting settings. Each Storyist template provides a group of styles, called a style sheet, which can be used to format your document quickly and consistently.
Note: Storyist provides support for paragraph styles; that is, styles that apply to an entire paragraph.
There are several ways to change the text style. First, select the text you want to change. Then, do one of the following:
There are two ways to create a new style. To use the first method:
To use the second method:
There are two ways to delete a style. To use the first method:
To use the second method for deleting a style:
To rename a style:
To modify a style:
A dialog appears, allowing you to edit the following properties: Style, Font, Spacing, Tabs, and Pagination.
Style Name—The name of the style.
Based on—The parent style of the style. Styles inherit the formatting properties of their parents.
Next Style—The style applied to a paragraph that is created when you press the Return key at the end of a paragraph.
Outline Level—The outline or heading level for the style. This value controls the outline level in the project view and in the outline view.
Tab Style—The style that is applied when you press the Tab key at the start of an empty paragraph.
Family—The name of a collection of related fonts. Examples of family names include Courier, Times New Roman, and Arial.
Typeface—The name of a specific font, which, together with the family name, specifies a font. Example typefaces include Regular, Bold, and Oblique.
Size—The point size of the font.
Color—The text or foreground color of the font.
Underline—The underlining setting for the font. Available values are None, Single, and Double.
Transform—The text transform for the text with this style. Available values are:
The spacing properties define the alignment, indentation, and space between paragraphs.
Text Alignment—Controls whether paragraph text is displayed left-aligned, centered, right-aligned, or justified.
Left Indent—Sets the text indentation of all lines of a paragraph except the first line.
Right Indent—Sets the text indentation from the right margin. Note that positive values indicate offsets from the left margin, while negative values indicate offsets from the right margin.
First Line Indent—Sets the text indentation of the first line of a paragraph from the left margin.
Before Paragraph—Sets the space before the paragraph.
After Paragraph—Sets the space after the paragraph.
Line Spacing—Controls the amount of space between lines in a paragraph. Available values are:
Note: The spacing values display in the default measurement units for your Mac. You can change the default measurement units from the System Preferences window.
Default—Sets the default tab interval. Tabs after the last tab specified in “Tab Stops” are placed this distance from the previous tab.
Note—A value of zero causes tabs after the last tab specified in “Tab Stops” to move to the next line.
Stops—Defines the position and type of tab stops. Tab types are:
The pagination properties define how text is laid out on the page.
Paginate As—Specifies the “pagination mode” of the style. Values other than Normal are used only in screenplay formatting and override the other pagination options.
Paragraph starts on a new page—A page break occurs before paragraphs having this style.
Keep with next paragraph—A paragraph displays on the same page as the paragraph that follows it. This option is useful for headings.
Avoid widow and orphan lines—Paragraphs with a single line at the top of a page (a widow) or the bottom of a page (an orphan) move to the next page.
Storyist can import styles from other Storyist documents or from RTF files that include styles.
To import styles from another document:
Note that while many RTF files contain styles, some (those created by TextEdit, for example) do not.
You can link from your Storyist project to locations on the web so you can have quick access to external information. You can also create links within your project to connect internal elements.
To create an internal link:
To create an external link (to a Web page):
You can also create a link from the keyboard using a simplified Wiki link syntax:
To edit a link using the menu:
To edit a link using the context menu:
To edit the title of a link using the keyboard:
To remove a link (without deleting the underlying text):
You can add new elements (chapters, sections, or scenes) to your text at any time. These new additions automatically generate new index cards in the storyboard and new entries in the outline.
To add an outline element to the text:
See the section titled “Creating and Applying Styles” for more information on styles.
As you are writing, you might want to make notes (comments) for later revision.
To add a comment to a text location:
To close the comment window, press the Escape (esc) key or click in an area outside the comment window.
A comment icon appears to indicate that a comment is attached to the current location.
To edit the comment, click the comment icon. The comment window appears, allowing you to modify the comment text.
If you frequently access the same location in your file (for example, a scene that needs revising), you can bookmark it so that you can get back to it quickly in the future.
To create a bookmark:
To return to a bookmarked location:
The bookmarked location is displayed in the Main view.
Story sheets are customizable forms tailored for novel writing and screenwriting. They help you keep relevant information about story elements (such as plot, character, and setting) readily accessible while you are writing.
You can use the story sheets to record information such as a character’s physical description, details about a setting, or notes about what happens in a particular section of your story.
A section/scene sheet is a story sheet that contains your notes on a section of your manuscript or a scene in your screenplay.
The Synopsis Area
The Synopsis area holds your summary of the section.
The Section Details Area
The Section Details area contains context-sensitive fields to record section-specific details. There are three standard fields:
You can add new fields or replace the existing ones. For more information, see “Editing a Field.”
The Section Notes Area
The Section Notes field holds any additional notes on the section you want to make.
A character sheet is a story sheet used to organize notes on a character. The sheet has four sections:
The Summary Area
This summary section is used for entering a high-level summary of the character. This summary is displayed in the sheet and also in the Outline view and the Storyboard view.
The Physical Description Area
This section provides context-sensitive fields for you to describe the physical aspects of the character. You can add or replace fields by clicking the field name and selecting from the menu that pops up.
The Character Development Points Area
Many writers like to track a character’s “arc” through the story. This section allows you to specify the points along the arc where your characters learn and grow (or not). To create a new character development point, click the character icon and select Add Character Point. When you know where in your manuscript this arc occurs, right-click the section link to assign it to the appropriate section.
The Notes Area
The Notes section can be used to record additional character information.
A plot sheet is a story sheet for notes on a plot point. It has four sections:
The Summary Area
Like all story sheets, this sheet has a section for entering a high-level summary of the story element. This summary is displayed in the sheet and also in the Outline view and the Storyboard view.
The Section Area
This area allows you to set the section of the manuscript where the plot point occurs. Depending on your writing style, you may want to assign the plot point to a section as you are writing, or wait until you’ve fleshed out your various plot threads to make the assignment. In either case, you can assign the plot point to a section by control-clicking or right-clicking the Unassigned link and selecting the appropriate section.
The Plot Point Details Area
This section provides context-sensitive fields for you to describe the details of the plot point. You can add or replace fields by clicking the field name and selecting from the menu that pops up.
The Notes Area
The notes section can be used to record additional plot notes.
As with other story sheets, a setting sheet has several sections:
The Summary Area
This summary is displayed in the sheet and also in the Outline view and the Storyboard view.
The Setting Details Area
The Setting Details section allows you to record specific details about the setting. Feel free to edit the fields to suit your needs. Note that any fields in the setting sheet are also available in the storyboard.
The Notes Area
The Notes section can be used to record additional setting notes.
Each story sheet provides a set of default fields you can use to record information about a story element. For example, in a character story sheet, the default fields are Age, Gender, Eye Color, Hair Color, and Build.
Want to customize the default set? You can add, rename, and delete fields. You can even add your own fields to a story sheet to track the information you want to track.
To add a field to a story sheet:
To rename a field on a story sheet:
To remove a field from a story sheet:
To add a custom field to a story sheet:
After you’ve customized the fields on a story sheet, you may want to save the list as a template for other sheets of the same type.
To save a field list as a template:
The next time you create a story sheet of the same type, your list of fields is used in place of the default list. The template applies only to new story sheets of the same type. Any sheets you have already customized are not affected.
You can add images to your story sheets. For example, you might imagine a particular actor starring as your protagonist. Storyist allows you to import an image of the actor into the Character sheet for that character. The image appears both on the Character sheet and on the corkboard for all the characters.
To add an image to a story sheet:
Storyist lets you work with your project items (manuscripts, scripts, notebook entries, and story elements) in outline form.
To edit a project item in outline form, navigate to the item, and then do one of the following:
You can add items to an outline using the Action button or the keyboard.
To add items to the outline using the Action button:
The item appears in the row after the currently-selected row at the outline level appropriate for the item.
To add items to the outline using the keyboard:
The default body text item is that which is specified as the body level style in the outline definition (for example, the Section style) and the default story element is that which is specified as the preferred contents of the enclosing folder.
To see exactly which items will be added by the keyboard shortcuts, click the Action button and view the Add menu items.
You can rearrange your outline by simply dragging items to a new location.
When you add an outline element to a text file (for example, a chapter to a manuscript), Storyist uses the file’s outline template to determine which style to apply. This way, headings are formatted correctly when you switch back to the text view.
To edit the outline template:
Note: Outline level properties are created in order: body text first, then outline levels 1-9. The Add button is only enabled if Storyist finds a style for the next outline level (that is, a style with the outline level set to the next available outline level).
Storyboards give you a visual overview of elements of your story. You can use them to
You might use storyboards at the start of your project to get all your ideas down and organized before you start writing, or after you’ve completed a draft, to summarize and view the arc of your plot or characters.
Storyist provides two types of storyboards:
To view a story element as a Storyboard, use the Project view to navigate to the element you want to see, and then do one of the following:
To add a new item to a corkboard, do one of the following:
Some writers find it useful to set up a fixed-size corkboard to visualize the act breaks of their story as they are writing. For example, if you are writing a screenplay and are planning to have approximately 60 two-minute scenes, you might arrange your corkboard to have four rows of 15 scenes (one row for the first and third act and two rows for the second act).
To specify the layout of a corkboard:
Adding items to a collage is a simple as dragging them from the Project view to the collage.
You can arrange the items in the collage by dragging them to the desired location.
When you drag section or scene sheets to the collage for a section or scene, Storyist displays a dialog offering to attach the sheet to the section or scene.
If you choose to attach a sheet to a section or scene, Storyist transfers the title and synopsis from the sheet to the index card and keeps the titles and summaries synchronized so that updates to the title or summary of one will be reflected in the other. Attaching sheets in this manner reduces the overhead of keeping per-section or per-scene notes. Choose this option if the sheet you are attaching describes the section or scene you are attaching it to.
If you choose not to attach the sheet to the section or scene, Storyist will add the sheet to the storyboard, but keep the titles and summaries separate. Choose this option if you simply want to have quick access to a sheet for another section or scene.
The ability to have section or scene sheets in either an attached or an unattached state enables several story development workflows:
If you have ideas for scenes, you can create sheets for them, and develop the scenes before you start writing. Then, when you understand where your scenes belong in the story, you can drag the sheets to the scene’s collage and attach the sheet to the scene. Your notes are then transferred to the scene’s index card.
Once you attach a sheet to a section or scene, and any changes you make to the scene’s card will be reflected in the sheet. Similarly, any changes you make to the sheet will be reflected in the scene’s card, freeing you to focus on writing.
If you later decide that a section or scene no longer meets your original goals, you can detach the sheet from the scene (by deleting it from the collage) and optionally attach it to another scene.
You can change the size of the items on the Storyboard using any of these three methods:
If you are working with a collage, you can also adjust the size of individual items.
To resize a collage item:
Dragging a resize handle preserves the item’s aspect ratio by changing both the height and the width simultaneously. Holding down the Option key while dragging allows you to change the height and width independently.
By default, Storyist represents characters and settings as images and all other items as index cards. You can change the representation of an item using the Action button in the control bar.
To change the representation of an item:
To get a better visual overview of your story, you can color-code your index cards. To change the color of an index card in a storyboard:
A Storyist project contains your manuscripts and scripts, and your story sheets for plot, character, and setting.
It can also hold many types of ancillary information. For example, you might use it to store bits of dialog, clippings, research, or query letters.
The Project View—located at the left of the main window—helps you organize and access these project items quickly.
There are several ways to add items to your project:
Note: If an item is selected in the Project view when you add a new item, Storyist will add the new item after the selected item if possible. If nothing is selected in the Project view, Storyist will add new items to the default location for the item type.
Tip: If you select an item in the project view and then click the Add button in the Project view while holding the Option key, a new item of the same type as the selected item is created.
You can also use the Project view to add outline elements (for example, chapters, sections, and scenes) to manuscript or script project items.
To add an outline element to a text file:
Note: Storyist determines whether or not to display a text item’s outline in the Project view by examining the text file’s outline template. You can edit the outline template by selecting the File Info pane in the inspector and clicking Edit Outline Template.
Note: By default, the Project view displays outlines for text files that have outlining enabled. If you don’t want to see the text file outline in the Project view, click the Action button in the Project view and choose “Hide Text File Outlines.”
You can enable or disable outlining for a text file, using the “Enable outlining for this file” checkbox in the File Info pane in the inspector.
Also, the list of outline elements displayed in the menu is generated from the outline template.
To delete items from the project:
The items you selected are moved to the project Trash.
To view the contents of the project trash, click the View button in the toolbar and choose Show Project Trash.
To Empty the Project Trash, click the Empty button at the top of the trash list. Be careful with this. You can’t undo this operation.
Storyist provides default settings for project items, but you can edit the settings to specify things like editor behavior and preferred contents of a particular folder.
To edit the preferences for a project item, open the inspector and select the File Info pane.
The file name and icon appear at the top. Additional preferences are displayed according to the type of item selected. These preferences are detailed below.
Text File Preferences
Kind—A pop-up menu specifying the editor features enabled for the file. Available values are:
Enable outlining for this file—Clicking this checkbox causes the file’s outline elements (that is, the chapters and sections or scenes that make up the file) to appear in the Project and Outline views. This checkbox is checked by default for manuscripts and scripts but is disabled for notebook entries.
Include body text elements—Clicking this checkbox causes the file’s body text sections to appear in the outline. This checkbox is checked by default for manuscripts and scripts but is disabled for others.
Edit Outline Template—Clicking this button brings up a dialog that lets you edit the outline template (level labels and styles) for the file.
Create sheets automatically—Clicking this causes Storyist to create a section or scene sheet when new sections or scenes are created.
Shortcuts—You can specify whether or not Storyist enables Tab and Return shortcut processing in the file. If you choose “Use the application preferences,” Storyist will use the settings you specify in the application preferences (accessed from the Storyist > Preferences window).
Contents—Specifies the preferred contents for the folder. Storyist uses this value to provide keyboard shortcuts (Command-Return and Command-Slash) for the Project view and Outline view, and to decide where to put new files if nothing is selected in the Project view.
Note: Preferences for some kinds of project items are not available. For these items, choosing Edit simply displays a dialog showing the item title and kind.
One of the benefits of having all your project-related writing in one place is that the contents are instantly searchable.
To search for text in your project:
Your search results appear in the Project view. To navigate to the file or story element that contains the search text, simply click a search result.
When you’re writing, you probably want to arrange your windows and views to focus on the manuscript or screenplay. When you’re outlining, you likely want to use the Outline view. When you’re revising, you may want to see the manuscript and screenplay along with your notes.
It can be cumbersome to size your views and configure the display preferences to suit your needs, so Storyist provides the ability to create workspace snapshots to quickly recall your settings.
You can split a view horizontally or vertically. Storyist even lets you nest split views, so you can create quite complex view arrangements.
To split a view, position the cursor in the view you want to split, and then choose one of the following:
To close the active split view, choose View > Split > Close Active Split View.
To close all split views but the currently active view, choose View > Split > Close Others.
Sometimes it is useful to have multiple project windows open. Not only can you see multiple project documents at one time, but you can also take advantage of Spaces to streamline your workflow.
To open a new project window. choose File > New > Window.
When you have your windows and views arranged to your liking, you can take a snapshot for later recall.
Workspace snapshots contain:
To create a new workspace, do one of the following:
The Workspaces window lets you create, update, switch between, and delete workspaces.
To view the Workspaces window, choose Window > Workspaces > Manage Workspaces.
To add a workspace for the current project configuration, click the Add button.
From time to time, you may want to update the image or settings for a workspace you use frequently.
To update an existing workspace:
Storyist lets you set word count goals for both your daily writing sessions and your entire project, and helps you track your progress over time.
To set word count goals:
The result will look something like this:
Note, you can also edit your word count goals by clicking on the Project item in the Project view and opening the File Info inspector.
After you’ve set up your writing goals for the project, you can track your progress in several ways.
The calendar view displays your word count progress in calendar form. Days on which you’ve achieved your goal are shown in green. Days on which you’ve achieved at least fifty percent of your goal are shown in yellow. Days on which you’ve written something but achieved less than fifty percent of your goal are shown in red.
To see the calendar view, click the Goals button in the toolbar, click the Action button, and choose Show Calendar.
You can browse results from earlier sessions by clicking on a date. Clicking on the left arrow shows the previous month. Clicking on the next arrow shows the following month. Clicking on the dot next to the left or right arrows resets the calendar to the current date.
The graph view shows you a graph of your word count progress in graph form. You can choose the range of dates you want to see, and you can browse through past writing sessions using the arrow keys.
To see the graph view, click the Goals button in the toolbar, click the Action button, and choose Show Graph.
The summary view shows you summaries of your word count progress. The stats include:
As with the graph view, you can choose the range of dates you want to see.
To see the summary view, click the Goals button in the toolbar, click the Action button, and choose Show Summary.
You can also configure the Status Bar to show your total project word count and your progress toward that goal.
To do so:
When your manuscript is complete, you can create print-ready PDFs to send to a professional book printing service like Blurb.
The process is straightforward:
To add a new book to your project:
The built-in templates provide a starting point for further customization and include beautifully designed style sheets and default settings for page size and bleed.
PDF Edition–A general-purpose template, set in Baskerville, suitable for both fiction and nonfiction.
Blurb Trade Book (Classic)–Set in Georgia, this template provides a classic design for novels and memoirs. The template conforms to the page size, margin, and bleed requirements for Blurb Trade Books.
Blurb Trade Book (Modern)–Set in Helvetica, this template provides a modern design for general nonfiction. The template conforms to the page size, margin, and bleed requirements for Blurb Trade Books.
A new book has no content. To add files from your Storyist project to the book:
You can also drag text files directly from the Project view.
By default, Storyist assumes that the files you add from the project are part of the book text (not the front- or back matter). You can change the file’s role in the book by opening the Formatting inspector and setting the Role pop-up button to the appropriate value.
If you don’t want the file’s headings to appear in the table of contents:
Storyist can automatically create and maintain a table of contents for your book.
The page (trim) size of your book is often different than the size of your manuscript pages.
To set the page size for your book:
To set the margins:
If you’re creating a book for print, check the Mirror Pages checkbox. This will change the Left and Right margin labels to Outside and Inside. Make sure that you allow a wide enough margin on the inside of the page spread that the text on your pages doesn’t disappear into the binding. Book printers post minimum recommended margins on their websites.
On a press, pages are printed on paper that is slightly larger than needed and then trimmed down to size the final page (or trim) size. Bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of where the sheet will be trimmed. Book printers post minimum required bleed settings on their websites too.
To set the bleed:
As with margins, if you’re printing a book, you can check the “Mirror Pages” checkbox so that the left and right bleed settings instead specify the outside/inside values.
You can view the margin and bleed boxes using the View > Layout > Show Page Guides command.
Each book template comes with a style sheet that specifies the look of the headers, footers, headings, and body text for the book. If the “Apply formatting from template” checkbox (located in the Styles pane in the Formatting inspector) is checked when you build the book, Storyist will reformat your source (project) files with the style sheet from the template.
You can control which source styles are mapped to which template styles using the table in the Styles pane.
The “Styles in Use” column lists the styles that are currently used in your source file. The “Replacement” column lists the styles from the template that will be used instead. Click on a style in the replacement column to see the list of available template styles.
Note: The formatting of the source file remains unchanged. The changes appear only in the book.
If you’d prefer to specify the formatting yourself, leave the “Apply formatting from template” checkbox unchecked and make the formatting changes in the source file instead.
The Layout & Substitutions pane in the Formatting inspector lets you perform some common textual substitutions when building the book.
The Pagination pane in the Formatting inspector lets you control the starting page and starting page number of the selected file(s).
The “Start on” pop-up button controls the starting page. Options are:
The page numbering radio buttons let you restart the page numbering for the selected file at a particular value. It’s customary for the book body text to start at page 1, even though the title page and table of contents pages precede the book body.
The book editor shows a preview of the PDF that will be created when you export your book. You can update the preview after making changes to the contents or formatting by clicking the “Build PDF” button in the File table.
You can also preview the PDF in the Preview app by clicking on the Action (gear) menu in the Files table and choosing “Open with Preview.”
At some point, you might want to fine-tune the formatting that the PDF template applies to your text.
For simple edits (for example, adding bold or italics), you can modify the content in the source file and click Rebuild PDF. For more advanced edits, you can import an editable version of the PDF to your project and edit that file instead.
To fine-tune the template formatting:
When you’re happy with the preview, click the Action (gear) button in the File table and choose Export. You’ll be prompted for a location to save the exported PDF.
You can also export the PDF using the export interface. To use this method, choose File > Export, select the book item, and click Next.
Storyist automatically saves a backup copy of your work every few minutes to help minimize data loss in the case of unforeseen circumstances. If Storyist should quit unexpectedly, it will restore your project from the backup copy the next time you launch the application. These backup copies are called versions.
You can view these automatically-saved versions and compare them to the current project using the Versions Browser as follows:
The Versions Browser is integrated with Apple’s Time Machine backup software, so if you enable Time Machine, you’ll be able to browse versions that are saved not only on your local machine but on your Time Machine hard drive as well. The Versions Browser also works with iCloud, so if you store your file in iCloud, you’ll be able to browse versions made on other devices too.
As noted above, versions are created every few minutes while you’re writing, and each time you use the File > Save command. To make efficient use of disk space, macOS periodically prunes these versions, keeping hourly versions for a day, daily versions for a month, and weekly versions for all previous months as space permits.
Note: If you prefer to see a simple list of previous versions, you can use the File > Show Previous Versions command.
You can also save a version of your work manually. You might choose to do this after completing a draft or before writing a scene you are not sure you’re going to keep.
To save a version manually:
If you’re not happy with the changes you’ve made to your story, it is easy to return to a previous version:
Storyist can export project files as individual files or combine them and export them as a single book.
To export individual files:
Storyist support the following file formats:
Note: If you export individual images files, Storyist preserves the image format.
When you click the Next button in the export dialog, Storyist presents the Save dialog. Choose a location for the exported files and click Export.
Storyist can export a collection of files as a single book in ePub, Kindle, or PDF format. To create a book:
There are two steps in the ePub and Kindle book export workflow:
Step 1 of 2: Arrange files in the Order They Should Appear in the Book
Using drag and drop, arrange the project files in the order they should appear in the publication. You can optionally specify the book role (a value used by some eBook software to provide additional information to the reader) using the Book Role pop-up menu. The options are:
If you’re unsure which roles to use, choose “Cover” for the cover image, and “Book Body” for everything else.
Step 2 of 2: Enter Publication Information
ePub and Kindle books contain metadata (card catalog information) describing the contents of the book. In this step, enter the following:
You can optionally include other metadata items by clicking the Add button in the metadata table and choosing the metadata item names from the pop-up. The available items are:
Note: These metadata terms correspond to those specified by the Dublin Core® Metadata Initiative. See http://dublincore.org for more information.
There are two steps in the PDF book export workflow:
Step 1 of 2: Arrange files in book order and select page numbering options.
Using the arrow buttons or drag and drop, arrange the files in the Files list in the order they should appear in the book.
Then, for each file, select the desired page number and table of contents settings.
Finally, Choose whether the page numbering for the file starts on the next page number or restarts at some other number. For example, it is customary for the first page in the book body after the front matter to restart on page one.
Step 2 of 2: Enter publication information.
PDF files support a more limited set of metadata properties than ePub or Kindle. They are:
After you’ve selected the files you want to export and entered the export settings, you can save your files selection and settings as a preset to use the next time you use the export command.
To save export settings as a preset:
To restore the item selection and export settings from a preset: