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My *Dream Features*

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#1 mosscow

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:03 PM

Hello All! Here are some ideas to evolve Storyist for iPad:


Tab / Element Support For External Keyboards

I write in screenplay format using an external keyboard. As I was writing today, I noticed that there was no tab support for cycling through the script elements (Slug Line, Action, Character, Dialogue ...)

So every time I introduced a new element, I had to find it on the screen and poke it with my finger. It may not sound like a huge deal, but throughout the life of a script and several rewrites, that does become a pretty big hindrance.


(*I thought this was a feature of Storyist, so maybe it does exist and there was just a bug preventing me from using this feature. Anyhow, I tested the "Tab" button in other programs just to make sure I didn't have a faulty keyboard, and it indeed works, just not in Storyist.)


Smart Return Behavior

Many screenplay programs stick to basic behavior when you hit "return"; the most obvious "smart" function we could give here would be after the completion of a Slug Line Element, if you press "Return", then naturally the next Element you would use would be the "Action / Description" Element. This is one of the cardinal rules of screenplay structure, so I don't see why we can't introduce that into Storyist. Having the user poke the button for "Action" is unnecessary; there can't be two Slug Lines, and you can't jump straight into "Characters" or "Dialogue"; it has to move into "Action".


Fullscreen Mode

If the two above features are implemented (or even just the Tab Cycling), that opens up an opportunity for something truly elegant and revolutionary. The "Completely-Clean / UI-Less Fullscreen Mode". If you can cycle through all the Elements with ease, you won't need any onscreen-buttons to clutter and take up space. This Fullscreen mode could be enabled as an option. If you want the onscreen-UI back for the moment, just touch the screen.

Otherwise, everytime we have to move our hands away from the keyboard, we're becoming less-efficient writers and lose something I've grown to love - "momentum".

The other obvious benefit here is more screen-real estate, and for iPad users, that's quite important.


Page Numbers

I absolutely adore the subtle feature that Storyist shows you "page breaks". It's simple and genius; when I'm writing, and I come across that little break - I truly feel a psychological reward in that I've accomplished something! Thank you for that!

What could be even more helpful is just showing (or enabling as an option) the page numbers. Seeing those tick by would be a constant reminder of where you are in the script. On the small screen of the iPad, sometimes it can feel a bit singular, which is good for concentration, but bad for "big picture" thinking. Pages Numbers (and of course, on export as well) would be a big help.


Export to PDF

I know this has been requested by others, but it's a nice segue from the previous requested feature; being able to export whatever I'm currently doing to PDF (with page numbers!) would be EXCEPTIONAL. (Don't you think?)


An Option To Clean-Up Or Not-See The Folders

I know this isn't high on the list, but I honestly never use the "Scene Sheets, Plots, Characters, Settings ..." Folders. All I use are the Native Script Format / Writing Section and Index Cards. That's it! Is there a way I could just HIDE the rest of the folders, or just eliminate ones that I don't use? It just seems a bit cluttered when all I want to do is hop into the work and do it. That's it!


iCloud Sync Support

Pretty self-explanatory!

===

I don't mean to innundate with requests, but I do want to provide my two cents to make this the best product out there, and I do want to thank you for a marvelous product. Storyist for iPad and Mac genuinely help me as a Writer. Well done!

#2 Steve

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:56 PM

Hi Mosscow,

Thanks for the suggestions!

Tab / Element Support For External Keyboards

I write in screenplay format using an external keyboard. As I was writing today, I noticed that there was no tab support for cycling through the script elements (Slug Line, Action, Character, Dialogue ...)

So every time I introduced a new element, I had to find it on the screen and poke it with my finger. It may not sound like a huge deal, but throughout the life of a script and several rewrites, that does become a pretty big hindrance.


(*I thought this was a feature of Storyist, so maybe it does exist and there was just a bug preventing me from using this feature. Anyhow, I tested the "Tab" button in other programs just to make sure I didn't have a faulty keyboard, and it indeed works, just not in Storyist.)


Storyist for iPad does support using the (external) tab key to switch elements. Any file created from the Screenplay template or imported from Final Draft should do this automatically.

In Storyist for Mac, you can set which style the tab key applies by editing the styles. Storyist for iPad doesn't support editing styles yet (it's on the list), so in the mean time, you can use the demo version of Storyist for Mac to do this. If you don't have a Mac, I'd be happy to do this for you. Send me a PM and we'll set something up.

Smart Return Behavior

Many screenplay programs stick to basic behavior when you hit "return"; the most obvious "smart" function we could give here would be after the completion of a Slug Line Element, if you press "Return", then naturally the next Element you would use would be the "Action / Description" Element. This is one of the cardinal rules of screenplay structure, so I don't see why we can't introduce that into Storyist. Having the user poke the button for "Action" is unnecessary; there can't be two Slug Lines, and you can't jump straight into "Characters" or "Dialogue"; it has to move into "Action".


Storyist for Mac and iPad both apply the "next" style when you tap the Return key, and scripts created from the Screenplay template or imported from Final Draft should do this already. As with the "Tab" style, you can edit this in Storyist for Mac.

Fullscreen Mode

If the two above features are implemented (or even just the Tab Cycling), that opens up an opportunity for something truly elegant and revolutionary. The "Completely-Clean / UI-Less Fullscreen Mode". If you can cycle through all the Elements with ease, you won't need any onscreen-buttons to clutter and take up space. This Fullscreen mode could be enabled as an option. If you want the onscreen-UI back for the moment, just touch the screen.

Otherwise, everytime we have to move our hands away from the keyboard, we're becoming less-efficient writers and lose something I've grown to love - "momentum".

The other obvious benefit here is more screen-real estate, and for iPad users, that's quite important.


A "full screen" option to remove the title bar and extended keyboard would be a nice addition. Note that you can currently manually remove the extended keyboard (but not the toolbar) using the tools menu.

Page Numbers

I absolutely adore the subtle feature that Storyist shows you "page breaks". It's simple and genius; when I'm writing, and I come across that little break - I truly feel a psychological reward in that I've accomplished something! Thank you for that!

What could be even more helpful is just showing (or enabling as an option) the page numbers. Seeing those tick by would be a constant reminder of where you are in the script. On the small screen of the iPad, sometimes it can feel a bit singular, which is good for concentration, but bad for "big picture" thinking. Pages Numbers (and of course, on export as well) would be a big help.


Storyist for iPad does support headers and footers with page numbers. You can even specify different headers and footers for the first page.

To insert page numbers in your script:
  • Tap in the header or footer area. You can use the Tools > View > Page Guides command to make it easier to see them.
  • Tap the "page #" button in the extended keyboard to insert a page number.
  • Format the header as appropriate.
To modify the header/footer spacing or specify that the first page has a different header, choose Tools > Page Setup.

Export to PDF

I know this has been requested by others, but it's a nice segue from the previous requested feature; being able to export whatever I'm currently doing to PDF (with page numbers!) would be EXCEPTIONAL. (Don't you think?)


Agreed. It's on the list.

An Option To Clean-Up Or Not-See The Folders

I know this isn't high on the list, but I honestly never use the "Scene Sheets, Plots, Characters, Settings ..." Folders. All I use are the Native Script Format / Writing Section and Index Cards. That's it! Is there a way I could just HIDE the rest of the folders, or just eliminate ones that I don't use? It just seems a bit cluttered when all I want to do is hop into the work and do it. That's it!


Just delete the folder and sheets that you don't use. They're included so that new users can see that the feature is available without reading the User Guide, but you're not required to keep them.

iCloud Sync Support

Pretty self-explanatory!


Yes, and this is a popular request. I'll probably add support for iCloud, but there are two things that keep it from being a slam dunk:
  • iCloud doesn't keep backup versions of your files like Dropbox does. When you make a change to your project, it is copied to your other devices more or less immediately, so if you later decide you don't want the change, you can't revert to a previous version like you can in Dropbox. Also, many users think of sync as a copy operation and don't understand that deleting an iCloud file from your device deletes it from all your devices. With Dropbox, this isn't a big deal because you can always restore the file. With iCloud, it is a very big deal.
  • Apple won't allow Mac applications to access iCloud unless they come from the Mac App Store. This means that there would need to be two versions of Storyist for Mac with slightly different feature sets, which would be a head ache for new users.

I don't mean to innundate with requests, but I do want to provide my two cents to make this the best product out there, and I do want to thank you for a marvelous product. Storyist for iPad and Mac genuinely help me as a Writer. Well done!


Thanks again for taking the time to post.

-Steve

#3 mosscow

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:52 PM

Hi Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, line by line ... I'm not so savvy with the whole quoting business, but I'll try to address remaining questions:

- As for the Storyist iPad using the "Tab" and "Return" elements, that's great to know it's built-in, it's just not working with my Apple Keyboard. So, there's gotta be some bug here ... Can I help troubleshoot it in some way (email logs, etc?)

- Thanks for the page numbers trick! That was immensely helpful. "I can see clearly now ..."

- Great tip about deleting the folders I don't need. I love that - now I can keep it nice and tidy! Quick question though - if I delete everything but the "Scripts" folder, will I still be able to use my Index Cards?

Thanks for all this great info!

#4 Steve

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:12 PM

Hi mosscow,

- As for the Storyist iPad using the "Tab" and "Return" elements, that's great to know it's built-in, it's just not working with my Apple Keyboard. So, there's gotta be some bug here ... Can I help troubleshoot it in some way (email logs, etc?)


The "Tab Style" and "Next Style" shortcuts are defined in the style definition. If you started from an RTF file, they wouldn't be set in the style sheet. You can do this easily in Storyist for Mac by editing the style definitions and setting the "Tab Style" and "Next Style."

Storyist.jpg

- Great tip about deleting the folders I don't need. I love that - now I can keep it nice and tidy! Quick question though - if I delete everything but the "Scripts" folder, will I still be able to use my Index Cards?


Yes, the index cards are attached to the script.

-Steve

#5 mosscow

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:51 PM

Interesting ... That must be it! I copied and pasted the text from another screenwriting program (which is thoroughly left in the dust, by the way!) so that must've created an "RTF" file? (Which stripped the style definitions?)

So, if I understand correctly, if I open that document I've been writing on my iPad in the Mac Storyist and redefine the shortcuts, the next time I open it on iPad it should just automatically work? (and if I had simply originated the file on the iPad, the Tab and Next Style functions would just work?)

Thanks for your help.

#6 Steve

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:04 PM

Hi Mosscow,

Yes, if you edit the "Next" and "Tab" styles in Storyist for Mac and then transfer the project to the iPad, the tab and return keys should work. You can take a look at the Screenplay template to see what the defaults are.

-Steve

#7 Steve

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:57 PM

Hi Mosscow,

Thank you for the 5-star review in the App Store!

As you already know, 1.3 supports PDF export and can now edit style sheets. Thanks again for the feedback above.

In the review, you also wrote "the Stanley Cup will be yours when Storyist can *format and preview* Fountain files...," and I wanted to point out that 1.3 does that too. Just copy a text file with the extension "fountain" to your My Projects screen and open it. You'll get WYSIWYG editing of the file, and it'll be stored in the Fountain format. You can even use the new "Send to App" command to send it to other plain text editors on your iPad (e.g. iA Writer).

-Steve





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