Welcome to the Writer's Café 2
Beta Programme

About | Writer's Café 2 Downloads | What's new

About the Beta Programme

Welcome to the Writer's Café 2 Beta Programme. We are inviting users to try out a beta (pre-release) version of the software so we can respond to feedback and make improvements before its official release (around August 2008). You can view screenshots of the Writer's Café 2 Beta taken on 4th March 2008.

The program you can download from here is the full version but will expire in August 2008. You can install it alongside your existing version Writer's Café installation but when editing and saving existing projects (Scrapbooks, Journals, Notebooks, and StoryLines files) you may not be able to open them again in earlier versions. Please note that this release is only intended to give a flavour of the final version, and is subject to change. As a beta version, it will be prone to more crashes and glitches than the final version, so please make frequent backups of important work.

Customers who buy now are entitled to a free upgrade to Writer's Café 2.

To be added to Anthemion's mailing list for news about beta releases, please subscribe to the list at groups.yahoo.com/group/anthemion-writerscafe.

To give feedback on the beta:

  1. If Writer's Café crashes, please send as much information as possible to enable us to reproduce the problem - if you can give a sequence of steps for reproducing it, that will be very helpful. On Windows, a debug report will be created automatically and you will be prompted for any extra information. This should be mailed automatically to us but if for some reason this doesn't happen, please attach it to an email (you can find the .zip file in your temporary directory) and send it to writerscafe@anthemion.co.uk. On Linux, the more technically proficient may be able to extract the call stack by running the application under gdb. On Mac, debug information is shown and can be copied and pasted into your email to us. Please quote the beta version if it's not already included in your email.

  2. If Writer's Café doesn't crash but you wish to report a bug or missing feature, please email writerscafe@anthemion.co.uk with a description and (if a bug) steps for reproducing the problem. Please also quote the beta version you're currently using.

We may not be able to reply to all bug reports and feature requests, but we will record them and do our best to fix problems as soon as possible.

Many thanks for your help in improving Writer's Café!

Writer's Café 2 Beta Downloads

Windows | Mac | Linux | FreeBSD | Solaris

Download the latest Writer's Café 2 Beta here.

Some installation tips:

  • Beta updates may be quite frequent. On Windows, you can uninstall the old version first if you wish, from the Start menu or Control Panel. Or you can try Check for Updates on the Help menu, which will download an update if there is one, uninstall the old version, and install the new version. You can specify the same folder when installing each time. If in doubt, you can download and install Writer's Café in the usual way.
  • For detailed information about where files are stored, please see Topics/Miscellaneous Topics/How to manage your files in the Writer's Café 2 manual.

Writer's Café 2.13 for Windows NT/W2K/XP/Vista

Writer's Café for Windows is about 10 MB in size. You need about 20 MB of disk space.

Please note that due to an increase in the number of graphical resources Writer's Café 2 uses, Windows 95/98/ME are not supported. If you are still using one of these older operating systems, now would be a good time to upgrade to a new version of Windows, or Linux, or a Mac. You may find that Linux runs fine on your old PC, giving it a new lease of life.

Writer's Café 2.13 for Mac OS X

Writer's Café for Mac OS X is about 19 MB in size. It requires OS X 10.3.9 (Panther) or later. (If you have an earlier version of Panther you can upgrade to 10.3.9 for free if you have a broadband connection.) Note that this disk image contains universal binaries and will run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs at full speed.

The archive is a disk image; downloading will automatically mount it, and you can then drag the Writer's Café 2.xx folder or just the Writer's Café application inside it to an appropriate place, such as the Applications folder. You need about 90 MB of disk space.

Writer's Café 2.13 for Linux

Writer's Café for Linux is about 13 MB in size. You need around 30 MB of disk space.

The 32-bit binary is compiled on Debian Etch (4.0), and works on a variety of distributions including Red Hat Fedora Core, SuSE Linux, Ubuntu, and Debian.

32-bit packages:

64-bit packages:

See the FAQ for how to install Writer's Café on Linux.

Writer's Café 2.13 for FreeBSD

Writer's Café for FreeBSD is about 19 MB in size.

Writer's Café 2.13 for Solaris

Writer's Café for Solaris x86 is about 19 MB in size.

Writer's Café Translation File

If you wish to contribute a translation, please download the following file and read the notes on translation.

What's new

These are the major changes in version 2.

General user interface changes

  • Writer's Café Desk and StoryLines have been integrated into one application, allowing easier access to tools without switching between programs. StoryLines-only users can run Writer's Café in a mode that hides the other tools.
  • A more advanced user interface allows customisation such as splitting tabs to show several tools at once.
  • The Bookshelf window is now shown alongside other tools, but can be dragged outside of the main window if required. The Bookshelf can also be maximised temporarily to fill the whole Writer's Café window while reading content.
  • Most toolbars can be customised, and the main toolbar has optional text labels.
  • To prevent hard-to-read long lines, windows for viewing or editing can have a maximum width, with the remaining space filled with colour or a tiled picture.
  • The Preferences dialog has been overhauled.

New tools and features

  • The Pinboard tool is a great space for creating unstructured text and picture notes that can be dragged around, coloured, and turned into cards by dragging to StoryLines.
  • The Names tool makes it easy to generate names for your male and female characters.
  • The Home tab contains an Organizer, which shows favourite files, an explorer for browsing files on your computer, and workspaces (sets of project files for convenient simultaneous loading).
  • A Global Search dialog allow searching through all currently loaded data.
  • Over 30 "Writing Recipes" - articles packed full of useful writing tips - are provided.
  • Cookies (quotations), Writing Recipes, and a new set of Technical Tips can all be shown as a daily tip, to help you get the most out of Writer's Café and give you creativity ideas.
  • Workspaces (formerly configurations) can be made relative to a designated external drive, and you can easily install Writer's Café onto an external drive to make the application and your data mobile.

Enhancements to StoryLines

  • Story, character, and location data is now available immediately without showing a dialog, the tables can be customised (for example to hide unwanted fields) and individual changes are undoable.
  • You can create your own data schemas and tables.
  • You can have multiple sheets, effectively allowing one document to contain several sub-documents.
  • You can specify that a sheet will have several levels, allowing design of your project at the appropriate level of detail. For example, you may have a Part/Chapter/Scene structure.
  • The Outline shows the scene structure clearly and allows more editing than previously, with a context menu and ability to move scenes and cards around.
  • Columns can be moved by holding down shift when dragging cards, avoiding empty columns.
  • Storylines can be wrapped so you only need to scroll vertically.
  • A Navigator tool showing a bird's eye view of the cards in the current level allows quick movement around the project without scrolling.
  • StoryLines outputs to Open Document Format now (odt), instead of OpenOffice.org format (sxw).
  • Cards can now have multiple annotations, each of which can be formatted text or a picture. Similarly, there can be multiple project notes (text and pictures). This replaces the seperate Annotation and Image tabs.
  • The Content window now supports formatted text and pictures, and screenplay editing is more WYSIWG, replacing the old embedded code system. Some formatting is done automatically as you type. You can create new paragraph, character and list styles and associate them with either a report template or the project.
  • You can create clickable annotations in the Content.
  • Card Types and Icons have been replaced by Tags, which combine both concepts. Tags can be applied to multiple cards at once, and Search Tags allows you to show only the cards matching the selectecd tag(s).
  • Cards can be linked to other cards and sheets.
  • Cards can show pictures and summary text at the same time.
  • Editing is faster due to the report only being regenerated if visible.
  • Structured text files containing summary and content, and formatted screenplays, can be imported. Import Presets allow import to be customised.
  • Report styles are now called report templates; report template customisation is more flexible and easier to use.

Enhancements to miscellaneous tools

  • Writing Prompts have been extended and you can choose between several different prompt types.
  • Text scraps, journals and notebooks can now contain formatted text and pictures.
Version 2.13, August 18th 2008

  • Changing a desktop tool title now changes the icon caption.
  • Fixed restoring custom books when Writer's Café restarts, and fixed custom book links when adding non-HTB book.
  • Dragging cards within a column in the StoryLines outline now reorders the cards (as shown on the master storyline) as expected.
  • In pinboard, fixed image sizing when there's a caption, and removed the resize triangle if not selected.
  • Shows the appropriate tool if passing a project to the command line.
  • Improved storyline label appearance.
  • Added Pinboard.wcp and MedicalDrama.stk samples.
  • Added "Colour background" option under "Show Card Annotations".
  • Added Print Margins dialog on Mac (only).
  • Fixed print overlay bug on Mac.
  • Fixed Standard Filters behaviour in Backup Manager.
  • Added word count to journal and notebook.
  • Added workspaces submenu to Start menu, for more convenient access.
  • Fixed HTML file launching on Mac OS X.
  • Fixed a bug in opening StoryLines projects from Recent StoryLines.
  • Fixed mouse wheel scrolling in storyline window.
  • Added first draft of German UI translation.

Version 2.12, July 18th 2008

  • Fixed a bug loading a workspace in StoryLines-only mode.
  • Fixed a crash on exit after starting the timer.
  • Fixed vertical scrolling bug in workspace window and made Organiser more compact.
  • Added ability to set the minimum desktop size, so that scrollbars are added if necessary.
  • Spelling checker now treats Word-style left and right quotation marks correctly as separators.
  • Spelling checker now saves card content before checking spelling.
  • The StoryLines "Add/Delete Section" commands now uses the correct section terminology as defined in the structure definition.
  • Removed F10 slideshow shortcut as it can have operating system specific meaning; also moved the slideshow command to the Scrapbook menu.
  • Fixed some problems showing the Scrapbook slideshow on Linux.
  • Changed standard shortcuts for major tools to use Ctrl instead Alt, for better Linux compatibility. Also added Shift+Ctrl+Home as an alternative to Ctrl+1.
  • Changed Alt+N new card shortcut to Shift+Ctrl+C for better Linux compatibility. Alt+N still works on Windows and Mac.
  • If no window has the focus on startup, sets the focus for the current window. This affects Linux in particular and makes shortcuts work in full-screen mode without having to click on a window first.
  • Added an optional close button next to tools, for hiding the current tool.
  • Added a drop shadow for open tools on the Desktop.
  • Added individual icons for file types on Windows and Linux.
  • Added safer writing of files so that if a write operation fails (for example, a USB drive has been unplugged) the user can still quit.
  • Hiding a desktop tool now works.
  • Card statistics now shows column word count, and "Include hidden storylines" option in StoryLines Preferences determines whether hdden storylines are counted in the statistics.
  • Fix for Linux wizard image glitch on small screens, and also missing field bugs on small screens.
  • Changed default window background to grey texture.
  • Del now works on Pinboard and Desktop. Fixed a command updating problem on Pinboard and Desktop.
  • Fixed fullscreen crash when in StoryLines-only mode.
  • Fixed notebook or journal showing when starting exercise.

Version 2.11, June 20th 2008

  • Changed the tabbed preferences dialog to a tree-controlled dialog, and added Privacy and Browser preferences pages.
  • Enabled the print button in the Bookshelf.
  • Added a calendar view for the Journal, showing which days have entries.
  • Fixed a bug when deleting the first section in a StoryLines project.
  • Tarball installer now installs ICEWM start menu if an Eee PC is detected. The installer also removes the existing install directory which avoids a reboot before running the executable (previously it would segfault on the Eee PC after overwriting the executable).
  • Changed to the keyword dialog to edit Transitions In, Transitions Out, Locations and Times. These are now stored globally and not per document. Added Locations and Times to Content script menu.
  • Made pinboard note context menus more consistent, and fixed a couple of premature caption and content editing bugs.
  • Added Setup Wizard, run on first launch or later from the View menu.
  • Added tooltip feedback when launching an external application from the desktop.
  • Fixed a toolbar bug on Mac (most tools in the main toolbar were disabled).
  • Fixed a bug in recognising filenames from a foreign OS in mobile mode (for example reading Windows filenames after plugging the external drive into a Linux system).

Version 2.10, June 7th 2008

  • The tool tabs are now optional (see General preferences), but by default, there are no tabs and the home window, menubar and toolbar are used to navigate between tools.
  • Replaced the home window HTML tool display with a configurable desktop interface. The Journal, Notebook, Names, and Cookies are now displayed on the desktop.
  • Added Slideshow Note (a sequence of images) to Pinboard.
  • Print selection dialogs now work with small screens.
  • Printing size improved, especially on Mac.
  • Find/replace dialog now works in the Floating Card Editor.
  • The preferred image format setting (General Preferences) now works for pasting into styled text controls, so you can keep your project file size smaller by selecting JPEG. Also, large images are resized.

Version 2.09, May 23rd 2008

  • Removing a file from favourites now prompts for deletion from disk.
  • Removed option to use a non-styled text editor for StoryLines Content.
  • Fixed a crash when formatting labels in the collage scrap.
  • Fixed a focus bug in the Floating Card Editor and disabled inapplicable formatting commands.
  • Fixed a crash when creating a StoryLines project and checking Edit Details.
  • Fixed Navigator display for a large number of storylines, and added left click and drag actions for scrolling to a column.
  • Added image-only mode to Card Display Policy and corrected conversion from old StoryLines file.
  • Double newlines removed from rich text fields when converting from old files, since there is inter-paragraph spacing by default.
  • The context help window no longer goes off the edge of the screen.
  • Fixed disabled arrow and enter keys in Summary.
  • Fixed missing drop-down list in annotations on Linux.
  • Added ability to register Writer's Café from a file on the CD.
  • Added 'Print This' and image printing support to Pinboard.
  • Added report template edit button to StoryLines export report and print selection dialogs.
  • Moved samples and other files from outside the Mac bundle, to make the bundle more self-contained.

Version 2.08, May 5th 2008

  • Significantly improved text editor performance.
  • Cancelling Duplicate Sheet dialog no longer creates a sheet with no name.
  • Added Page break after this section option to Level Details dialog (page breaks work with HTML output only).
  • Added Pinboard filter to Backup Manager filter dialog and default file set.
  • Updates Players correctly on Undo/Redo.
  • Checking tags in card editor now sets document modified flag correctly.
  • Resolved a conflict between the two types of full screen mode.
  • Fixed level drop-down refresh after altering level structure.
  • Fixed problems loading file histories for pinboard, notebook and journal.
  • Fixed a crash when creating a new sheet.
  • Fixed a bug in statistics when loading old StoryLines file.
  • Notebook and journal now restore the last cursor position for each page.
  • Content and summary cursor positions now saved.
  • Removed pinboard menu in StoryLines-only mode.
  • Enabled page setup in notebook, journal and pinboard.
  • Enabled scrolling for some dialogs that were too large on small screens.
  • Added Card label style to Level Properties dialog, to allow card and column labels in the outline to be customised separately.
  • Made the Names window scrollable for small displays.
  • Fixed a problem with a configuration attempting to load a journal as a notebook.
  • Added context menu for the area surrounding editors and the StoryLines report window, with a dialog for conveniently setting the maximum width and surrounding colour or texture.
  • Added overall font and window appearance menu items to all styled text controls.
  • Added StoryLines document integrity checking after each operation with error dialog and option to fix the document.
  • Fixed Pinboard style sheet handling.
  • Replaced the Collage image import dialog with the updated image browser dialog.

Version 2.07, April 16th 2008

  • Corrected installation script on Linux to run writerscafe2 instead of writerscafe.
  • Corrected 'More' menu accelerators on Linux.
  • Corrected Undo/Redo menu command updating on Linux.
  • Fixed a crash when adding a new StoryLines section.
  • StoryLines column deletion checks that not all columns will be deleted, and that the deleted columns don't span multiple sections.
  • Fixed a crash on Linux when saving a file after adding a link between cards.
  • Fixed inability to change font or point size from drop-down controls if text with several different fonts or point sizes was selected.
  • Fixed visual problem when clicking on pin button when help window is maximized.
  • Fixed problem on Linux with a different level being shown when moving a card (so cards seem to vanish).
  • Moving cards retains the last outline selection.
  • Fixed sizing problem in Journal and Notebook when changing maximum window width.
  • Fixed a Journal and Notebook refresh problem when changing pages.
  • Fixed a problem loading workspaces (omitted StoryLines and Pinboard files).
  • Fixed disappearing card annotation images in HTML export.
  • Fixed Show Annotations menu command.
  • Fixed several incorrect dialog parents when in full-screen mode.
  • Fixed crash when opening old StoryLines file and exporting to OpenDocument.
  • Added Browse Samples command to Help menu.
  • Worked around a memory leak on Linux that would eventually cause lockup.
  • Text scraps now preserve their last caret position.
  • Fixed bug in CHM generation.
  • Now reflects level name change in level list (standard structure definitions dialog, sheet properties dialog).
  • Fixed crash bugs when changing storylines and structure when creating a new StoryLines project.
  • Improved image browser responsiveness for large numbers of images, showing all files before updating thumbnails and speeding up JPEG thumbnail loading. The relative window sizes are now remembered.
  • Made stored filenames, such as last loaded projects, more resistant to changing drives and operating systems.
  • Pinboard notes now show their captions in a different colour when they are focused. Toolbar commands now operate on focused note and not just the current selection.
  • Added Privacy Preferences dialog to the View menu for clearing histories and the image cache.
  • Added Previous button to Tip dialog.

Version 2.06, April 1st 2008

  • First public beta.

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