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About Writer's Café | Licensing and Support | Technical Issues

Contents

About Writer's Café

Licensing and Support

Technical Issues


About Writer's Café

Why was Writer's Café created?

Story-writing tools tend to lie near the ends of two poles: the word processor at one end, which has minimum support for creativity, and at the other end, more complex theory-driven applications. The latter can be far too prescriptive (and frankly, baffling) in our opinion. We wrote a set of tools to help fill the gap in the middle for freer, less structured story planning, and we believe it's the best way to work with, and not stifle, your creativity. We also wanted to provide tools to help make writing fun.

Who should use Writer's Café?

Writer's Café is suitable for writing novels, screenplays, short stories, biography, autobiography, and more. It has also been used to help structure business reports! The multiple storyline ability is great for screenplays and soaps that have complex interwoven plots. Writer's Café helps get those ideas flowing, whatever the story form.

Is Writer's Café for professionals, or beginning/part-time writers?

Both. We firmly believe that all writers deserve a set of professional tools that will serve throughout their journey as a writer. So don't be deceived by Writer's Café's friendly interface. Writer's Café has been designed and shaped by professional writers and is used by working novelists, screenwriters and directors. Since Writer's Café can import from and export to industry standard tools such as Final Draft, it's as at home in a film production company's office as it is in a student's bedsit. Writer's Café has power features, but you don't have to use all of them - you can use it at the level you feel comfortable with.

What platforms are supported by Writer's Café?

Unlike most software, Writer's Café is cross-platform and runs on all popular operating systems. So if you're thinking of switching platform in the future, you don't have to worry about your investment and files becoming obsolete. This is particularly important now that Linux is becoming a popular choice for ultra-portables. If you want, you can install the Windows, Mac and Linux versions on a USB memory key and switch machines as much you like, retaining all your settings. Specifically, we support:

  • All recent 32-bit desktop Microsoft Windows platforms - that's Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 and above (PowerPC and Intel processors).
  • Most Linux distributions (32-bit or 64-bit). Debian, RPM and tarball packages are provided.
  • FreeBSD 6 and 7.

From Writer's Café version 2, we no longer support Windows 95/98/ME due to these systems' limitations for more complex applications. You can still use Writer's Café version 1 on these operating systems, or you can install Linux on your older machine for free.

Will there be an iPad version of Writer's Café?

Unfortunately not in the short term. We will monitor developments and consider how we might support iPad and other iOS devices in the future. Writer's Café is complex and would have to be considerably simplified for iPod/iPhone/iPad use.

What hardware is required by Writer's Café?

Hardware requirements are modest: a high colour video card, 512MB RAM, 30MB hard disk space, and for the boxed product, a CD-ROM drive. If you have the CD-ROM but no access to a CD-ROM drive, you can use the download version together with the registration information on your CD box. Or, you can copy the CD-ROM files to a memory key (512MB or greater).

What tools were used to develop Writer's Café?

Built with wxWidgets Writer's Café is programmed with the popular open source cross-platform GUI toolkit, wxWidgets, created in 1992 by Anthemion Software director, Julian Smart. Dialogs are edited with Anthemion's DialogBlocks. wxWidgets and DialogBlocks are being used by organisations large and small all over the world, the more exotic applications including space telescope control, science at the South Pole, genetic research, Formula One racing, and hunting for extra-terrestrial life.

Licensing and Support

How much does Writer's Café cost?

Please see the purchase page for pricing information.

Will upgrades be free?

Upgrades and bug fixes for each major version of Writer's Café will be free. You can download new versions of Writer's Café as many times as you like. We will make a small upgrade charge for major new versions, usually denoted by a change to the first version number.

Do I pay for each operating system I run Writer's Café on?

Each separate user must buy a separate copy, one copy each. But if you want to run Writer's Café on both Windows and Linux, for example, then you only pay once. The licence is not tied to a particular operating system.

What are the restrictions of the demo?

The demo is restricted to 20 cards and 20 scraps, and does not display the Fiction: The Facts e-book.

Can I use the same registration key for Writer's Café both at home and at work?

Absolutely. You can use the same registered copy of Writer's Café on multiple machines so long as only one copy is being used at a time. In fact we'd very much encourage you to install Writer's Café wherever you can take a few minutes to do some writing.

Do I need a registration key for the CD-ROM version?

No; the CD-ROM contains a registration key. If you leave the CD-ROM in the drive until Writer's Café runs for the first time, the CD-ROM can be used to register the application quickly without typing in the key. Just click Register from CD in the registration dialog that is presented initially. You can uninstall the CD-ROM version to upgrade to a newer download version, and Writer's Café will use the registration key previously installed from the CD-ROM. Uninstalling Writer's Café does not remove the registration information.

How do I register to unlock the demo?

Run Writer's Café and click on the Help menu, followed by Register Writer's Café. Now find the user name and registration key that you were sent when you paid for Writer's Café. Copy and paste (or type) the information into the user name and registration key fields, and press OK. (Note that any '0' characters in the registration key are zeros, and not letter 'O's.) Your copy of Writer's Café should now be registered.

What do I do if Writer's Café doesn't accept my registration key?

Normally this is due to a typo. The most reliable method is to use copy and paste to transfer the user name and key (on Windows: select the text in the email, then Ctrl-C, then Ctrl-V in the registration dialog). If typing manually, please note that there are no letter Os in the key: only zeros. If your user name contains an accent, this could be a cause of registration failure. In this case, please email us for another user name and key. If all else fails, please email writerscafe@anthemion.co.uk for further help. If you're using Windows I can create a registry file for you to run that usually solves the problem.

Note that if you want to register with a different key, and the registration dialog is not available, you will need to reset the applications as detailed below.

What do I do if I've lost my registration key?

Email writerscafe@anthemion.co.uk and we'll find your key. Please quote your order reference number, name and preferably the email address you used when ordering Writer's Café.

What happens to my work if I uninstall Writer's Café before upgrading?

If you created new files, they won't be deleted even if they were saved in the Writer's Café program folder (except on Linux and Mac, where uninstalling means deleting the whole program folder). Your application settings will be preserved too.

How can I get support?

Please email us at writerscafe@anthemion.co.uk if the Writer's Café help and FAQ don't answer your query.

Does the CD-ROM always contain the latest version?

We try to make the CD as up-to-date as possible, but economies of scale mean that the CD version may sometimes lag behind the downloadable version. However, you can upgrade the CD version to the latest version (with a matching major version number) for free. Just use the Check for Updates menu command on the Help menu.

Are you responsive to suggestions?

Yes! Anthemion Software is a small, friendly company and we are delighted to receive feedback from our users. We strive to build the best-of-breed tools so getting back 'reports from the field' helps us to serve you better.

Is there an affiliate programme?

Yes; if you sign into Plimus as an affiliate you can find "Writer's Cafe - Full Download" (product 1943746). If you can't find it, try searching for Anthemion in the Plimus catalogue. Once set up, when visitors go to your site and then buy Writer's Café, a percentage will go into your Plimus account.

Technical Issues

The OpenOffice.org Writer desktop icon isn't working. How do I fix it?

Writer's Café may add a desktop item for OpenOffice.org Writer that doesn't initially work, if the application isn't installed or it guesses the location wrongly. First, check your system to see if OpenOffice.org is installed. It's not distributed with Writer's Café since it's very large (though it is available on the Writer's Café CD-ROM). You can download it from www.openoffice.org.

Once you have OpenOffice.org installed, you can fix the desktop command. Right-click on the OpenOffice.org Writer icon on the Writer's Café desktop, choose Properties, click on the Location text box, and clear it. Now click on Browse and find the OpenOffice.org or swriter program. On a Windows system the command might be:

"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\soffice.exe"  -writer
On Mac, it might be:
/Application/OpenOffice.org.app

(The .app extension must be present on Mac.) Now click on OK, and OpenOffice.org should launch when you double-click the shortcut.

Why does the Writer's Café CD installer give security warnings?

When you use the web interface to install Writer's Café from CD-ROM on Windows XP (SP2) or Vista, you may be presented with a message "Are you sure you want to allow CDs to run active content on your computer?"

It is safe to press Yes at this point, but if you want to have XP give the warning in other situations, clear the checkbox In future, do not show this message.

Next, when clicking on the installer, you may get a further security warning, and again, it is safe to click on Run.

You then get yet another warning The publisher could not be verified. You should press Run.

These warnings do not mean there's anything wrong with the software on the CD; it's simply that Anthemion Software is a small company and has not yet acquired digital signatures for its software.

How do I reset Writer's Café?

On rare occasions, for example if one of the Writer's Café components starts behaving strangely, you may wish to try resetting the application back to the installation state. First try removing the application preferences, and then if necessary the folder containing the application data, such as report templates, sample files, toolbar customization and other data that may be saved by Writer's Café between sessions. Note that by removing the application data you will lose some of the customizations you have made, though not your project data.

How you achieve reset Writer's Café differs according to operating system. First, quit Writer's Café.

On Microsoft Windows, to reset the application preferences, you need to delete the relevant registry entries.

  1. click the Windows Start button, click on Run, type regedit and hit the return (enter) key.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Anthemion Software, and select the Writer's Cafe 2 entry. Press the Del key and confirm the deletion.
  3. Quit regedit.

This deletes the preferences. You can optionally delete the application data that Writer's Café stores, by navigating to \Documents and Settings\<your user name>\Application Data and deleting the folder Writer's Cafe 2. Note that the Application Data folder may be hidden unless you have enabled Show hidden files and folders in the Folder Options dialog (available from Tools | Folder Options in Windows Explorer).

On Linux, you need to remove the file ~/.WritersCafe2, and optionally, the application data folder ~/.WritersCafe2Data.

On Mac OS X, you need to remove the file /Users/<your user name>/Library/Preferences/WritersCafe2 Preferences. Using Finder, you can click on the Home icon and then navigate to Library/Preferences, from where you can delete the WritersCafe2 Preferences file. You can optionally delete the folder /Users/<your user name>/Library/Application Support/Writer's Cafe 2.

What is the PortableApps.com version of Writer's Café?

PortableApps.com provides a way to install Windows applications on a USB drive to allow them to be run on any Windows machine, saving settings and data to the USB drive. Writer's Café is available in a .paf.exe installer that is compatible with PortableApps.com and allows easy integration with your existing PortableApps.com applications. To use it, download the .paf.exe installer to a temporary location on your desktop hard drive and then from the PoprtableApps.com Options menu, choose 'Install a New App' and select the .paf.exe file. Follow the instructions, and the Writer's Café icon will appear on the PortableApps.com menu.

Note that this method is in addition to the portability built into Writer's Café. Normally you install Writer's Café to a USB drive by invoking the Mobile Preferences dialog from the View menu, and then clicking on 'Install Writer's Café on External Drive' (see the appropriate FAQ. This installs the application using locations and conventions that differ from those employed by PortableApps.com, and allows you to use multiple platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac OS X). But if you only use Windows, the PortableApps.com method may be preferable since it comes with a set of free applications and can be used to launch Writer's Café as well.

The regular and PortableApps.com installers both contain the same version of Writer's Café, but with a different directory layout. The PortableApps.com version includes a startup.cnf file that tells Writer's Café where to look for its data, and that an external drive is being used.

Can I store my Writer's Café data files on a USB drive?

Yes, you can store your own data files, and Writer's Café settings, on an external drive. You can do this without any change to Writer's Café's preferences but it's easier if you configure the application to look on an external drive and if appropriate, store settings on this drive.

To do this, go to the View menu and select Mobile Preferences. On this dialog, check Store your data on the external drive and (recommended), Store all settings on an external drive. Click OK and restart the application. Writer's Café will now prompt you to enter the name of the external drive, for data and settings. It's useful to store the settings on the drive so that it can remember what files to load automatically, regardless of what machine you're currently using, but if you sometimes wish to use Writer's Café without the external drive connected, then don't check this option.

Note that until you explicitly open files on the external drive and restart the application, Writer's Café will probably have loaded the last files from the computer's hard drive. So you need to be careful that you are really editing the files you think you are editing. It's handy to type Alt+Enter to see the location of the current file.

This FAQ has dealt with storing only data and/or settings on the external drive. See the next FAQ for how to run the program itself from the external drive, in addition to settings and data files.

How do I run Writer's Café from a USB drive?

You can install Writer's Café to a USB drive by first installing it on your computer as normal. Then, go to the View menu and select Mobile Preferences. On this dialog, click on Install Writer's Café on External Drive. This installs the application to the USB drive so that you can switch machines and Writer's Café will use settings and data stored on the USB drive.

If you're using different operating systems (for example two or more of Windows, Linux and Mac OS X), do this installation on each operating system that you are using. Your shared settings and documents will be used regardless of operating system.

If you will only be using Windows, consider using the PortableApps.com installer as mentioned in the previous FAQ.

On Linux, you may find that you don't have execute permission on the external drive, particularly if the drive is formatted with a Windows file system such as FAT32. In this case, you need to mount the drive with different options, and you can do that by editing the file /etc/fstab as root. You should add a line that tells the system to use special options. Here's an example:

/dev/sdb1 /media/usbdisk vfat rw,shortname=mixed,uid=1000,gid=1000,user,auto,exec 0 0

To find out the device name and mount point (the first two entries in this file), insert your drive and when automounted, type mount in a terminal window. You should see an entry for the external drive. The exec option causes all files on the drive to be seen as executable, and auto causes the drive to be mounted automatically when the device is inserted.

It's worth remembering that USB drives can easily be lost, and data corrupted more easily, so remember to back up frequently to a hard drive or other external drive. Also, use the 'Safely Remove Hardware' icon or equivalent operating system functionality before removing any external drive.

For more details, please see the topic Using Writer's Café with an external drive, under Topics/Miscellaneous topics in the manual. It explains how you can configure Writer's Café to run from your computer's regular hard drive but take settings from the USB drive, as an alternative to complete installation on the USB drive.

How can I synchronize files between multiple computers?

Writer's Café doesn't directly support synchronization of files, but you can use a USB drive as above, or you could use an internet backup service with synchronization, for example:

Here's how you can synchronize settings using a service such as Dropbox. In order to have the application write its preferences and data files to a location we can synchronize, we have to persuade Writer's Café that we're using an external drive. Here are the steps if running on Windows, which you need to do on each computer you're using:

  1. Install Dropbox and create the "Dropbox" folder on all PCs, making sure that the path is identical on each PC. If you already have Dropbox installed and need to change its location on one of the PCs to ensure path consistency, do so in the General tab of the Dropbox preferences, and click Move... in the Dropbox Folder Location section.
  2. Install Writers Café as usual (non-mobile) and register.
  3. In View/Mobile Preferences/Portable Settings, check Store all settings on an external drive. Press OK.
  4. Close Writers Café.
  5. In a text editor, edit the startup.cnf that Writer's Café just created in c:\Program Files\Writer's Cafe 2, using an editor such as notepad:

    [Settings]
    ConfigLocation=[Path of your Dropbox folder minus drive]/Application Data/Writers's Cafe/settings.cnf
    RunningFromExternalDrive=1
    ExternalDrive=[Drive containing your Dropbox folder]

    For example:

    [Settings]
    ConfigLocation=/Documents and Settings/Julian Smart/My Documents/Dropbox/Application Data/Writers's Cafe/settings.cnf
    RunningFromExternalDrive=1
    ExternalDrive=c:

  6. Run Writers Café - it will create the [Path of your Dropbox folder]\Application Data\Writer's Cafe folder.
  7. In Preferences/General/Folders, set the path to Writer's Cafe Documents under your Dropbox folder, and then move any document files you wish to live in this folder. You can perfectly well create documents outside this folder and keep the setting as it is, but this is where Writer's Café will create documents by default so it's convenient to change it to where your files will be synchronized.
  8. Move any existing files (Storyline, Scrap, Notebook, etc.) to [Path of your Dropbox folder]\Writer's Cafe Documents.
  9. If you had important settings already, such as Template files, copy them from your original settings location, for example c:\Documents and Settings\[your name]\Application Data\Writer's Cafe, to the new location.

Now every time you open Writer's Café on a computer, you will get the same configuration and files as saved last on any of the PCs. Of course, you have to wait 2-3 seconds for Dropbox to synchronize after closing or before opening Writer's Café.

Note that we're not running the application from the Dropbox folder, we're just storing settings and data there. The key is the startup.cnf file in Writer's Café's installation folder, that tells it where to find the actual preferences (when this file is absent, it will use the standard locations for the current operating system). On non-Windows systems, you need to find the installation folder - on Mac, open the icon's package folder using the Finder context menu. On Linux, you can usually find it in /usr/share/writerscafe2.

To restore operation to normal so the application stores settings in the standard places, in View/Mobile Preferences/Portable Settings, clear Store all settings on an external drive and press OK, or quit the application and delete startup.cnf.

Thanks to Yannick Bietenholz for help with this.

Does Writer's Café support password protection?

No, not at present. This is partly because it's not clear how we should respond to pleas for help when users lose their passwords. If we had a way to restore encrypted files without the original password, this would be insecure. Equally it would be hard to tell people their work was lost for good. Also there can be export restrictions on software that contains encryption code. A workaround is to use 3rd-party encryption, or your operating system's built-in encryption if supported.

Does Writer's Café run on 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7?

Yes; although Writer's Café is provided as a 32-bit Windows executable, it runs fine on 64-bit Vista and Windows 7.

Does Writer's Café run on both Intel and PowerPC Macs?

Writer's Café for Mac OS X is a universal binary and runs on both Intel and PPC machines.

On Mac OS X, I can't save to certain filenames. What's the problem?

You may have accented characters in your filename; try choosing a name with no accents.

On Mac OS X, how can I improve small text display?

If you see badly spaced text for small fonts, you can switch on antialiasing (smoothing) for these fonts. Go to the Mac OS X System Preferences, click on Appearance, and in the item Turn off text smoothing for font sizes ... and smaller, select 8. Now fonts at 9 point and above will use antialiasing which vastly improves spacing, and gives dialogs a more consistent look too.

How do I install Writer's Café on Linux?

Writer's Café supports three distribution methods under 32-bit Linux:

  • Debian package (.deb);
  • RPM package (.rpm);
  • Tarball (.tar.gz).

Each of these methods will install suitable desktop entries and MIME types, adding a menu entry to the KDE or GNOME menu in the Office or Word Processor group. Writer's Café will also be available by typing writerscafe in a terminal window. The application is normally installed to /usr/share/writerscafe, and the 'writerscafe' startup script to /usr/bin.

Debian packages

To install a .deb, you may be able to simply double-click it in the file manager. If this doesn't work, you can use the dpkg command-line tool. Type something like the following in a terminal window:

dpkg -i writerscafe2_2.10-1_i386.deb

You need to have root permissions to do this, so either type su followed by the root password, or prefix the command with sudo and type your own password when prompted.

If you get a message saying that the package architecture doesn't match the target architecture, but you know that the architectures are compatible (for example AMD64 versus x86_64) you can use the --force-architecture flag to force an install.

To remove the package, use:

dpkg -r writerscafe2

See also the instructions for installation on an Eee PC.

RPM packages

To install an RPM package, you may be able to simply double-click it in the file manager. If this doesn't work, you can use the rpm command-line tool. Type something like the following in a terminal window:

rpm -i writerscafe2-2.10-1.i386.rpm

You need to have root permissions to do this, so either type su followed by the root password, or prefix the command with sudo and type your own password when prompted.

To upgrade the package (if an existing one is already installed), use -U instead of -i.

To remove the package, use:

rpm -e writerscafe2

See also the instructions for installation on an Aspire One running Linpus.

Tarballs

The tarball method is the only one currently supported on FreeBSD. With this method, you run a script in a terminal and you will be prompted to install either system-wide or locally. If installing system-wide, you may wish to login as super user (type su) or run the script with sudo, for example sudo ./installwc.

First, unarchive WritersCafe-x.yz.tar.gz to a suitable location in your filesystem. This will create two files, WritersCafeData.tar.gz and installwc. Run installwc and follow the instructions: it will install Writer's Café in one directory, and a script 'writerscafe2' in another, so you can invoke Writer's Café without having to set the WRITERSCAFEDIR environment variable. The script will install the appropriate MIME types and desktop entries, and if installed locally, will also add a Writer's Café icon to your desktop.

With the tarball method, you can uninstall by running the uninstallwriterscafe-x.yz script generated by the installation process.

How do I install Writer's Café on an Eee PC running Xandros?

Writer's Café has been adapted for the Eee PC screen, and installation is easy on a standard Eee PC setup running Xandros.

  1. Using your web browser, download the .deb archive and save to My Documents.

  2. Either:

    1. Navigate to My Documents using the File Manager (available from the Work tab).

    2. Right-click on the Writer's Café .deb file and select Install DEB File.

    3. When prompted, enter the password you gave when first setting up your Eee PC.

    4. Wait for confirmation that the installation worked.

    Or:

    1. Open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T.

    2. Type these two lines:
        cd My\ Documents
        sudo dpkg -i writerscafe2_2.10-1_i386.deb
        

      Substitute the correct file name for the name given above, depending on the version downloaded. To save typing, you can use command completion: for example, type cd My and then press the Tab key for the rest of the line to appear.

  3. Now Writer's Café should be installed. If the Writer's Café icon has not appeared in the Work tab, you need to quit any running applications and reboot, or restart the desktop by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace.

Click on the Work tab and then on the Writer's Café icon, waiting a few seconds for the application to appear.

If you are running the full KDE desktop, the procedure is much the same as above, but the icons will appear automatically in the Office or Word Processor menu group.

To help you make the most of the Eee PC screen, Writer's Café has a full-screen mode. Press F11; press the key again to get back to normal mode. You may need to click on an application window first if the key appears not to be working.

On some systems (German Eee PCs in particular), the .deb installation fails during dependency checking. If the .deb package doesn't install properly, please use the tarball version (.tar.gz) and install as per the general instructions for Linux. If possible, install using sudo installwc and choose system-wide installation.

How do I install Writer's Café on an Aspire One netbook running Linpus?

Writer's Café runs on the Aspire One running Linpus Linux. Here's how to install it:

  1. Using your web browser, download the .rpm archive and save to (for example) Desktop.

  2. The easy way to install the archive is to simply open the file in the Download dialog. Or, to install it with rpm if you have saved the file, open a terminal window by going to Files/My Documents, clicking on the File menu and selecting Terminal.

    In the terminal, type these two lines:

      cd Desktop
      sudo rpm -i writerscafe2-2.10-1.i386.rpm
      
    (use -U instead of -i if upgrading from an older version). Substitute the correct file name for the name given above, depending on the version downloaded. To save typing, you can use command completion: for example, type sudo rpm -i wr and then press the Tab key for the rest of the line to appear.

  3. It is now possible to run Writer's Café from the terminal window using the command writerscafe2, but to have the icon appear in the Home screen you need to do a bit of fiddling. In the next part, we will edit the file .config/xfce4/desktop/group_app.xml to add a launch icon for Writer's Café.

    1. Run OpenOffice.org Writer, and type Ctrl+O or click File/Open to show the file open dialog.
    2. Double-click on linpus so we're in our home directory.
    3. Click on the top-left icon to show a box for entering file names.
    4. In the box, type .config (return) - the preceding dot is important - and then double-click on xfce4, then on desktop, then on group_app.xml to open this file.
    5. Type Ctrl+F to get the Find dialog, and enter Work.desktop (return) to find the line before the one we wish to enter.
    6. Go to the end of that line, press (return), and type:

      <app sequence="7">/usr/share/applications/writerscafe2.desktop</app>

      where "7" is one more than the last number you find in this group, i.e. it's the next available number. (Each number represents a position in the icon grid, and should not be used by more than one icon entry.)

    7. Save the file, and quit Writer.
    8. Reboot (or in a terminal window, type xfdesktop-simple --reload). You should now see Writer's Café in the Work tab, and you can launch Writer's Café by clicking on it.

  4. Alternatively, instead of adding an icon as above, you can enable the right-click application menu and Writer's Café will automatically appear in the Office group. To enable the menu, type xfce-setting-show in a terminal window to see the control panel. Click on Desktop, then Desktop Preferences, and enable 'Show desktop menu on right click'. Close the settings panel and the terminal window, and now you can right click to show the application menu. Click on Office and then Writer's Café 2. For more information on this, please see this page from The Register.

If you are running a full KDE or GNOME desktop, you only need to do steps 1-3, and the icons will appear automatically in the Office or Word Processor menu group.

To help you make the most of the small Aspire One screen, Writer's Café has a full-screen mode. Press F11; press the key again to get back to normal mode. You may need to click on an application window first if the key appears not to be working.

How do I install Writer's Café on gOS (used on Cloudbook and Sylvania netbooks)?

Just click on the Linux Debian package link on the Download page, and choose to open the .deb in the GDebi Package Installer. Then click on Install Package in the Installer. When installation has completed, Writer's Café will now be available from the Applications/Office and Applications/Education menu groups.

If your gOS is running the 'wbar' launch dock (usually positioned at the bottom of the screen), you can follow these steps to add a Writer's Café icon:

  1. Run wbar_util from the command line or from the Programs menu, under Accessories.
  2. Add a new item (+).
  3. Click on 'unnamed' and enter the title Writer's Cafe.
  4. Add glaunch writerscafe2.desktop to the Command field.
  5. Add /usr/share/icons/hicolor/128x128/apps/writerscafe2.png to the Icon field.
  6. Click on the Settings icon (depicted as sliders) and make sure wbar will run on login, and that the option for -above-desk is also checked.
  7. Quit wbar_util, saving when prompted.
  8. Reboot.

Alternatively, edit the text file /home/<user>/.wbar and add these lines:

i /usr/share/icons/hicolor/128x128/apps/writerscafe2.png
t Writer's Cafe
c glaunch writerscafe2.desktop

Note: gOS is shipped with different dock implementations depending on version, so the above instructions may not work with all systems. Please let us know what your system uses so we can update this section.

What are the workarounds for Writer's Café not running correctly on Linux?

If there is a crash on startup or buttons and other graphical elements are not displaying correctly, there may be a conflict with a specific theme. In particular, the Elegant-Gnome theme set and Elegant-AwOken icon set on Ubuntu are known to cause problems. Please change the theme or just the icon set.

On SuSE 11.3 with KDE, the default GTK+ compatibility theme OxygenMolecule has a conflict with the application's PNG library. Choose another theme in System Settings/GTK Styles and Fonts, for example Clearlooks.

If you find that the application menu is not showing, you can work around it using one of the following methods:

  1. Use the appmenu or globalmenu as a panel menu by adding it to the panel; or
  2. remove the appmenu and globalmenu packages from the system: sudo apt-get remove appmenu-gtk. Disable the Ubuntu menu proxy with sudo gedit /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80appmenu and comment out the single line by inserting a hash character at the start, thus:
    #export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY="libappmenu.so"; or
  3. in a terminal window, type export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0; writerscafe2

How can I improve printing under Ubuntu 9.10 and above?

Some Linux distributions don't install a library that Writer's Café needs, so please go to the Synaptic Package Manager and install the libgnomeprintui2.2-0 package. Without this, only a fall-back PostScript printer will be used, and it will not be possible to select alternate printers.

On Windows, why does Writer's Café not always find Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Sometimes there is a problem with the PDF file association, resulting in advice from Writer's Café, despite the fact that Reader is installed on your system and PDF files can be launched from Explorer. This is caused by the absence of certain registry keys and can usually be fixed by re-installing Acrobat Reader.

If the problem persists, you can still read the PDF files by locating them on your system either from within Explorer or from the Reader file dialog.

Why do Writer's Café and Windows explorer sometimes use different shortcuts?

When you choose a document in a shortcut and launch it, sometimes the application that opens the document is not the one you expected (or the one used by Windows Explorer). This is because you have overridden the standard associations with different associations in Explorer - but this is not reflected in the basic association that Writer's Café uses.

You can fix this by making the association more pervasive. In Explorer (while browsing a drive, for example), go to the Tools menu and select Folder Options. Click on the File Types tab and scroll down to the extension you're interested in. Click on the extension. If there is button Restore, click it, and it will change to Advanced. Now click on Advanced and you will be able to select the application you want to associate with the extension. Click on open in the list of actions, and then click on Edit. Enter the program path in the second text field. If you browse for it, don't forget to add %1 to the end, to represent the data file to be opened. Press OK to confirm the changes, and then OK again to confirm the association changes.

You may wish to make a note of the original settings in case you want to restore them.

How many storylines and cards can be created?

There is no limit to either the number of storylines or the number of cards in registered copies of Writer's Café.

When I click on a card, the editor is still greyed out. What's going on?

Make sure that the menu item StoryLines | Edit in place is off (not checked). Also, single-click on a card, don't double-click.

Text in reports prints out too large. How can I reduce the text size?

You can change the standard text size in StoryLines General Preferences. You can also export to HTML and use your browser to print, or you can export to OpenOffice.org Writer to print.

How can I see an accurate print preview on Linux and Mac?

On Linux and Mac, the print preview displayed by Writer's Café may occasionally differ from the actual printout in terms of pagination. For more accurate results, you can use the built-in Linux or Mac print preview instead, invoked from the Print dialog. On Mac, the preview shows in the Preview application.

On Windows, there is no built-in preview facility, but on this platform the Writer's Café preview facility closely matches the printout.

How can I open a document generated by Writer's Café in Microsoft Word?

Writer's Café can export to the OpenDocument file format (ODF), using the extension .odt. This is supported by an increasing number of applications. You can use the free OpenOffice.org suite, available on Windows, Linux and Mac, to open these files and save to Microsoft Word. You can open and save ODF files directly in Word by installing the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office, which works in Office 2000, XP and 2003. Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will offer native ODF support.

Note that Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) has added ODF support to its TextEdit editor.

How do I create and manipulate multiple levels, such as chapters and scenes?

This topic can be quite tricky for beginners so here is an alternative to the manual.

In StoryLines you can have any number of 'levels' to reflect the hierarchy of the story. It's common to have two - Chapter and Scene. You can call them whatever you want, so this is just an example.

You can only see one level at a time in the storyline window, but you can switch between levels using the drop-down control above the outline, or by clicking on a card in the outline.

The way levels relate to each other is that a column at one level leads to one or more columns at the deeper level. There may or may not be cards in any of these columns (at any level). Since you can have multiple storylines, you might have several cards in one column (each in a different storyline) but it's probably more typical to have a card in just one storyline at a time.

You can specify multiple levels when you first create your StoryLines project, or later. To add levels later, go to the StoryLines -> Sheet Properties menu command, and click on Structure. You can create and name a new level (say, Chapter) and Writer's Café will ask where you want to insert the new level - in this case, before the first level.

Say you're looking at the Chapter level and there are 4 columns - this means there are 4 chapters. If you change to the Scene level, you may see that the chapter division markers indicate that 8 Scene columns are contained in that first chapter. Suppose you want to divide the first chapter into two chapters, of four columns each. You can do this at the Scene level, by right-clicking (or ctrl-clicking on a Mac) on column 3 and choosing Insert Chapter Break. This will insert a column at the Chapter level, though all you'll see on this level is a new vertical section marker.

If you want to add a chapter, you can do it from either the Scene or the Chapter level. To do it at the Scene level, right click and choose Add Chapter - it will be placed after the current chapter. To do it at the Chapter level, choose Chapter in the drop-down box above the outline and then choose Insert Column or Append Column in the right-click menu. Similarly you can use this menu for deleting columns and chapters.

You can also adjust chapter divisions graphically - at the Scene level, you can drag the vertical division left or right.

Sometimes the distinction between a column and a card is a bit annoying, because dragging cards from one place to another leaves empty columns behind. To help with that, hold down shift when you drag a card. If there are no other cards in that column, the now-empty column will be deleted automatically.

By default, the title of a chapter is generated by StoryLines, e.g. Chapter I, Chapter II. You might want to change the way this is presented in the outline and report, and you might want to replace it with your own title (which you can provide by clicking next to the column number and typing). To change the presentation, go to the StoryLines -> Sheet Properties menu command, and click on Structure. Click on a Level and click Edit. Now you can check or clear options to include: section name (Chapter), section title (your own title), and the section number. Various other options are provided for e.g. restarting numbering.

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