Writer's Cafe - a place to be creative

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Writer's Café: What's New in 2?

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 StoryLines 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.
  • Further adapted to small netbook screens.

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 window contains the Desktop, from which all Writer's Café tools can be accessed. Some tools, such as the Journal and Notebook, are shown with in the Desktop. The Home window also 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.
  • You can easily install Writer's Café onto an external drive to make the application and your data mobile.
  • Increased range of supported platforms: run Writer's Café on Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris x86.
  • Easily check for, and download, updates to the application.

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.

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