Two Steps Forward One Step Back

Well 2.11 is out for the IPad and the iPhone version should be out shortly.One new bug snuck in. Element titles can occasionally get overwritten with generic names.  You may want to wait for 2.12 before upgrading.

2.12 will be submitted today as an emergency fix.The 2.12 version will also have few other things (iPhone and iPad), most of them are enhancements and one small new feature.

The summary screen has some new statistics (time/session,words/session, and words/minute.)

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Any element marked as a synopsis has a special bubble type:

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The major enhancement is that when you mark an element as Done, the text is locked and becomes read-only.  You can toggle it back to In Progress to unlock it. This will keep you from accidentally changing your text after its finished.   There is a new lock indicator on the Element Edit Screen.

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The minor new feature is that there is a new button on the accessory view. This button will allow you to split your element at the insertion point—it won’t work if you have something selected.The part of the text above the point remains in the current element.  Everything past the point gets moved into a new element (chapter, scene, etc.) that is inserted after the current one.  The new element has a default title of “Split Element”.

Here’s how it works:Place the insertion point at the split point.

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Tap the torn page icon on the accessory bar.

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You will get a confirmation dialog.

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Tap Confirm to split.

You will have a new Split Element created with the text after the insertion point. 

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So that’s what’s in the next rev.  Here is an updated sneak peek at the next big feature:
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Sent from Auteureist™ – http://auteureist.com/ 

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Status Update Time

Time for another check on what I’ve been doing.  First of all, 2.1 is out for both platforms and the good news is the bug count is dropping rapidly.  I think we are nearing the end of the birth pangs (I hope).  No, 2.1 is not bug free but they aren’t critical ones.

The next release will be 2.11 and I should be submitting it this weekend.  As you can see by the version number its not a major update.  So what’s in it?  It’s mostly a bug fix release.  The main thing is I’ve reworked the password handling which should address password screen inconsistencies.  That alone should make people happy.I’ve also made working with restores on device and with Dropbox simpler.  You no longer have to do a restart.  The app will also now automatically create the proper folders in Dropbox.  People were trying to use it without reading the documentation and encountering unpredictable behaviors.  This should make using Dropbox more intuitive.

There are also some UI adjustments to make things a bit more consistent throughout and in preparation for some new things.The full list of the fixes is on the website.

I’ve been concentrating on fixes, and haven’t had time to update the website as much as I would like.  I have been focusing on the Working With Novels section however, and it does have some new content.Also, I am looking for a couple new beta testers.  There is information on signing up on the site.  Signing up doesn’t guarantee you will be a tester, but you will be on a list for the next round.

There are also a couple of enhancements.  I’ve gotten some interest from several non-fiction writers.  Auteureist began life as a tool for creative novel writers.  It’s obviously evolved.  I am gratified non-fiction writers see value in it.  But they want more.  To address non-fiction writers, I’ve added a new group to the main screen simply labelled “Other”.  The same way novels have chapters and scripts have scenes, “Other” has “Sections”.  In this iteration, Other works like a novel.  There really is nothing different apart from the labels.  It at least let’s you keep non-fiction from fiction.  So this is the new main screen:

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Other requests i’ve gotten are for better organizational tools. One (non—fiction) writer wanted a way to distinguish items created via the “Brainstorm” feature from normal elements.  Personally, I thought this was a great idea since I’ve encountered the same limitation.  So I’ve adjusted the Brainstorming feature a little.  Now items that you create using Brainstorming have an asterisk in their title.  This changes the status circle in the element list to a lightbulb.  The nice thing about this approach is if you decide to convert a brainstormed idea into an element (chapter, scene, etc.) just remove the asterisk and the item becomes an element.  Add an asterisk and it switches to an idea.  This allows you to promote an idea to an element and back at will.  The asterisk also flags the item as an idea in the reports you export.  Previously, you couldn’t tell the difference.  Simple, cool, and useful; the type of solution I like.  So what’s it look like?  Here is the iPad with some brainstormed ideas.

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A couple of people have asked for outlining. Don’t hold your breath.  Auteureist isn’t meant to be an outlining tool—they exist.  So don’t count on ever seeing nested chapters or sections. Its hard enough writing one app, but writing an outlining app inside of Auteureist is not in the cards at this point. Which isn’t to say I won’t provide more ways of organizing your writing.

Here’s a sneak peek of the next major feature:

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Sent from Auteureist™ on iPad – http://auteureist.com/

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Auteureist Workflow

This blog entry deals with another question that a lot of new users may have.  ”What workflow should I follow?” I’ll describe a basic workflow, but the flexibility of the app allows you to work the way you like to. Auteureist™ has a lot of flexibility and capability and it may be confusing until you learn the basic flow.I’m going to assume you want to write a novel, but this applies to everything but the journal.

The first thing you want to do is create a novel.  From the main screen tap the add.(+) button in the navigation bar at the top.  This will move you to the Writing Edit screen where you can fill in the basic information about your novel.  Tap the Save button.It may appear that nothing has happened, but if you look at the title bar it has changed to “Chapter”. You are now on the Element Editing Screen.  Fill out the information dealing with your first chapter.  Save it from the action button.

A blank screen will be displayed.  This is the Text Editing screen.  This is where you type your work.  A couple of things to note.  There are two ghost buttons along the right edge.  The top one will toggle between full and normal screen mode.  The bottom one will place your cursor at the end of your text (scroll to bottom).There is a progress bar below the title bar that tracks your progress to the word or page count you set for the chapter.

Now if you are on the iPhone you may be wondering how do I hide the keyboard.  You can tap the title bar to hide the keyboard.  When the keyboard is hidden tapping the title bar will toggle between the word or page count, and the name of the chapter.To create another chapter get back to the Element List screen which is the open book icon on the toolbar.  You can then hit the add button again to create a new chapter. 

So what about characters and locations?  When should you create those?  If you’re a planner you can create them after creating your novel and before you write any chapters.  You can also create them as you are writing your chapter either using the top toolbar or the one on the keyboard (which is more convenient). I’ve already described the toolbar attached to the keyboard in other blog entries.
What about reordering your chapters or deleting them? Auteureist supports the standard ways of reordering and deleting items.

Once you finish a chapter you should go into the Element Editing View again and toggle the switch to Completed.  That will provide a visual indicator in the Element List by changing the red in progress circle to green.  Posting a blog entry also does this.The next step is, if there were no problems back it up from the main screen.

That’s the basic flow. You can jump between screens pretty freely, just save your work before you do so.  Another hint is that most screens allow you to tap the title bar to move you back to the main screen regardless of where you are (there are a couple exceptions such as the Text Editing screen I just talked about.)Once you get used to this basic flow you can adjust it to work the way you prefer.

I hope that helps until the documentation site is complete.

Sent from Auteureist™ on iPad – http://auteureist.com/

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What’s Coming In 2.1

Now that Auteureist version 2.01 has been released for both the iPhone and iPad it’s time to focus on the next major revision, 2.1.

Version 2.1 will be a stability release plus two new features and some fixes.

Let’s talk fixes first.Version 2.01 is stable but there are some bugs and annoyances which have been addressed in 2.1. 

I’ve redone the mode indicator I mentioned in an earlier post.  It now works properly and looks decent.Auteureist works on the entire novel or script, or on a single chapter or scene depending on what you are focusing on (the mode).  When you deal with the novel as a whole the toolbar is a darker shade, once you switch to a chapter or scene it is lighter.  Here are the skinned and unskinned versions.

Novel mode:

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(unskinned):

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Scene mode:

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(unskinned):

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Once you are in a particular focus all the toolbar buttons will only work with that focus until you change.  What does that mean?  Viewing characters will only show characters in a given chapter or in the whole novel.  Exporting will export the chapter you are working on or the whole novel.  And so forth. This was never very clear or consistent, but is fixed in 2.1.Another bug fix is that in 2.01 exporting in RTF format to Dropbox only works for the whole writing (Novel, script, etc.). You can now export single chapters properly.

Importing wirelessly via Auteureist Sync has a problem creating elements and is fixed.

Zipping exports works but created lots of extra folders in the zip file, these have been removed.Zipping an export to Dropbox now works.

Switching to full screen editing mode on the iPad is fixed.

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That’s it for fixes and should make life better.Now for the two new features.

First, I mentioned printing.  Printing will be introduced in 2.1 and works from the element screen:

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As well as the Sync screen which allows your to print in various formats:

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The second new feature is a major one and free for both devices.  Auteureist can now generate and export your writing in ePub format which is compatible with iBooks and other ePub readers.  You can either email the ePubs or export them to Dropbox.Here is the export format menu dialog:

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Here is the email with the ePub as an attachment.

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Here it is in a received email:

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And here it is on the iBooks shelf:

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And a page:

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So that’s what to look forward to in the next week or so.

Sent from Auteureist™ on iPad – http://auteureist.com/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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