Jump to content
Storyist Forums
Fitch

Styles.

Recommended Posts

I'm new to the program, but I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out the secret handshakes associated with styles. Where can I go to make changes to the style sheet that will actually take effect and apply to every single new text sheet of the same type?

 

Orrin says edit chapter styles. I can't find chapter styles anyplace. When I go to format > Styles > Change Style Sheet every single choice is greyed out. All of them. In fact I haven't been able to find a single situation when they aren't all greyed out. I think that menu might have part of the solution if I could figure out how to change it so it effects the whole document but that's eluded me so far.

 

I've tried the steps in the Using Styles Sticky. A post that is much appreciated. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. I haven't been able to figure out the secret ingredient to have them always work.

 

Sometimes, when I make the change as suggested, I go to the next text page and select body text, and I'm back to single spaced helvetica. Sometimes I'm not. I haven't figure out how to make the change take effect on body text throughout the document. What I was hoping was that I could change Body text, and then just select all the body text in a scene/section and have it reformat to the new default but I can't reliably make it do that.

 

I see a description in the top window of the inspector that says, body text + courier final draft + other things. That has me thinking part of the problem may be my formatting history, not using the styles correctly to start with. If so, tell me how too change the style sheet for the document away from the default helvetica and single spacing and then I can reformat the sections as I edit them to make them consistent.

 

I notice that

 

Thanks

Fitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fitch,

 

I am confident you're not the dumbest person on the planet. Although you did put an "i" in my name when there isn't one, so you lose a couple of points for that. ;)

 

I think one of the confusing elements is that styles are "per document" and not "per project." (FWIW, I'd love global styles myself, so that the same styles would be available for every document, and changes I made for one style would be persistent). It sounds like you have imported document; they may have imported with no styles attached. If this is the case, you won't be able to edit any styles, as they're not there.

 

I've never tried adding styles to a document without any. Maybe try the Import Styles command? I can certainly get you to a place where you can at least play with styles.

 

1. Start by clicking the "Create New Project" in the splash screen or File > New Project. In the template chooser, pick "blank" (although any will do).

 

2. Now either click the "+" button in the Project View, or select File > New > Text File. Select "Novel." (although, as above, any will do)

 

Now, take a look at the Inspector (click the "i" icon on the top right of the Toolbar, or select View > Inspector > Show Inspector (or press Command + Option + i on your keyboard). The inspector will open on the right of your Storyist window. Make sure you're showing the "format inspector" which is the Inspector tab with the little paragraph symbol. The very first word in your inspector will be your currently active Style, and below that is a list of all Styles in the document. To the right of each style name, there's a downward pointing triangle (the "disclosure triangle.") Click on that, and you get options like Edit Style, Delete Style, Make New Style from Selection, etc.

 

If you change something, and you want it to be persistent, be sure to choose either Redefine Style from Selection or Edit Style from that disclosure triangle menu.

 

As I said, this should hold true for any text file type you create. Different text files have different styles attached to them by default. So the Notebook Entry text file will have different options than the Novel, and so on.

 

As I said, styles are per document, not per project. So if you have perfectly edited the styles for one Novel and you want to use those same styles in another novel:

• If it's another novel in the same project (for example, I have one project file for an entire series, there's currently 6 books in it) you have to right click on a novel with the desired style and choose "duplicate."

 

• If you want to use the styles in another project altogether, you'll have to have your novel in the target project selected and choose Import Styles. This may be the way to add styles to your manuscripts without any styles BTW—try to Import Styles from the "Getting Started" document and see if it helps.

 

Anyway, hopefully that will give you a place to start, at least. I don't think style handling is perfect in Storyist but I think it's very good. If you do eBooks, it also outputs clean XHTML, which is a very nice thing (you'd be surprised how much crap applications can add). I am with you that global styles would be a very cool thing, hopefully that's an option we get one day.

 

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Orren <with an e :) >

 

Thanks for the reply and optimism about my state of mind.

 

I went back and edited my original post to take some of the heat out of it - it said zero views so I thought I might have gotten to it before someone replied to it. Alas, I didn't.

 

The styles are really frustrating. It doesn't help that entering "stylesheet" in the search field of Storyist help yields the result that there are no topics on the subject. Help is ... no help. Zero. Zip. Nothing but inane suggestions. <Insert icon that's banging head against wall.> Edited to add: Searching for style in the help file comes up empty too. That's a shame.

 

I worked to follow your 'how to' with the thought that I could create a project as a template (which I was eventually able to figure out - see below)- that failed, however I did succeed in creating a text file template that has all the desired formatting. This is how I did it:

 

I selected file > New > Project.

 

A window opened that offered a selection of templates and directed that I, "Choose a template for your new project:".

I clicked on "Blank" to highlight it, then clicked the <Choose> button. (Syntax that duplicates menus is critical to understanding for a new user.)

 

I clicked on "Project" in the upper left corner, right clicked, and did New > Text File. It opened a window that offered text file templates to choose from.

 

I clicked on Scene Text and then the button to choose it.

 

With that selected under project and the inspector set to the paragraph mark, I got a list of styles.

 

I proceeded to edit the individual styles. I started with the Default Style since all the others seem to be variants of that style.

 

I formatted each of the styles to be the way I wanted it. Font, spacing, indents, etc. I did it with nothing but the text sheet selected under project. I ended up with a short list that included Default, Chapter Title, Headings 1 through 3, and Body Text.

 

Then, having done nothing else in the project, I right clicked on the text file and selected the option to save it as a template named "Standard Scene Text."

 

I experienced nearly unbounded joy when I right clicked on "Project" New > Text File, went to "My Templates", picked "Standard Scene Text", and the resulting new text file had all the desired formatting characteristics. I was grinning fit to split a lip at that moment.

 

Then, still having added nothing else to the file, with a heart full of hope, I did File > Save as Template. I expected, at that point, to be able to save the project as a template, "My Novel Template" for example, that had my new standard scene text template attached to it. Alas, that was not to be. there is no option to save a project as a template that I can find. I might be missing it, but I didn't find it.

 

Edited to add: I did find it! I feel like some sort of a deity! I discovered that if I started a new project from a blank template, set up the structure the way I wanted it, I could click on "Project" at the very top of the project outline window on the left, and that gave me the option to save it as a project template. This is huge. It means I can construct templates, or import them from the many scrivener templates I've found on various websites, and save them as Storyist templates. Probably I'm the only Storyist user that didn't already know this, but just in case there is one more out there wandering in the same darkness I was, I had to add this.

 

However, after a few seconds of attitude adjustment facilitated by more coffee, I created a new project using the Blank document template (I haven't figure out how to add my own to that collection of choices ... it may not be possible). I was delighted to learn that when I wanted to insert a new text sheet into this new project, if I clicked on "My Templates", the newly defined "Standard Scene Text" template was available and it did contain the desired formatting.

 

My novel in progress, which was imported from Scrivener, is apparently a hopeless case. I'll just reformat each text file as I get to it. There is apparently no way to apply the "Standard Scene Text" I just created to an existing text file. While the preceding sentence is true, there is a work around. I created a new text file using my template, then used shift+Command+v to paste the text into it with matching styles. At that point, because the number of styles is really only 3 in a normal scene, I just select it all, format it as body text and then apply the heading or title as needed which is usually only one or two paragraphs. That's reasonably quick to do.

 

There is some joy in the fact that I can use it to create new text files. Since I have 6 chapters left to write, I can at least use it for the scenes in those chapters.

 

Fitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Fitch:

It sounds like Orren already helped with the specifics. It may be useful to keep the larger picture in mind, because the handling of documents is one area where Scrivener and Storyist take different approaches. In Scrivener, each piece of text is a separate RTF document stored in the project: that's why you compile before printing or exporting. It's a temporary merge, in effect. The advantage is that you can, say, export just one chapter. The disadvantage is that each piece of the document is a separate file (even though Scrivener makes it appear to be part of a larger whole).

 

Documents in Storyist operate more like documents in Word, with the crucial difference that Storyist allows you to drag chapters and sections/scenes into new positions within the document. But one document can hold my entire 450-page novel. A separate document might hold the sequel—or a screenplay, or notes, or backup text, or the comic book version. That's why you wouldn't necessarily want the same styles to be applied to every document: your screenplay formatting shouldn't change every time you adjust a style for the novel or comic book.

 

I agree that it would be great to have the option to say, "yes, use the styles for book 1 in book 2." And if you are looking at 100 sections now revealed to be separate files, the prospect of redoing the style sheet for every one of them is indeed daunting. But it's not a bug, it's a feature, as they say. The solution is to merge the sections in Scrivener (perhaps by compiling them into a single RTF file for export). You just need to make sure you do two things: (1) set the separator to #; and (2) make sure each chapter title starts with the word Chapter. Then you can import a single formatted file into Storyist, click in the text window, choose Format > Style > Change Stylesheet, and pick the stylesheet you want (say, Novel). Then choose Format > Style > Apply Styles by Matching Text, accept the defaults, and click OK. You will have chapters and sections within a single large document, and whatever changes you make to the styles will apply to all the chapters and sections within that document. It may not be perfect (you may have to reapply italics, for example), but it's a vast improvement over the correct every section one-by-one approach! :)

 

EDIT: I have since found another solution, so see below before you decide.

 

Hope that helps,

Marguerite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. The Styles options are greyed out until you click on the text window. If necessary, double-click a word to highlight it, then click away. That just ensures that you are operating in the text window. The styles commands don't apply until you are working with text: that's why they're greyed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Documents in Storyist operate more like documents in Word, with the crucial difference that Storyist allows you to drag chapters and sections/scenes into new positions within the document.

Actually, you can do this is Word for Windows. They haven't added this feature to MacWord, I wish they would.

 

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orren, good to know. Is it done through the outline?

 

Fitch, while checking on this, I did discover another solution, which will work better for you if you have already edited your files in Storyist. This fix works in version 3.0 and above.

 

1. In the project outline, Control-click/right click on the text file with the styles you have edited.

2. Choose Save "Name" as Template.

3. Leave the Save as set as Text File Template (the default) and give your template a name, category, and (optional) description. Click OK.

4. In the project outline, select the next section where you want to apply the styles. Click in the text window.

5. From the Format menu, choose Styles, then Change Stylesheet, then Template Stylesheet.

6. In the window that opens, select the template you named in step 3. Make sure the styles are matched properly (Section Text to Section Text, say). If they aren't, click on the double arrows to fix them.

7. Click Change Stylesheet.

 

The styles will change. I just tried this again while writing out the instructions, and it works.

Best,

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orren, good to know. Is it done through the outline?

I'm sure the styles have to have certain heading values set up, but you don't need to be in outline view. Assuming you have your Word Styles matching your Storyist styles, you just open your document, then select View Sidebar > Document Map and you get a sidebar with your chapter titles. You can then grab and drag them in the sidebar until your heart's content.

 

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, you can do this is Word for Windows. They haven't added this feature to MacWord, I wish they would.

 

Orren

 

You could do it using the outline feature in the original character based WORD as well. That early version of WORD also had a fantastic "Glossary" function. My wife was a school teacher, she used that to create the awards certificates (~300 of them) for a whole middle school in about two hours. I thought they destroyed a lot of what Made WORD unique when they came out with the Windows version.

 

Fitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Fitch:

It sounds like Orren already helped with the specifics. It may be useful to keep the larger picture in mind, because the handling of documents is one area where Scrivener and Storyist take different approaches. In Scrivener, each piece of text is a separate RTF document stored in the project: that's why you compile before printing or exporting. It's a temporary merge, in effect. The advantage is that you can, say, export just one chapter. The disadvantage is that each piece of the document is a separate file (even though Scrivener makes it appear to be part of a larger whole).

 

Documents in Storyist operate more like documents in Word, with the crucial difference that Storyist allows you to drag chapters and sections/scenes into new positions within the document. But one document can hold my entire 450-page novel. A separate document might hold the sequel—or a screenplay, or notes, or backup text, or the comic book version. That's why you wouldn't necessarily want the same styles to be applied to every document: your screenplay formatting shouldn't change every time you adjust a style for the novel or comic book.

 

I agree that it would be great to have the option to say, "yes, use the styles for book 1 in book 2." And if you are looking at 100 sections now revealed to be separate files, the prospect of redoing the style sheet for every one of them is indeed daunting. But it's not a bug, it's a feature, as they say. The solution is to merge the sections in Scrivener (perhaps by compiling them into a single RTF file for export). You just need to make sure you do two things: (1) set the separator to #; and (2) make sure each chapter title starts with the word Chapter. Then you can import a single formatted file into Storyist, click in the text window, choose Format > Style > Change Stylesheet, and pick the stylesheet you want (say, Novel). Then choose Format > Style > Apply Styles by Matching Text, accept the defaults, and click OK. You will have chapters and sections within a single large document, and whatever changes you make to the styles will apply to all the chapters and sections within that document. It may not be perfect (you may have to reapply italics, for example), but it's a vast improvement over the correct every section one-by-one approach! :)

 

EDIT: I have since found another solution, so see below before you decide.

 

Hope that helps,

Marguerite

 

Hi Marguerite,

 

Are you saying that if I have my novel in one big MS-WORD file, have the word chapter at the front of each chapter, and a section separator ahead of each scene (that i want to be a separate text document in the chapter, then save it as an RTF file, Storyist will import with the chapters as folders and the sections indented beneath them, like a Scrivener file imports?

 

That's exactly how WriteWay Professional (that I've been using for the last 3 years) imports word or RTF files.

 

I gotta try that.

 

Fitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Marguerite,

 

Are you saying that if I have my novel in one big MS-WORD file, have the word chapter at the front of each chapter, and a section separator ahead of each scene (that i want to be a separate text document in the chapter, then save it as an RTF file, Storyist will import with the chapters as folders and the sections indented beneath them, like a Scrivener file imports?

That's close to what she's saying, but not exact. She's saying if you have you novel as one big word file, have the word "chapter" at the front of each chapter, and then format the word "chapter" using a style that you create named Chapter Title that matches the Storyist style Chapter Title, Storyist will import each as a separate chapter inside a manuscript that can have it's own independent sections, etc.

 

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost. The two points that differ are:

 

1. They will not be separate text files. They will be one file. That's what you want for Storyist (unlike Scrivener).

2. If you do set up the chapters in Word with the Chapter Title style, as Orren suggests, Storyist will recognize the chapter breaks on import. If you DO NOT, you can still apply the style after import by going to the Format menu, then the Styles menu, then choosing Apply Styles by Matching Text. That's why the chapters have to be named Chapter X—because Storyist looks for that word and applies the Chapter Title style to whatever is in that paragraph. As soon as it does, presto, chapters!

 

Even without the word "Chapter," you can create new chapters by applying the Chapter Style to them. You can also take out the word "Chapter" with search-and-replace after the style is applied. It's the style, not the word, that creates the chapter.

 

The crucial point is that you keep the whole document in one file, so that any changes to styles affect the whole kit and caboodle, not one teensy portion.

 

At the top of this thread (#3) is a pinned post on using Word styles to set up files for Storyist, if you'd like to play with that. Just be aware that Steve simplified the import options after folks complained, so it's easier now than those instructions indicate.

Best,

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×