Writer's Cafe

2.14 Shareware    
3.4/5 20
Writer's Cafe is a software toolkit for all fiction writers, whether experienced or just starting out.





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Writer's Cafe is a software toolkit for all fiction writers, whether experienced or just starting out. The heart of Writer's Cafe is StoryLines, a powerful but simple to use story development tool that dramatically accelerates the creation and structuring of your novel or screenplay.

Designed by published novelist Harriet Smart, it also includes a notebook, journal, research organiser, inspirational quotations, writing exercises, and a 60-page e-book, "Fiction: The Facts", distilling 20 years of writing experience.

Writer's Cafe is designed to be a playground for the imagination, making writing fiction fun and fulfilling.

Here are some key features of "Writer s Cafe":

Drag and drop cards
• Arrange your ideas graphically in cards, along as many tracks as you wish

Enter as much or as little as you like
• Each card holds a description, plus optional information: time, location, annotation, dialogue, and an image.

Dialogue highlighting as you type
• If you're typing a play or screenplay, StoryLines can colour your dialogue, understanding elements such as cues, action, and transitions (Windows only).

Text import
• Import existing text, and rapidly create new cards from selected paragraphs.

Instant reports
• As soon as you have made an edit, a linear version will be updated in the Report window; you can choose from a selection of report styles, each with its own preview to help you see how it will format your project.

Outline view
• You can see an outline tree view to the left of your tracks window, for quick navigation

File export
• Export your project in report form to your favourite word processor or screenwriting software, in OpenOffice writer, plain text or HTML format

Make HTML Help books
• Export your project to Windows HTML Help format (on Windows) or cross-platform HelpView HTML Help (all platforms).

Story details
• StoryLines provides fields for you to fill in important aspects of your story, such as genre, concept, pitch and so on.

Character profiles
• Add details about each of your characters with the Character Profiles tool.

Story locations
• Describe each of your locations with the Story Locations tool.
• Copy and paste
• Copy or cut a card or several cards, and paste to the appropriate place in your project.
• Spelling checker
• Check for typos with the built-in spellchecker, available in a number of languages.

• Store cards that don't yet have a home in a Pocket, for placing on a storyline later.
• Undo/Redo
• Undo/redo your major edits, all the way back to where you last saved the project

Online help
• Comprehensive online help is supplied, as well as tooltips and context-sensitive help for dialogs. Check out the Quick Tour for a bird's eye view of StoryLines.

Highly customizable
• Tailor the way your project looks by changing fonts, colours and even use bitmap tiles for the tracks window and cards; hide windows that you don't need
• Keyboard shortcuts for high-speed editing
• Use keyboard shortcuts to make editing your projects fast and natural


Unarchive WritersCafe-x.y-i386.tar.gz to a temporary location, such as /tmp. Then run the script installwc and follow the instructions. This will copy the application files and launch scripts writerscafe and storylines to locations of your choice.

You can uninstall Writer's Cafe by removing its folder.

Before running Writer's Cafe, you may need to set the PDFVIEWER, BROWSER and AUDIOPLAYER environment variables if Writer's Cafe cannot find a PDF viewer, web browser or audio player. If you install Adobe Acrobat, it should set up the MIME types as follows. In .mailcap:
application/vnd.fdf;/usr/local/Acrobat5/bin/acroread -tempFile %s

In .mime.types:
application/vnd.fdf pdf

If you need to invoke Writer's Cafe, StoryLines or WordTiles directly, either launch them from the appropriate application directory or set the environment variables WRITERSCAFEDIR, STORYLINESDIR and WORDTILESDIR to the respective application directories.

On Linux, accented characters don't show up correctly, or crash the application.

By default, an application starts in UTF-8 encoding on some versions of Linux, such as RHL 8 and above. Writer's Cafe is not set up to convert text to UTF-8. So, before launching applications, please type:

export LANG=en_US

Other countries require different symbols, for example sv_SE in Sweden. You can find out yours by finding the current LANG setting and stripping the .UTF-8, with for example:

set | grep LANG

The scripts supplied on installation (writerscafe and storylines) do this already.

Writer's Cafe has display problems on KDE. What can I do?

If you are using KDE and find that Writer's Cafe backgrounds display some areas in grey, try disabling the GTK-QT theme by removing the gtk-qt-engine package via the package manager on your system, such as YAST (SuSE) or Networks (Xandros). Examples of KDE-based systems that include gtk-qt by default are SUSE Linux 9.2 and Xandros 4.2. Unfortunately gtk-qt is quite buggy, preventing GTK applications from properly painting their backgrounds (at least in gtk-qt 0.6 and below). Try installing QtCurve instead, which provides a consistent look and feel between KDE and GTK applications.

How can I install Writer's Cafe on Debian Linux 3.1?

Install the regular Linux release, then login as root and do:

ln -s libtiff.so.3 libtiff.so.4
Last updated on August 27th, 2008
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