Feature Requests‎ > ‎

Rejected features

List of suggestions which aren't feasable or don't fit yWriter.

A common file format or export file for all writing tools

Every program contains different data fields and works in different ways. While you might be able to map the data from one writing tool with another other, it would restrict all future development to minor changes only. Nobody could add a feature lest it break the common format.

A proper spell check like Word which suggests replacements etc.

The spell checker in yWriter is designed to catch typos, not proof your work. You shouldn't be thinking about spelling or grammar while bashing out chapters - after all, you might delete half the scenes in your book before you've finished, so what's the point of careful proofing?
Write first, edit later.

A grammar checker

In my opinion these are okay for business letters and reports, not creative writing. When I do a final proof of my novel I use Word or OpenOffice to catch silly mistakes like duplicated words and so on. I don't care about those during the creative process.

Remember - yWriter is designed to write novels, not proof them.

Specific fields on the character sheet (e.g. height, eye colour, etc)

yWriter tries to be as open and free-form as possible, so that users can include as little or as much info as they need. It's just as easy to include personal info like date of birth in the bio text field, perhaps on its own line preceded by 'Date of birth:'

Proper formatting (bold, italics, etc) for project/scene/character notes

Unlike scene content, all notes and descriptions are stored in the project file as plain text. (Scene content is saved to individual RTF files.)

The only way to enable formatting for notes and descriptions would be for me to rewrite the format of the project file, storing all these items as encoded RTF. That would lead to incompatibilities between versions of yWriter - for example, if you edited your project on a recent version of yWriter, then loaded it into an older version, all the descriptions and notes would disappear and be lost forever.

I'm not saying I'll never add this feature, but it's more likely to be something I'll add for a major update, like yWriter6. (I have already started converting all the plain text fields like Author Bio into Rich Text fields, but for now they will only load and save plain text.)

Can I rename or renumber the scene RTF files?

Scene content is stored in individual RTF files, one per scene, and they're given a unique filename as they're created. Often people ask me why they can't rename these files to something more logical, and this is the reason: The program uses that filename when it creates autobackups. If you were to keep renaming the scene files, restoring from an earlier version of the same file would never work.

Example: My current project has 260 scenes. Imagine I want to keep all my descriptions, titles and characters but return to the scene content from 3 days ago. Normally I'd just copy the backed-up RTF5 folder over the current one. Now imagine I'd used a magic wand to automatically rename and renumber all 260 scene files 2 days ago ... the RTF filenames would all be different, and I'd have to open, inspect and rename all 260 back to their original filenames one by one.

If you really have to rename the scene files, this is the way to do it. Warning: one false move and your project won't load any more.

First, ensure you've closed yWriter so there's no chance your project is still open.
Next, right-click the project file in Windows Explorer and click Open With ...
(If you don't see the Open With ... option, hold the shift key before right-clicking.)
Choose Wordpad. Don't tick 'Always use this program'
You'll see the contents of the project file on your screen.
Search for the filename you want to change within the file.
Change the filename.
Now open the RTF5 folder, locate the file you wish to change and rename it to match.
Save and close the project file.

Now, when you reopen your project, yWriter will use the new scene filename.

As I say, this is really, really not something anyone should be doing, but the option is there if you need it.

Smart Quotes

Way too much effort for very little reward. I suggest you add smart quotes when you're reformatting the novel for submission.

More than 5 levels of 'Scene Status'

This is requested fairly often. It would be trivial to increase the number of levels from five (Outline-Draft-1st Edit-2nd Edit-Done) but it would also break compatibility with existing projects.
However, all is not lost. When working on a novel I use these settings to refer to the current draft, not overall project completion. E.g. If I'm working on the first draft of my novel, each level refers to first draft standards. E.g. 'Done' means that scene is done where the first draft is concerned, not 'done' as in I'll never need to edit it again.
When the current draft is done, I reset every scene to 'Outline' or 'Draft' (you can do this in bulk, using the scene list) and then set the status levels against my next revision of the manuscript.

Collaborative Projects

I get this request now and then, where more than one author is working on the same project and they'd like some way of checking scenes out and back in again so two people can't work on the same thing.
I may add it for yWriter6, but it's not a high priority because there is a way to do this manually. First, identify the scene RTF filename from the scene list. Now send this file as an attachment to your co-author. Next, add a comment to the top of the scene (and the description) which says 'Checked out to x' with the date. Done!
When the scene file comes back, make sure you've closed your project and then save the scene file into the RTF folder (overwriting the existing file).
Just remember that global search/replace isn't going to work on scenes which are sitting on someone else's computer.

yWriter for the iPhone/iPad/Mobile/Other

I spend all my free time writing software for Windows, and after 20 years of programming I have a lot of skill and experience. I use those skills to write software I need, and then I put in a lot of work to make that software available to all, free of charge.
What I can't do is write software for portable devices: I don't have the developer tools, I don't own any portable devices, I've never owned a Mac, and even if someone gave me thousands of dollars worth of hardware and tools I still wouldn't have enough time to learn how to design, write and debug software in another language. I only have so much time.
There is hope though: For years people asked me for Mac or Linux versions of my software, and Wine has evolved to a stage where most of my programs will run on those platforms. In the near future portable devices should be powerful enough to run Wine and that means my programs should run on those devices too.

If you want to incorporate the iPad into your novel writing, try exporting your project as HTML and saving it to the device, then use an iPad word processor or text editor to write your scenes. You can easily transfer them back to yWriter later.

Export as a formatted manuscript

Once upon a time this was a 'never going to happen', but a LaTeX exporter has been added to yWriter. This allows export to tex format, which can then be converted to PDF, DVI and PS. I use it to create paperback editions of my novels, and it works perfectly.
You can include native Latex commands in your scenes by enclosing them in <TEX and /TEX> tags, or you can start any scene with the <TEX> keyword and yWriter will export that entire scene as-is. This allows you to build complicated projects with title pages, include images and diagrams, footnotes and more.

Sorting the character list

yWriter's character list has a special sort routine which puts all the major characters first and then lists the minor ones below those. Therefore, there's no auto-sort, since it would break this special ordering. However, you can still move characters up and down in the list with your mouse and the new order will be remembered.