Manuskript Reviews

about Manuskript · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

Perfect structure for me as a RPG-campaign style plotter and storyteller. Collects everything in one place and really support iterative breakdown workflow. Yet, no workflow is enforced, it's just there, an obvious place for almost everything related to working with the story.

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Active development, all data stored in plain text so I can work from mobile as well as on the desktop, lots of essential features for outlining, writing, and publishing.

And in markdown! Rich text is completely unnecessary in the writing phase, and Manuskript doesn't bother with it, which is awesome.

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I just started writing a novel and came across Manuskript. It is a SOLID project (version 0.5.0). I am very impressed by the following features:

  1. Very responsive, intuitive UI
  2. Saves all data in plain text. I use Vim for my substantial writing / programming. I love how this application lets me do the bulk of my writing externally while displaying my data in nice interface when I want to look at it all in one place
  3. Implements a snowflake-method client very well. I actually learned about the snowflake method thanks to Manuskript

Excellent, excellent piece of software. Puts others to shame, especially for those of us looking for a great outlining tool for a monumental text.

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The only program that fits my workflow for larger (read: multi-chapter) works, and my secondary option for shorter works.

I've used version 0.6.0, for Linux (Mint 18.2) and Windows (7), and just updated to 0.8.0. Most of this was thus written with 0.6.0 in mind, with a few allowances for visible updates.

Pros:

  • Markdown. A must for me.
  • Ability to export as html, amongst other things.
  • Small file size. Default is a program-specific compressed archive file; if you untick the box for that, it's a folder structure where everything is saved as .md files.
  • Split-screen option, useful for comparing scenes or checking notes.
  • Ability to choose what you can and can't compile (read: export), so you can keep notes mixed in with the final product without affecting it.
  • Custom font/background colour options in writing window.
  • Cross-platform; consistent between Windows and Linux.
  • Option to remember previous project, which can be unticked.
  • Option to display/hide wordcount in tree view. If a wordcount goal for a scene/folder is set, also displays a progress bar below the working area.

Cons:

  • In 0.6.0, occasionally crashes without warning when trying to, for example, move a folder from one project to another. Not sure if it still does in 0.8.0.
  • No program-wide dark theme; UI is consistently light.
  • No as-you-write live preview. (I prefer working split-screen edit/preview view where possible.)
  • Does not remember the previous save (or load) location for new files; only recent files are remembered. When working on multiple devices, have to open each project on each new device for it to find them again later.
  • On Linux, does not support automatically updating.

Other notes:

  • Spellcheck doesn't always display red underlines when working in folders (rather than scenes). Clicking into the scene should fix this.
  • I have had times when spellcheck has only offered to add words to dictionary when it had suggestions; words it didn't have suggestions for could not be added. (In my case, this included a character name.)
  • When working in a folder, does not automatically scroll the view when the cursor goes offscreen.
  • Displays markdown marks (eg asterisks) inline, while also showing the formatting. This is my personal preference, but won't be to everyone's taste.
  • Font face choices save to the file; if using between multiple devices, all devices must have the font face of choice to display properly, otherwise it reverts to the default (sans serif iirc) font.
  • Windows version displays two windows on the taskbar (Win7); one background and one foreground.
  • Does not support rich text. Some html support (or at least highlighting).
  • Some markdown is displayed with alternate colours, which cannot be changed and may be difficult to read on darker backgrounds.
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A lot of potential! Even thought interface did not come naturally to me, I love the functionalities it offers!

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Free text editor that has all the tools that I need.

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about Manuskript · · Helpful Not helpful -1 Helpful Report as spam

It's true to the Unix philosophy, has an intuitive UI, and is quite usable.

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