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Special Stories User Guide - Sharing

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Ways to export a story list on Android

Special Stories includes facilities to transfer stories between devices. So you could, for instance, export from a phone and import to a tablet. You can also open your stories in Special Words, and email them PDF format. Except in the case of PDF, these features allow you to transfer the spoken words for a story, as well as its text and pictures.

In Android 4.4 and later, you can print stories directly to any Android-compatible printer. For earlier versions, you can email stories as PDF files and then print them elsewhere.

These features are available in the Sharing view in Special Stories, which you can access by tapping Sharing in the main view's menu.

The Print Story button is only present if the device is running Android 4.4 or later. Tapping this allows you to choose a story to print. If you have more than one collection, you will be prompted to choose a collection, and then to choose from the stories in that collection. You are then presented with the standard Android printing dialog, allowing you to choose an available printer and to select which pages to print.

Tapping Export story first presents you with a list of the stories you have created: tap the title of the one you would like to export. If you have more than one collection, you will be prompted to choose a collection, and then to choose from the stories in that collection. An alternative to exporting a single story is to export the whole collection: to do this, select All stories in collection at the top of the list of stories.

You are then presented with a choice of Use emailUse Wi-Fi and Use Bluetooth. You get the same choice immediately if you tap Import story. When exporting a single story (not a whole collection), there is an extra choice Open In “Special Words, if Special Words has been installed on the device. If your device doesn't have Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, the associated choices are not offered.

Opening in Special Words

When you choose this option, your device switches to the Special Words app, where you should select Add new profile. Each page in the story is transferred as its own word, picture and sound card. If you have long lines of text in the story, you may need to edit them afterwards in Special Words to make them shorter.

It is also possible to transfer words, pictures and sounds in the opposite direction, from Special Words to Special Stories, as explained in the Special Words User Guide.

Exporting using Email

You can use this to send an individual story, or a whole collection, to yourself or somebody else, as an email attachment. When exporting a single story, you are presented with 2 options:

  • Email as Special Stories

    This sends the story in Special Stories format, including text, pictures and sounds. The recipient will only be able to read and edit it if they have installed Special Stories on their device. This is the only format that can be imported back into Special Stories.

  • Email as PDF

    This sends the story as a PDF file, with text and pictures but no sounds. At Android 4.4 and later, the PDF file will use the same font as set in the app's settings, and can include any characters. At earlier versions of Android, the PDF file always uses Helvetica font, and can only include Western European characters.

To export, simply choose the desired option, add the recipient to the otherwise already completed email message, and send. When exporting a whole collection of stories, the PDF option is not available.

You may want to use this as a backup facility, if you've carefully added stories that you want to be sure you won't lose (e.g. if the device is damaged or lost). In this case, we recommend selecting Email as Special Stories, as this is the only option that allows for re-importing into Special Stories and updating subsequently.

Ways to import a story on Android

Importing using Email

To import a story or collection previously exported via email, you need to view the email in an email app on the importing device, and tap on the attachment in the email message. This will automatically open the Sharing view in Special Stories and ask you to confirm importing the data. You will be offered the choice of creating a new collection containing just that story, or adding the story (or replacing an existing story) in any of your existing collections. If the attachment is in PDF format, it will not be opened in Special Stories, but if you have a PDF reader installed on your device you will be able to open it in that.

Tapping the Import story button directly and choosing the Use email option, will pop up a message reminding you to use an email app instead.

Using email export and import, it is also possible to transfer stories and collections between Special Stories running on Android and Special Stories running on an Apple mobile device, in either direction.

Exporting and Importing using Bluetooth

You can use Bluetooth to transfer a story or collection directly between two Android devices, without having to go via email. The devices must be physically close to each other, and both must support Bluetooth.  Please ensure you have already paired the devices using their Bluetooth settings.

With the Sharing view visible on both devices, tap Export story and choose Use Bluetooth on the source device, and tap Import story and choose Use Bluetooth on the destination device.

The source device will prompt you to allow Bluetooth to be turned on if not already on, and to allow the device to be discoverable. The destination device will prompt you to allow Bluetooth to be turned on if not already on. The destination device will then present a list of devices with which it has been paired: select the source device by tapping the > right arrow next to it.

Data transfer will then start. If the source device is not shown on the destination device, go back and pair the devices, then start again. Once the data has all been transferred, you will be asked to confirm importing it into the app on the destination device.

This option cannot be used to transfer data between Android and Apple (iOS) devices: use email or Wi-Fi instead.

Exporting and Importing using Wi-Fi

This option behaves similarly to using Bluetooth, except the transfer is usually quicker, and it can also be used between Android and Apple devices. In all cases, both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network (e.g. connected to the same home broadband router). Wi-Fi Direct (where there is no router) is not supported.

This option is not available unless you have Android 4.1 or later, and Special Stories version 1.5.0 or later.

Downloading a story on Android

Downloading from Special iApps

Selecting Download from Special iApps will present you with a list of collections in our free online library at Special iApps, from which you can download various stories.  This option is only available on devices running Android 4.4 or later.

The first time you do this on a particular device, you will be prompted to register or activate. You need to register once, and then use the product key you will receive by email to activate the app on each device where you'd like to use this feature. Answers to common questions about product registration can be found in our FAQ.

The screenshot on the left shows the lists in the Annual Events collection.

Simply select the story you would like, and once downloaded choose Add new when prompted.

This facility was introduced at version 4. Some lists contain text, images and audio. Others only include text and images, or just images: the intention in these cases is that you add your own written words and/or voice to suit your needs.

Importing from a Website

An exported story or collection in Special Stories format can be hosted on a website, as a file with a .siast suffix. This can then be imported into Special Stories by visiting the website in a web browser such as Chrome, and tapping the link to the file. This will download the file: once complete, open your Downloads app, and tap the file. This will automatically open the Sharing view in Special Stories to import it, just like when importing from an email attachment.

In order for this to work, the website must identify files with a .siast suffix as having MIME type application/vnd.specialiapps.siast. Consult your website administrator about this.

Please Note

To print directly, you must already be able to print from Android's standard apps, e.g. Chrome. If you cannot print from these, you will not be able to print from Special Stories. Compatible printers and printing services include HP ePrint printers and Google Cloud Print.

When you import a story (using email, website, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) if you have already created one or more stories, you will be offered the choice of replacing any of your existing stories or adding as a new story. Use the Add new story option if you don't want to overwrite any of your existing stories.

If you choose to replace, the story you select will be completely removed. You cannot undo this once you've done it. This option is intended primarily for where you have an updated version of an existing story, and you don't want to keep the old version.

If you choose to add, the imported story will be added as a new one, without overwriting any existing stories. One use for this is if you've updated the same story separately on both devices, and want to keep both sets of updates. You could then merge your updates by using the Copy button in the page editing view to transfer updates in one of the stories to the other, and then delete one of the stories: this is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. Be careful, as keeping several stories with the same title can be confusing.

If you import a whole collection of stories, you similarly have the choice of adding as a new collection, or replacing one of your existing ones. If you choose to replace, any existing stories in the collection will be lost. You cannot undo this once you've done it. If you don't want to lose any of your existing material, use the Add new collection option.

When using email to transfer stories, be aware that there are limits on attachment sizes. Also, owing to limitations in how a number of email apps on Android send attachments with custom MIME types, you may find that you cannot import an email attachment on Android sent from an Android device, because the email app will say that there's no suitable app to handle the attachment. This is more likely if you are using a version of Special Stories earlier than 1.5.0. If you also have an iOS device with Special Stories, a workaround is to email from Android to iOS, import on iOS, and then export back to Android.

Another workaround for the MIME problem is to email the file to a Windows PC, save the attachment to disk there, and send on from there in a new email (not by forwarding the original email). However, before doing this, you must first register the MIME types for Special iApps attachments with your PC. To do this, download to your PC our Registration Entries File, and run it. If Windows prompts you whether to allow Registry Editor to make changes to the computer, click Yes, and if it asks Are you sure you want to continue?, click Yes again: this file will not harm your PC.