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Special Stories User Guide - Sharing - Native iOS Editions

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Special Stories - export options iOSExport Story

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 Email and Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and Copy to... You will then be presented with a list of possible formats to export. The available formats depend on whether you have chosen to export an individual story or a whole collection.

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, the available formats are:

  • 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 Special Sentences

    This choice is only offered if you also have Special Sentences installed on your device. This converts the story or stories into topics in Special Sentences format, with text, pictures and sound. The recipient will only be able to read and edit it if they have installed Special Sentences on their device.

  • Email as Special Words

    Suitable if the recipient has Special Words or Special Words Plus on their device.

  • Email as PDF

    This sends the story as a PDF file, with text and pictures but no sounds, as described above for Print Story. (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.)

  • EPUB

    This sends the story in a format suitable for opening in iBooks on iOS 6-11, Apple Books on iOS 12 and later, and in iBooks or Apple Books on OS X or macOS. The story includes text, pictures and sounds.

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 EPUB or PDF options are 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.

Opening in Special Words

First select Copy to ..., and select Special Words from the choice of formats. This format is only offered if you have a native edition of Special Words installed on your device.

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.

Opening in Special Sentences

First select Copy to ..., and select Special Sentences from the choice of formats. This format is only offered if you have a native edition of Special Sentences installed on your device.

When you choose this option, your device switches to the Special Sentences app, where you should select Add new collection (if you have exported a whole collection) and Add new topic. Each story is copied as a topic, and each page in a story as a sentence in the topic. If you have long lines of text in the story, you may need to edit them afterwards in Special Sentences to make them shorter.

It is also possible to transfer topics and sentences in the opposite direction, from Special Sentences to Special Stories, as explained in the Special Sentences User Guide.

Copy to another device using AirDrop

If you have another device with Special Stories installed, and both devices support AirDrop, you can AirDrop the story or collection to the other device. When you accept the file on the other device, Special Stories will automatically launch, and allow you to import the story or collection.

Copy to certain cloud-storage apps

If you have installed the DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive app on your device, you can copy the story or collection to these cloud services. You may like to use this to create cloud backups of important stories, or to share stories with other people who have Special Stories.

If your device runs iOS 10, and you have enabled the iCloud Drive app, you can copy the story or collection to iCloud Drive by using the Copy to ... button and selecting the option Add To iCloud Drive. This is not possible at iOS 9 or earlier. In iOS 11 and later, Add to iCloud Drive is replaced by Save to Files.

Copy to Apple Books (iBooks)

If you have Apple's Books app (iOS 12 or later) or iBooks app (iOS 11 and earlier) installed on your device, and have chosen format EPUB, selecting Copy to Books will allow you to add a copy of the story to your Books library. To turn the pages in Books, swipe across the text. To play the sound for each page, tap the picture: sounds are not played automatically as you turn the pages. The font size for the text in the book is determined by whether the Large Text setting in Special Stories is ON or OFF when you export the story: you cannot adjust the text size from within Books (although you can choose to view using a different font face).

Please Note

Content and settings in Special Stories are not automatically synchronised between devices connected to the same iCloud account: it is left to you to manually export and/or import on each device, on a collection-by-collection or individual story basis.

You may want to use one of the above options 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 Use Email, with format Special Stories, as this is the only option that allows for re-importing into Special Stories and updating subsequently.

Exporting and Importing using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

You can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transfer a story of collection directly between two devices that both have Special Stories installed, without having to go via email. The devices must be physically close to each other, and either (a) have Wi-Fi enabled and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or (b) have Bluetooth enabled. Alternatively, if both devices are Apple and have a Lightning connector (as opposed to the older 30-pin connector), and are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, but have Wi-Fi turned on, this will still work. Use the Settings app to turn these on as necessary, before trying to export and import.

With the Extra Actions view visible on both devices, tap Export Word List and choose Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on the source device. Then tap Import Word List and choose Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on the destination device. Each device will prompt you to allow a connection with the other. 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.

Please Note

Devices running Special Stories 2.6.0 and later cannot connect using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with devices running earlier versions. Devices running iOS 6 can only use this feature over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.

When using email or Wi-Fi, you can transfer to/from Android devices running Special Stories. This is not possible when using Bluetooth, because iOS and Android have incompatible Bluetooth implementations.

Special Stories - import options iOS

Import Word List

With Import Word List the choices are Use Email, Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and Download from Special iApps. In this chapter we will be focusing on Use Email and Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You can found out more about Download from Special iApps in Chapter 11.

Importing using Email

To import a story or collection previously exported via email, you need to view the email in the Mail app on the importing device, and tap on the attachment in the email message. If the attachment is in Special Stories format, this will automatically open the Extra Actions 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 EPUB or PDF format, it cannot be opened in Special Stories, but if you have Apple Books or a PDF reader installed on your device you will be able to open it in that.

Tapping theImport Story button 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.

Importing from a Website or Cloud Service

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 Safari, and tapping the link to the file. This will open the Extra Actions view in Special Stories to import it, just like when importing from an email attachment.

You can also import a story or collection from a cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. If you don't have the relevant app on your device, but you have a shared web link for a Special Stories .siast file on one of these services, you can import by visiting the link in Safari, as in the previous paragraph.

Please Note

Using iCloud will NOT automatically backup or restore your content: you must use the iTunes program on a PC or Mac, or the export facilities described here.

When you import a story (using email, website, AirDrop, cloud service, 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 a story or collection, be aware that there are limits on attachment sizes. Sending the recipient a link to download from a cloud service will avoid these limits. 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.

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