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Special Stories User Guide - Using Collections

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Special Stories makes it easy to group your stories together into separate collections, each with an informative title. Situations where you might want to make use of this include:

  • reading a different set of stories at home and at school
  • working with more than one child on the same device
  • when you import stories created by someone else
  • keeping older versions of updated stories

The main view in Special Stories only ever displays the stories in one collection: we refer to this as the currently selected collection. If you have never added any collections or imported any stories, all your stories will be in a single collection with title Collection 1.

On iOS: To access the list of collections, and to switch between them, tap the action button at the top left in the main view, to reveal the Extra Actions view, and then tap the Manage Collections button there. You will initially see something like shown below.

On Android: To access the list of collections, and to switch between them, tap the device's menu button: if it doesn't have a physical menu button, there will be one in the action bar at the top, to the right of the padlock button. You will initially see something like shown to the right.

If you already have more than one collection, they will all be shown here. The currently selected collection is shown with a checked (tick) beside its title. To select a different one, simply tap its title or checkbox.

On iOS: If you were to then tap the Extra Actions button to return to the Extra Actions view and then the Stories button to go back to the main view, you'd then see the list of stories in whichever collection you had selected. You can use this to switch between collections at any time.

On Android: If you were to then tap the < button to return to the main view, you'd then see the list of stories in whichever collection you had selected. You can use this to switch between collections at any time.

If you stay with the list of collections, you can change the title of any collection, and add any notes or jottings about it, by tapping its ⓘ or > button.

Special Stories - collection 1 iOS     Special Stories - collection 1 Android

Below we have changed the title of Collections 1 to Our First Stories and added some notes. Tapping the Save button returns you to the list of collections.

You can add another collection by tapping the + button above the list of collections. You're then presented with several options:

  • Default

    This creates a new collection just containing a copy of the Quick Start Guide (this can be handy if you've deleted the Quick Start Guide but want to reinstate it).

  • Empty

    This creates a collection that initially has no stories in it.

  • Copy “...”

    For each of your existing collections, there is an option, e.g. Copy “Our First Stories”, to create a new collection that contains a complete copy of all the stories in the existing collection. The new copies are independent of the originals, so that editing one doesn't change the other. This can be useful e.g. if you are working with more than one child, and want to have a similar set of stories for each.

Whenever you create a collection, it is selected automatically.

Special Stories - edit collection iOS     Special Stories - edit collection Android

Below is an example where we have created 5 collections, and the currently selected one is entitled Sophie's Stories. You can rearrange the order of the collections, or delete any of them, by tapping the Edit button. But note that once you've deleted a collection, you can't un-delete it.

We recommend you make safe copies of important stories and collections by exporting them to another device or as email attachments. The Export Story button in the Extra Actions view allows you to do this, as discussed in Chapter 8. You can export stories one at a time, or export an entire collection: you don't need to select a particular collection before doing this, as the Export Story button allows you to choose between collections if you have more than one.

The import facilities, also discussed in Chapter 8, allow you to add individual stories or whole collections previously exported from this or another device. When importing a single story, you are presented with choices allowing you to import it into any existing collection or to create a new collection, and when adding to an existing collection you can replace any existing story or add as a new one. When importing a whole collection, you can choose between adding as a new one, or replacing everything in an existing collection. Be careful not to select replacing existing stories or collections if that's not what you want to do. After importing a story or collection, the relevant collection becomes the currently selected one.

To organise your collections, you will probably want to copy or move entire stories, or individual pages, between collections.

To copy or move a whole story, make sure you have selected the relevant collection, tap the story's ⓘ or > button in the main view (on iOS then tap the story's Edit button as described at the beginning of Chapter 5) and then the story's Copybutton. You can then choose to copy it to an existing collection or to create a new collection for the copy, and whether to keep the original story (i.e. copy it) or delete the original (i.e. move it).

To copy a single page, proceed as if you were going to edit the page (also described in Chapter 5), and use the page's own Copy button. You can then choose to copy the page as a new last page of an existing story in any of your collections, or to add as the first page of a new story in any existing collection. This won't offer to delete the original page, but you can easily do that yourself after copying if you want to.

Special Stories - multiple collections iOS     Special Stories - multiple collections Android

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