A Look Back at 2022

Happy 2023! A new year is always a chance for reflection, so we thought we’d look back at the updates we made in 2022. In case you missed them, here are some of the new features we added to Vellum last year:

Multiple Heading Backgrounds

Inspired by the popularity of Heading Backgrounds in Vellum 3.0, we added the option for multiple heading backgrounds in Vellum 3.1. With this change, you can include backgrounds in elements like a Title Page, or create alternating backgrounds for Chapters.

Easier Box Set Construction

In Vellum 3.1, we also introduced the New Box Set command, which makes it even easier to create these collections. Add files, reorder, then create a box set or a multiple-author bundle with just one click.

New File Format

With Vellum 3.2, the files you create are saved in an all-new format. Vellum documents are now just a single file, making them better suited for cloud services like iCloud and Dropbox, and easier to share with colleagues.

Custom Headers & Footers

Want to add an extra touch to your print edition? With Vellum 3.3, we added a new option for Custom Headers and Footers. Control content, alignment, and position, and even use your own themed ornament!

Text Messages & Written Notes

With Vellum 3.4, we introduced our most talked-about features of 2022: Text Conversations and Written Notes provide new, fun ways to format messages between characters. They’re designed to work in both ebooks and in print, and include multiple options for how they appear in your book.

Export to Word

In Vellum 3.4, we also added the new Export Content command, found in the File menu. If you’ve written your book in Vellum (or just made changes), you can now create a Word file ready to send to your editor.

Also in 2022

In addition to these major features, we also introduced:

  • New styles designed for accessibility
  • Series Title (and Book Number) in Title Info
  • A dedicated Bibliography element
  • A Special Characters menu for quick access to tools like Soft Hyphen
  • New hyphenation options in Body Style

More to Come

All of these features were released in 2022 as free updates. You can make sure you have access to them using Check for Updates. (Current versions of Vellum require macOS Catalina or newer.)

We have more to come in 2023. As always, the features we add are inspired by your feedback, so if you have an idea for something that will make it even easier to create beautiful books, let us know!

FAQ: Text Conversations and Written Notes

We’re thrilled with the response to Vellum 3.4, which introduced new features for Text Conversations and Written Notes. With all of the excitement, we’ve also received some questions. Here are answers to the most common ones:

Q & A

Questions & Answers

In ebooks, will Text Conversations and Written Notes resize as a reader changes font size?
Yes. The sizing is based on a reader’s font size and will change with their preferences.

Will the text within notes and conversations be accessible to screen reading systems?
Yes! All of the text is still included in your ebook. The appearance is just altered using styling and fonts.

Will using a Text Conversation or Written Note increase delivery costs?
Not at all. No images are used to create these, so you won’t see any increase in Amazon delivery costs. 

Will Text Conversation bubbles appear on all ebook readers?
In purchased ebooks, yes. As usual, formatting is limited in ebooks sideloaded into Kindle for iPhone.

Will Text Conversation bubbles work in dark mode?
Yes! The text and bubble colors will change to adapt to dark mode and other color schemes. You can see how this works in Vellum’s Preview.

Will Written Note fonts still be visible when readers change their preferred font?
In purchased ebooks, yes. In Kindle ebooks that are sideloaded, there are some limitations.

Vellum 3.4

Vellum 3.4 is now available! Here’s what you’ll find in this newest release:

Text message bubbles shown within a book on an ebook reader

Text Messages

Writing a story set in the digital world? Use a Text Conversation to format texts between characters. Configure sent and received messages, and choose from six different style options for how they appear in your book.

Written Notes

You can go analog, too! With a Written Note, you can include a letter, note, or any other dispatch from a character. Set up the different parts of a letter and select from handwritten typefaces or options that match the primary font.

Export to Word

You use Import Word File to bring your manuscript into Vellum. Now you can go the other way, too! The Export Content command — found in the File menu — takes text you’ve written in Vellum and creates a Word file you can send to your editor.

Also in Vellum 3.4

  • In Body Style, you can disable hyphenation for Capitalized Words
  • You can also disable hyphenation for a specific word in your book
  • In situations when you can’t provide a Kindle-specific file, you can safely use Generic EPUB with Send to Kindle
  • You can now use SVG vector images in print (macOS Ventura only)

Vellum 3.4 is a free update. This version requires macOS Catalina or newer, and is compatible with macOS Ventura.

To get Vellum 3.4, use Check for Updates. Or download Vellum from vellum.pub.

MacOS Ventura Now Available

Today, Apple has officially released Ventura, the newest version of macOS. 

If you upgrade your Mac to Ventura, make sure you’re running the latest version of Vellum (3.3.6). You can do that using Check for Updates.

We’ve been testing Ventura since its beta release in the summer, and haven’t encountered any problems. If you experience an issue, though, please let us know.

Update 11/2/22: We’ve uncovered a problem importing manuscripts with images on macOS Ventura. We’ve reported this issue to Apple and are developing a workaround for the next update to Vellum.

Update 11/4/22: We’ve just released Vellum 3.3.7, which contains a fix for importing Word files with images on Ventura.

Vellum 3.3.5

Vellum 3.3.5 improves the appearance of a Generic EPUB file when it is side-loaded into the Kindle app for iOS.

Note: When possible, it is still best to use a Kindle-specific file for Kindle.

This release is a free update, available now.