How to Use Steelkilt

Steelkilt is powerful — but very easy to use. It is designed to simplify the workflow for writers, editors, and eBook publishers alike. Below is a brief outline of how people with different goals can use Steelkilt. All the concepts mentioned below are discussed in the Documentation at length.

I am a Writer > I just want to make a start on a Book

  • Create a Steelkilt project
  • Open the Project Navigator
  • Create a Book
  • Create a Chapter
  • Optionally, create a preliminary structure for your Book by creating a collection of Documents, Chapters, and Parts
  • Start writing

I am a Writer > I want to assemble a Book from some documents generated with other software

  • Use your other software to save your documents as plain text
  • Create a Steelkilt project
  • Open the Project Navigator
  • Create a Book
  • Import your plain text documents
  • If necessary, rearrange the imported Chapters to reflect your Book’s structure
  • Continue writing

I am a Writer > I want my edits to be efficient and meaningful

  • Use Keywords to highlight significant events, characters, or places in specific Chapters
  • Use Annotations to highlight text and record notes
  • Use the Annotations View to filter and review your Annotations (grouped by Chapter, in the order that they appear in the text)
  • Use the Search Tool to check facts, eliminate textual duplication, and ensure consistency
  • Use Tags to group Chapters with similar attributes, such as mood or content — or use Tags to designate various levels of editing maturity (such as “to-do”, “in-progress”, and “final”)

I am a Writer > I want to create a great-looking EPUB without having to get technical

  • When you are happy with the content and structure of your text, open Project Navigator and select your Book
  • Use Book Settings to add publishing-related information, as required
  • If you wish to customize how your Chapters will appear in the EPUB’s table of contents, open Formatting under Book Settings and choose from the available pre-configured styles
  • Export to EPUB

I am a Writer > I want to provide a read-only copy of my work to an Editor

  • Export your work to PDF and optionally include Annotations
  • Send the PDF to your Editor

I am a Writer > I want to provide a writable copy of my work to an Editor who uses Steelkilt

  • Send a copy of your Steelkilt project to your Editor (usually compressed in a .zip file)

I am a Writer > I want to provide a writable copy of my work to an Editor who does not use Steelkilt

  • Export a copy of your Book to Text or RTF
  • Send a copy of the exported file to your Editor
  • Encourage your Editor to purchase a copy of Steelkilt

I am an Editor > I want to provide feedback to a Writer (via a Steelkilt project)

  • Open your copy of the Steelkilt project
  • Edit text and/or make changes to the Book’s structure
  • Add Annotations and/or add notes to existing Annotations
  • Optionally include comments in the text as HTML comments (not visible in most exports)

I am a Publisher > I want to create a great-looking EPUB with a unique format

  • Open an existing Steelkilt project OR create a new Steelkilt project, import plain text, and rearrange Chapters as required
  • Use Book Settings to add publishing-related information
  • Use Formatting options under Book Settings to make use of pre-configured styles for table-of-contents entries and page titles for Documents, Chapters, and Parts
  • Use a combination of Markdown and HTML in Text Editor to enhance the appearance of the text
  • Use Code Editor to build on the default CSS styles and customize the automatically generated XHTML code
  • Validate your customizations with the built-in EPUB checker
  • Export your EPUB

I am a Publisher > I want to add a non-XHTML rendition to a text-based EPUB

  • Open an existing Steelkilt project
  • Select a Book and open Code Editor
  • Import resources to be used in the non-XHTML rendition
  • Create an OPF for the non-XHTML rendition and add Manifest/Spine entries for any custom resources used by the rendition
  • Edit container.xml and add an entry for your custom OPF
  • Validate your customizations with the built-in EPUB checker
  • Export your EPUB

I am a Publisher > I want to create an EPUB with a non-XHTML rendition (but no text)

  • Create a Steelkilt Project
  • Create a Book
  • Use Book Settings to add publishing-related information
  • Skip creating any text-based content in Project Navigator
  • Open Code Editor
  • Edit container.xml and delete the entry for the automatically generated Book .opf
  • Create an OPF for the non-XHTML rendition and add Manifest/Spine entries for any custom resources used by the rendition
  • Edit container.xml and add an entry for your custom OPF
  • Validate your customizations with the built-in EPUB checker
  • Export your EPUB