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Migration Guide

Hiveword had a major redesign in early 2020. This guide will help you acclimate to the new Hiveword if you last used Hiveword prior to 2020. New Hiveword users can ignore all of this.

This page will help you make the transition to the redesigned Hiveword. Things are generally the same although things may have moved and actions have been streamlined. There are also some new and removed features.

General Layout

The main thrust of the redesign was to make the interface more attractive by removing clutter and carefully placing information such that it is both intuitive and easy to work with. Additionally, use on mobile devices should be better. Tablets should work well but a phone screen will generally be too small for many functions.

You'll notice that the menus that used to be at the top of the screen are gone. The functions previously available there have moved to the left sidebar and Actions buttons.

Speaking of sidebars, the design breaks story component screens into three sections: the story component sidebar on the left, the component details in the middle, and ancillary component information on the right sidebar.



Hiveword is and always has been scene-centric where chapters are optional. Chapters can be thought of as a collection of scenes. In the redesign, the interplay of scenes and chapters has been both improved functionally and streamlined in usage.

Please see this blog post for an in-depth discussion of the changes around chapters. Note that some of the screenshots are a little stale but they still properly convey the gist.

In a nutshell, the changes for chapters and scenes are:

  • Streamlined scene insertion and chapter handling

  • The New button can create a scene or chapter

  • All scene list views can add/delete chapters/scenes in place

  • Chapters are treated more like scenes. They are integrated with scenes as you'd expect and no longer exist in their own little world.

  • The scene sorter (aka Sceneboard — see the New Features section below) also sorts chapters in relation to scenes. It's much more intuitive than before.

  • The dashboard now shows chapter counts in the scenes column

Names for New Things

Creating a new story, character, item, etc., now pops up a (cancellable) name dialog. This saves having to click the "Untitled" name later to change it.

Downloading and Printing

In the old Hiveword, if you wanted to download or print you had to do it for the whole story. Thus, you'd get characters, scenes, and everything else. You can still do that (from the overall story page's Actions menu) but you can also download or print a subset of data such as just scenes or a particular character. To do so, use the appropriate option from the Actions button menu.

Download Format

The download format used to be Rich Text Format (RTF). While RTF was a reasonable choice for many reasons, an even better choice is the Markdown plaintext format. Plaintext is not only platform independent but also future proof. Markdown is simply a convention layered on top of plaintext that allows for bolding and italics (among other things). But the best part of Markdown is that there are many converters that will output HTML, RTF, Word, epub, etc. files. Essentially, Markdown is considerably more flexible than RTF.


The place and character name generators moved to the Actions menu on the setting and character list screens, respectively.

New Features


The scene sorter screen has changed. Dramatically. It still sorts scenes as before but it can do quite a bit more so it's been renamed to Sceneboard.

The Sceneboard is intended for "high-altitude" organizing. Like the sorter, the scenes are displayed on cards and initially show the scene titles just like before. The big difference is that you can now choose what appears on the card via the Card Data dropdown menu. Your choices are:

  • Just titles
  • Summaries
  • Characters
  • Items
  • Plotlines
  • POV
  • Settings
  • Tags

Being able see other data points can make your organizing easier especially since you can seen many scenes on the screen at once. When combined with a filter you get an extra dimension for finding the intersection of data points in scenes for extra versatility.

Additionally, if your story has chapters they will be displayed in this view, as well, and are sortable just like scenes.

Finally, you can also insert scenes and chapters directly in the Sceneboard view. You can delete them, as well. You can do these things by clicking the three circles icon and selecting the appropriate action from the popup menu.

Copying/Moving Story Components

Previously, you could only copy characters, settings, and items between stories. You can still do that in the new Hiveword but now plotlines can be copied, too. What's particularly new is that you can also completely move those story components between stories.

Whether you want to move or copy, the way to do it is to select "Move/copy to another story" from the Actions dropdown menu on the the screen for the component you want to move. You'll then be given the choice of where to move or copy it.

You can also copy or move characters, settings, and items between stories in bulk. Previously, you could only copy, not move. The way to do this is to use the Action menu on the list page for characters, settings, or items.

Keyboard Shortcut for Saving

Ctrl-S/Cmd-S saves on pages with a Save button at the top. The shortcut can't be used for save buttons that appear elsewhere like popups. Note also that editing the name of something (like a scene name) is saved by pressing Enter. Ctrl-S/Cmd-S won't save a name.

Hiveword Plus

Custom Types/Fields

Custom Type Names

Previously, custom types had one name that was used throughout Hiveword. Should you name it "Spell" or "Spells?" Depending on where it was displayed in Hiveword the name would be singular when it should have been plural and vice versa. Now, editing a custom type name will offer fields for singular and plural forms and they will be used appropriately. For pre-existing custom types, Hiveword will assume you used the singular form and attempt to pluralize it. This will sometimes lead to humorous plural names like "Spellses." You can easily fix it by clicking on the name on the custom type detail screen and making the appropriate changes.

Show Descriptions

In the old Hiveword, the Show Descriptions icon was shown rather prominently on the detail screens. As this is not a commonly toggled view, the option to toggle descriptions can now be found on the Actions dropdown menu on each detail page.

Manage Custom Fields Shortcut

The Actions dropdown menu on story component detail screens now has an option to Manage Custom Fields. If you are on a character screen, for example, clicking Manage Custom Fields will take you directly to the extension fields management page for characters.


Notes and Image lists now show exactly what the things are attached by name rather than just story component type.

Previously, notes and images could not be reassigned. Once they were attached to something they couldn't be moved. That silliness is no longer the case. To reassign, go to the detail screen for the note or image you want to move. Choose "Reassign" from the Action dropdown menu and select where you want it to go.

Search Results

Search results were improved in the following ways:

  • Now showing the first 300 characters of Notes and Journal entries with hits

  • Hits for both notes and images show what they are attached to, if anything

  • Images with hits are diplayed (rather than just the name)

Removed Features


MyWKB was a section for logged in users that allowed them to have a more personalized Writer's Knowledge Base (WKB) experience. You can still subscribe to get emails of categorized article links and the ability to see recently added articles has been in the WKB interface for some time now. And, of course, you can always search the WKB via the public interface.

Hide Factory Fields

Like Show Descriptions above, the Hide Factory Fields icon was shown prominently on the detail screens for Hiveword Plus users. However, this feature has been removed due to lack of user interest.