Adobe Story Screenwriting App to Be Discontinued

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

I’m a recovering screenwriter, and I confess that I never really got into Adobe Story CC. Not that it wasn’t a great script program, it can definitely do the job. I was just to used to Celtx to try something new. But while Adobe has continued to improve this app as part of their Creative Cloud update process, it has sadly decided that the latest October update is going to be its last. Adobe Story CC will be discontinued effective January 22, 2019.

Adobe will stop the Adobe Story CC service from January 22, 2019. Adobe Story CC, Adobe Story CC (Classic), and Adobe Story CC desktop application will be discontinued.  See End of service FAQ for more information.

With release 1.11, Adobe Story CC users will get new features including formatting tool bars in reports, along with add/remove page break and line breaks, integration of template suffix settings, and the ability to edit your templates in the general settings. With that feature, you can modify settings to best suit your written workflow.  But with that, it’s the end of the line.

Why is Adobe sunsetting this capable screenwriting app? According to the Adobe Story End of Service note, it has to do with connectivity. “Story is a tool with virtually no connection to other products in the family” the notice states. “As such it offered little value to overall creative workflows. It was also a solution that few Creative Cloud subscribers used. As a result, we have decided to concentrate our development efforts on projects with a more tangible benefit to a greater number of customers.”

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be that big a deal, considering that most script writing apps allow users to still work off line when inspiration strikes. But being part of the Creative Cloud subscription service, Adobe Story doesn’t work that way.  Creative Cloud needs to phone home to verify subscription in order to synchronize and operate. If the service is shutting down, then there’s no server active to answer the call, and the app can’t continue to work after the end of life date.

Adobe warns that after January 22, 2019, all data will be deleted, so users are advised to backup their scripts before that end date. So, this means that if you have been writing your screenplays in Adobe Story CC, you’re going to have to backup all your data and then transition to a new app. But the good news is, you have almost a year to do it. If you stopped using the Creative Cloud service, and still want to get your data, you may be able to by contacting Adobe Customer Support, and asking them to make it available.

To export your scripts, you can save individual documents to disk (File > Save To Disk). The document is saved as an STDOC file that you can also convert into an XML file.

Use the following steps to generate an XML file:

  • Open the document in the application and select File > Save To Disk.
  • Once the STDOC file is saved on your disk, change the file extension from .stdoc to .zip.
  • Extract the zip file (Mac – Double click the file; Win – Right click and extract).
  • The unzipped folder contains the XML file with .xml extension.

More details can be found at Adobe’s Blog here.

So what are the alternatives? According to Adobe, you’re probably already using them because they say that the app isn’t used that many users anymore. But if you’re one of the unlucky few, you have options.  I recommend my goto screenwriting app CELTX. It’s not only a screenwriting app, but they also have created supporting apps including for notecards, storyboarding, sides, the works.  And the iPhone app is free! Otherwise, there’s Final Draft, Fade In, and others.  I’ll write an updated app list in the next few weeks.

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About James DeRuvo 327 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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