Trending November 2023 # Phoneclean Review: For Mac And Windows # Suggested December 2023 # Top 16 Popular

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Just like any other human-made device, iPhone also needs the care to run smoothly and deliver the desired performance. If not given the due attention, the smartphone can get cluttered for space; thereby losing the famed speed.

Things really pile up a lot on the iPhone just like on the computer: browsing cache, app cache, unwanted files, cookies that may be potentially dangerous. Well, you get the drift right? There’s a ton of data on your iPhone that is mostly not needed but is still using up a lot of space on your iPhone. Sometimes, this runs into several gigabytes and that can be messy. So, how to remove these unwanted files easily and prevent the iPhone from being messed-up?

PhoneClean Review: Clean Up iPhone Cache and Recover Valuable Space

Cleaning out all the weed can be easy with software like PhoneClean. If you’ve known iMobie, they’ve produced some amazing software for the iPhone like AnyTrans, PhoneTrans, etc. The PhoneClean has been a really cool piece of software. It has got even better in its latest version– PhoneClean 4 which helps you clean your iPhone and reclaim free space. En masse.

Cleans Up a Number of Junk Files

There’s a ton of stuff that’s just lying around on your iPhone which can be cleared to reclaim a lot of space. With PhoneClean, you can easily clear of all the redundant files, cache, cookies. What makes it highly competent is the ability to trace out all the junk files and get rid of them effortlessly.

Here is what it cleans off…

Offers Needed Privacy, Security

What I particularly like about the software is how easy it is to clear things from your iPhone without losing any data or app. Besides, it provides the much-needed privacy and security to your important data or sensitive information. Hence, you can completely trust it to not just get rid of the unnecessary files with the required convenience but also offer the safeguard to your personal information.

More Convenience

Further, the level of control goes a few layers deep. For instance, you can choose the apps for which you want to clear the cache. Just in case, you don’t want to clean up some apps, you have absolute freedom to leave them out. I find this feature very user-friendly as it allows you to choose what you want to clean off.

The Verdict

Put simply, PhoneClean works perfectly in letting you clean up the redundant files and save your iPhone from being completely messed-up. And, that’s what makes it a great piece of software.

You’ve got an iPhone and need some space (or tons of it); PhoneClean is what you should use to keep the smartphone uncluttered.

The one-year subscription is available at $19.99 for one computer. While the family license is available at $39.99 for 5 PCs and Mac, the personal license comes at $29.99. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.

Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

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Get Itunes 12.6.3 With App Store For Mac And Windows

Do you miss having the App Store in iTunes? You’re in luck, because Apple has released iTunes 12.6.3, an alternative version of iTunes that retains the ability to download and install iOS apps directly within the iTunes application on a computer. App management via iTunes was a popular feature that was removed from iTunes 12.7 in favor of managing apps directly on iOS devices instead.

Apple apparently released iTunes 12.6.3 as an alternative version because “certain business partners might still need to use iTunes to install apps.” But even if you are not a “business partner” you can still download and install iTunes 12.6.3 and use the version of iTunes to manage apps with an iPhone or iPad connected through a Mac or Windows PC.

iTunes 12.6.3 is available to download for Mac and Windows users, and can be easily installed over iTunes 12.7 to regain the native iOS App Store functionality for improved iPhone and iPad app management. Users who would like to have the iOS App Store functionality in iTunes on their computers again should download and install the alternative iTunes release. The ease of installation prevents the need to downgrade iTunes 12.7 or fiddle with the somewhat hidden iTunes 12.7 method of transferring apps and ringtones to an iPhone or iPad.

Download iTunes 12.6.3 with iOS App Store Support

You can download iTunes 12.6.3 from the Apple support page, or using the direct download links below which point to the files directly on Apple servers:

Choosing a direct download link will start the file download for iTunes 12.6.3 immediately. The download is about 280 MB and can be installed like any other software onto a Mac or PC.

How to get the App Store back into iTunes

Accessing the App Store, apps, or Tones in iTunes 12.6.3 is basically the same as prior versions of iTunes, here’s all that is necessary to get app management and the iOS App Store back in iTunes again:

Download and install iTunes 12.6.3 onto the computer, you can install it over iTunes 12.7 or a prior release version

Launch iTunes as usual

Select the pulldown menu in the upper left corner

Choose “Apps” or “Tones”

Under “Apps” you will find the app library, updates, and an ‘App Store’ option to be able to download apps directly into the App Store via iTunes again

Note: if you are having a problem with the “iTunes Library.itl” file after installing iTunes 12.6.3, quit out of iTunes and navigate to ~/Music/iTunes/ and backup the iTunes chúng tôi file by renaming it, then open Previous iTunes Libraries/ and copy the most recent version of that iTunes file into the ~/Music/iTunes/ directory. You can read full instructions on fixing iTunes chúng tôi errors here.

Downloading and installing iTunes 12.6.3 also stops iTunes from asking the user to download any new versions, so if you want to stay on iTunes 12.6.3 with the App Store, ringtones, and other features that are since removed from future versions, you can easily do so.

iTunes 12.6.3 supports all existing iPhone and iPad devices, and the release also supports the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, meaning users of the newest model iPhone hardware will have full iTunes support without needing to bother with iTunes 12.7.

If you have been having difficulty adapting to the removal of the App Store in iTunes 12.7, you’ll likely appreciate installing iTunes 12.6.3 and getting app management back again, so check it out.


Google Brings Chrome Os To Windows And Mac For Free

Google has introduced an easy and fast way to get Chrome OS on your Windows or Mac devices. The solution is Chrome OS Flex, which installs Chrome OS on your laptop or PC, that too for free. Here’s what you need to know about this new version of Chrome OS.

Chrome OS Flex Will Help Turn Your PC into a Chromebook

Chrome OS Flex will allow you to turn your old Windows or Mac device into a Chromebook for a faster and more modern experience. As Google notes, it is a “free and sustainable way to modernize devices you already own.”

This is being targeted to both enterprises and a general user who just wants to try out Chrome OS. Plus, it will be a great way to repurpose old devices, which, in turn, can help prevent e-waste.

With this, the Windows PCs and Macs can become more secure, won’t slow with time, will boot fast, and will have automatic updates downloaded in the background. Much like on the original Chrome OS, the Flex version will also provide you access to Google Assistant, Google Play Store for apps, the usual Chrome OS features, and monthly updates too. But some of the features may be limited based on your hardware.

How to Get Chrome OS Flex?

Google suggests that getting Chrome OS Flex is a simple process and all you need is a USB stick. You need to create a bootable USB drive, and by following Google’s instructions, you download the same on your PC. Businesses can further bring Chrome OS to other devices via the same process.

It is revealed that Chrome OS Flex’s early access is now live and if you are interested, you can head over here to get started with the install process. [UPDATE: 17/02] Thanks for your patience, we have downloaded, installed, and tested Chrome OS Flex on a Windows laptop. You can check out the step-by-step instructions on how to install Chrome OS Flex on your laptop or PC via the linked article. We have demonstrated all the steps on a Windows laptop, but they should work the same on MacBooks as well.

20 Best Drawing Programs For Windows Pc And Mac (Free And Paid)

We are living in the golden age for digital artists. There are so many good tools, both free and paid, available in the market that any digital artist is only limited by their skill or imagination. That being said, there are so many drawing programs available for Windows PC and Mac that it has become paramount to start with the right tool. As a digital artist, it can be hard to switch to a new tool in the long run. You could do it, but then, you would have wasted countless hours of work that you invested in learning how to use a tool. To help you choose the best digital art tool for you, we have compiled a list of the 20 best drawing programs for PC and Mac you should check out in 2023.

For a digital artist, a drawing program is a huge asset. And thus, choosing the right tool becomes indispensable for both the flow and the imagination. So before unpacking the list, let’s first learn what kind of drawing program you need. You can expand the table below to find various apps and our explainer below.

Note: If you are a Chromebook user, you should check out our separate article on the best drawing apps for Chromebooks. 

What Sort of Drawing Software Should You Choose?

When I’m still getting into the groove of something, I want to encounter minimal complexities and concentrate more on getting a good hang of the core techniques. Therefore, minimal interface coupled with the easy-to-master tools become a must. So, if you have just started to sketch your imagination, I would recommend you go for an app that’s pretty lightweight and designed to make drawing a smooth-sailing affair.

1. Adobe Photoshop

We will start our list with the de facto drawing tool that most designers have heard of and use on a daily basis. Adobe Photoshop is one of the best drawing programs, and it gives you access to hundreds of different brushes. The program offers you a high degree of control over your strokes, smoothness of the brushes, and an excellent preset panel that makes it easy to organize all your favorite brushes in one place. Adobe Photoshop is one of the best digital drawing tools for creating packaging, banners, websites, logos, icons, and more.

ProsConsFeature-packed and powerfulSteep learning curveHuge variety of brushesQuite expensiveBrush customizationsUnlimited layers

2. Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is also one of the best drawing programs for Mac users who don’t want to enroll in a subscription-based pricing model and still be able to perform at their highest. The app brings a complete graphic design solution for all of your needs. My favorite thing about Affinity Designer is that all its tools and features are built keeping end-users in mind. That means they are easy to access and easy to learn and use.

ProsConsEasy to useConfusing to old-school usersHigh on featuresRelatively lightweightAffordable pricing

3. Sketchbook

For the longest time, Sketchbook has been one of the best drawing programs on Mac or PC, and it still is. Whether you are a designer, an illustrator, or an animator, Sketchbook will help you improve your skills as well as create beautiful art once you spend some time learning it. My favorite feature of the Sketchbook is its minimalistic UI which dissolves out of your way when you are actually creating your piece.

You get a blank piece of a digital canvas where your creativity can flow easily. Features are one of the many things that make Sketchbook one of the best drawing programs. There are more than 140 designer brushes, support for unlimited layers, blending modes, grouping of layers, and more. There’s also robust support for rulers and guides, custom perspective guides, predictive stroke, and more to help you in your creation.

ProsConsBest for designs, illustrations, and animationsFree version is no more availableLarge support of brushesBlending modes availablePredictive stroke supportRelatively inexpensive

4. Corel Painter 2023

That being said, if you are a beginner, you will find it harder to use. But, if you intend to make this your career, it is not a bad move to start with a tool that you can use for the next 20 years. With the latest update, the company has brought along some much-needed performance improvements, enhanced thick paintbrushes, clone tinting, AI styles for creating a stylized painting from images, and more. If you are looking for the best drawing programs, I suggest trying out Corel Painter.

ProsConsBest drawing app for professionalsQuite expensiveVast selection of brushesAI-powered stylized paintingsHuge community support

5. Adobe Illustrator

While Photoshop is a competent tool for designers if you are looking for the best drawing programs for vector design, Adobe Illustrator is what you should be using. Hundreds of thousands of designers and artists use Illustrator CC to create everything from web icons and product packaging to book illustrations and billboards. That alone is a testament to Illustrator’s features.

With Adobe Illustrator, you will get all the tools you need to turn simple shapes and colors into sophisticated logos, icons, and graphics. Since you are working with vector graphics here, your artwork can scale anywhere from a smartphone to a billboard. You also get access to gorgeous typography and freehand drawing tools. Illustrator is definitely a drawing program you should check out.

ProsConsBest app for vector designSteep learning curveFreehand drawing tools availableTypography and iconography

6. Krita

If you are looking for one of the best drawing programs that’s free, open-source, and also brings all the professional tools at your disposal, look no further than Krita. Krita is used by designers all over the world to create concept art, comics, illustrations, and more.

While the above-mentioned drawing programs focus more on illustrations, Krita is more geared towards comics and concept artists. The app features an intuitive and customizable user interface with awesome features such as brush stabilizers, pop-up pallets, different brush engines, an extensive resource manager, and more. If you are into drawing art and comics, you should definitely check it out.

ProsConsFree and open-sourceCompatibility issues with Wacom tabletsProfessional features at no costBest for drawing comicsBrush stabilizer

7. Inkscape

Another open-source, free, and powerful drawing program for creators is Inkscape. Whether you are an illustrator, designer, web designer, or just someone who needs to create some vector imagery, Inkscape is a great free tool. The program supports plenty of features, including object creation, object manipulation, color selector, node editing, path conversion, multi-line text support, anti-aliased display, support for almost all the major file formats, and more.

ProsConsFree and open-sourceExport images only in PNGBest for illustration and vector imageryRobust extension support

8. myPaint

A list of drawing programs won’t be complete without mentioning myPaint. First released back in 2014, the open-source drawing app used to get regular updates and improvements until May 2023. Though the app has not been updated over the past couple of years, it is still one of the more powerful sketching apps that support Wacom tablets.

With an extensive collection of brushes, myPaint has something in store for everyone. Although the app places an emphasis on Wacom-style graphics tablets, you won’t go wrong if you use this program on your desktop machine. If you’re someone who wants to create art without breaking the bank, myPaint is what you need.

ProsConsFree and open-source drawing appNot updated since 2023Best for Wacom graphics tabletEasy to useComes with standard features

9. Rebelle 5

Developed by the artist Peter Blaškovič, Rebelle 5 was launched as a project to find out if it was possible to create a paint program with the most natural painting tools. Well, the answer was a profound yes as the program is popular and quite powerful. That being said, it is not for everyone, rather, Rebelle 5 aims at traditional painters and CG artists who want to take a dive into digital art with the skill set that they already possess. If you are one of them, definitely check this app out.

ProsConsBest for watercolor drawingPerformance issues on older hardwareNatural painting toolsOils, acrylics, and watercolors media toolsNanoPixel technology

10. FireAlpaca

If you’re using an older PC or are simply looking for a lightweight tool with basic features, FireAlpaca is one of the best drawing programs for you. One of the best things about this software is that it is light on resources, so people with older PCs can also make use of this app. While the more powerful apps like Illustrator and Corel Painter offer tons of features, they also require a capable PC or Mac to run.

On the other hand, FireAlpaca might be light on features when compared to the heavyweights, but it can also easily run on older hardware. I would say that it is a great tool for beginners who cannot afford to buy a powerful PC or Mac. Also, the tool itself is completely free of charge, so you don’t even need to spend a dime to get started.

ProsConsLightweight drawing programNot meant for professionalsFree to useBest for old hardwareStandard features available

11. Leonardo

Another drawing program that doesn’t require powerful hardware to run is Leonardo. Like FireAlpaca, Leonardo is light on resources and can run smoothly on years old Windows PC. The app works for sketching, drawing, painting, tracing, and whiteboarding. It offers an easy-to-use and intuitive UI, which is quite snappy.

Other features of the app include perspective drawing tools, infinite canvas, a powerful brush engine, and more. Leonardo is specially made for touch-screen Windows tablets that support digital pen inputs. So, if you have one of those tablets and want to give digital art a try, check out Leonardo.

ProsConsLight on resourcesNot as feature-packed as competitorsInfinite canvasPowerful brush engineBest for Windows tablet devices

12. MediBang Paint

MediBang Paint is a great drawing program for manga and comics creators. The app offers various tools, including over 800 tones/ backgrounds, brushes, over 50 brushes, and 20 fonts style. It’s a simple and powerful tool for people who are just getting started with their comics or manga creators’ journey and want a tool to help them learn and improve.

ProsConsBest for comic creatorsHave some issues with pen supportFree to useFeature-packed drawing appDrag and drop support

13. BlackInk

If you are someone who wants to go beyond traditional tools and want to experiment with your art, then BlackInk is for you. The app offers a groundbreaking controller system, allowing you to create and customize your own brushes. That’s not all, though. You can even customize existing brushes and paint a picture that only you can imagine.

ProsConsCreate your own brushLayout is a bit confusingSupports GPU renderingHuge community support

14. Paint 3D

Regardless of your drawing skills, you will be able to create good-looking 2D and 3D models of objects and shapes. As I said before, Paint 3D is not a tool for everyone, especially if you are serious about making a career in digital art. Instead, it is only for those who want to pursue it as a hobby or pass-time activity.

ProsConsFree drawing tool on WindowsNot for professionalsCreate 2D and 3D modelsEasy to useBest for beginners

15. Artweaver

Artweaver is a drawing program that can easily appeal to aspiring artists or those willing to get a good hang of drawing techniques. If you’re one of them, look no further than this handy drawing software. Probably, the biggest highlight of this software is an intuitive UI that feels familiar right from the onset. Moreover, it has a good collection of readymade brushes that allow you to create impressive art.

In case you want to have more control, you can also configure the brush system. Another notable feature of Artweaver is the seamless collaboration that enables you to work with your teammates on a project in sync. On top of all, the software also allows you to record your work, so you can take a close look at how you go about your drawing and figure out the flaws that need to be eradicated.

ProsConsIntuitive interfaceA bit dated designGreat number of readymade brushesSeamless collaborationConfigure brushes

16. ArtRage

If you prefer to have a range of realistic painting tools to craft amazing arts, you need to keep ArtRage in mind. From neatly designed pencils to oil painting brushes to fascinating watercolors, the software has checked off the most essential boxes to make drawing a pleasing experience for both adults and kids. Furthermore, it also allows you to fine-tune all of your favorite tools for more flexibility.

As for the user interface, I think ArtRage has kept everything minimal, so getting a good hang of the tools should be easy-going for you. But what has appealed to me the most in this drawing program is the appreciable support system through handy tutorials and huge online community for getting the much-needed inspiration and tips.

ProsConsBest for oil paintingsNot for beginnersWatercolor supportEasy to useSimple interface

17. PaintShop Pro/ Ultimate

Though PaintShop Pro/Ultimate may not be as popular as some of the well-known drawing programs in this list, it’s more than efficient to let you design commendable arts. What makes it so user-friendly is the ability to do pretty well in three notable aspects: drawing, photo editing, and designing graphics. 

ProsConsBlend photo editing and drawingQuite expensiveSolid number of paint toolsQuite feature-richSupport for plugins

18. SketchUp

For the folks who are more inclined towards creating awesome 3D designs, SketchUp promises to be a worthy option. If that’s you, it has to be your go-to pick. Featuring hundreds of professionally designed extensions at your disposal, you would enjoy giving shape to your ideas. If you don’t find the predefined tools interesting enough, you can also customize them so that they can fit into your taste better.

What’s more, SketchUp allows you to share your creativity with your friends and collaborate with them seamlessly. And in terms of pricing, SketchUp offers a basic version for free so you can get started right away. If you want to unlock all the pro tools, you will need to spend $119/ $299, depending on the features you unlock.

ProsConsBest for 3D designsVery expensiveHundreds of extensions availableCollaboration supportedModern UI, Easy to useFree version available

19. Clip Studio Paint Pro

Besides, the app has one of the biggest libraries of brushes, allowing you to pick and choose your tools based on the arts you wish to create. And if you want to have even more control, you can also personalize your tools so they can stay in sync with your particular style of drawing. That’s not all. Clip Studio Paint Pro is also available for iPad (and iPhone), so you can get the most out of your Apple Pencil.

ProsConsNatural brush feel, large brush libraryNot meant for beginnersRobust brush engineCustomize your toolsIntuitive and powerful drawing app

20. CorelDRAW Suite

Last but not least, CorelDRAW Suite has long been one of the best drawing software packages, so it deserves a spot in this coveted lineup without any doubt. What I have always admired about CorelDRAW Suite is the wide range of pro tools that make drawing and painting a worthwhile experience. Of course, mastering those pro tools requires a steep learning curve, but once you have gone through that phase, you will fall in love with this program.

Whether it’s the top-notch vector design, AI-powered LiveSketch, or precision photo editing, it’s got the strong suite of features to meet your demand. But keep in mind that all these top-of-the-line features will require you to stretch your budget a bit. Expensive pricing aside, CorelDRAW Suite is what you need to craft pro-grade drawings.

ProsConsBest for professionalsQuite expensiveAI-powered LiveSketchVector designWide range of tools

Best Drawing Programs for Windows and Mac

How To Type En Dash Symbol In Word/Excel (For Windows And Mac)

In today’s article, you’ll learn how to use some keyboard shortcuts to type the En Dash Symbol (text) anywhere like Word/Excel using Windows or Mac.

Just before we begin, I’ll like to tell you that you can also use the button below to copy and paste the En Dash sign into your work for free.

However, if you just want to type this symbol on your keyboard, the actionable steps below will show you everything you need to know.

To type the En Dash Symbol on Mac, press [ Option ] + [ – ] shortcut on your keyboard. For Windows users, simply press down the Alt key and type 0150 using the numeric keypad, then let go of the Alt key. These shortcuts can work on any software including MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, on both Windows and Mac.

Below table contains all the information you need to type thisSymbol on keyboard for both Mac and Windows.

Symbol NameEn DashSymbol–Alt Code0150Shortcut for WindowsAlt+0150Shortcut for Mac[ Option ] + [ – ]Shortcut for Word2013, Alt+X

The quick guide above provides some useful shortcuts and alt codes on how to type the En Dash symbol on both Windows and Mac.

For more details, below are some other methods you can also use to insert this symbol into your work such as Word or Excel document.

Microsoft Office provides several methods for typing En Dash Symbol or inserting symbols that do not have dedicated keys on the keyboard.

In this section, I will make available for you five different methods you can use to type or insert this and any other symbol on your PC, like in MS Office (ie. Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) for both Mac and Windows users.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

The En Dash Symbol alt code is 0150. Even though this Symbol has no dedicated key on the keyboard, you can still type it on the keyboard with the Alt code method. To do this, press and hold the Alt key whilst pressing the En Dash Alt code (i.e. 0150) using the numeric keypad.

This method works on Windows only. And your keyboard must also have a numeric keypad.

Below is a break-down of the steps you can take to type the En Dash Sign on your Windows PC:

Place your insertion pointer where you need the En Dash Symbol text.

Press and hold one of the Alt keys on your keyboard.

Whilst holding on to the Alt key, press the En Dash Symbol’s alt code (0150). You must use the numeric keypad to type the alt code. If you are using a laptop without the numeric keypad, this method may not work for you. On some laptops, there’s a hidden numeric keypad which you can enable by pressing Fn+NmLk on the keyboard.

Release the Alt key after typing the Alt code to insert the Symbol into your document.

This is how you may type this symbol in Word using the Alt Code method.

For Mac users, the keyboard shortcut for the En Dash Symbol is [ Option ] + [ – ]. For Windows users, use the Alt Code method by pressing down the [Alt] key whilst typing the symbol alt code which is 0150. You must use the numeric keypad to type the alt code. Also, ensure that your Num Lock key is turned on.

Below is a breakdown of the En Dash Symbol shortcut for Mac:

First of all, place the insertion pointer where you need to type the symbol (–).

Now, press [ Option ] + [ – ] simultaneously on your keyboard to insert the symbol.

Below is a breakdown of the En Dash Symbol shortcut for Windows:

Place the insertion pointer at the desired location.

Press and hold down the Alt key

While pressing down the Alt key, type 0150 using the numeric keypad to insert the symbol.

These are the steps you may use to type this sign in Word or Excel.

Another easy way to get the En Dash Symbol on any PC is to use my favorite method: copy and paste.

All you have to do is to copy the symbol from somewhere like a web page, or the character map for windows users, and head over to where you need the symbol (say in Word or Excel), then hit Ctrl+V to paste.

Below is the symbol for you to copy and paste into your Word document. Just select it and press Ctrl+C to copy, switch over to Microsoft Word, place your insertion pointer at the desired location, and press Ctrl+V to paste.

Alternatively, just use the copy button at the beginning of this post.

For windows users, obey the following instructions to copy and paste the En Dash Symbol using the character map dialog box.

This is how you may use the Character Map dialog to copy and paste any symbol on Windows PC.

Obey the following steps to insert this symbol (–) in Word or Excel using the insert symbol dialog box.

Close the dialog.

The symbol will then be inserted exactly where you placed the insertion pointer.

These are the steps you may use to insert the this Symbol in Word.

As you can see, there are several different methods you can use to type the En Dash Sign in Microsoft Word.

Using the shortcuts for both Windows and Mac makes the fastest option for this task. Shortcuts are always fast.

Thank you very much for reading this blog.

Review: Vellum, The Ebook Generator For Mac With Added Prettiness

One of the great things about technology is the way it has democratized the publishing world. Today, anyone can publish an ebook on iBooks and Amazon, whether as a freebie or a commercial book.

But as I found out when I came to create my own ebook, generating an ebook that looks attractive on all of the different devices available is a rather tougher challenge. That’s the job the Mac app Vellum claims to do, so I put it to the test … 

Vellum attempts to intelligently parse the file as it is imported. If you have a table of contents, Vellum should recognize this and mirror the structure. In my case, I’d written my technothriller in scenes rather than chapters, so Vellum had few headings to go on. It picked up the page-breaks in my pre-amble, and decided these were chapters, and also split the story itself into three.

Once left with only one ‘chapter’ for the preamble, I renamed it to Preamble. However, Vellum still thought this was a chapter, and numbered it. To persuade it to lose the numbering, you return to the Chapter menu, select Convert to and choose Uncategorised. If if had been a chapter, and you just wanted to lose the numbering, this can be done by selecting the gear menu top-right and unchecking numbered.

My scene breaks were three asterisks centred, and Vellum recognized these, turning them into horizontal lines in iBooks, for example. The text remains fully editable, in case you spot any last-minute typos.

You also need a cover image, which needs to be created in external software. Vellum checks that your image is the right size and shape for all platforms. Note that while most device screens are small, you still need a high-resolution image: anything up to 2400 x 3840 pixels, depending on the ratio of the book.

If you have a conventional chapter structure, Vellum will use your own book in these examples. As mine doesn’t, it instead uses the opening of Moby Dick.

Of course, one issue with attempting to control the appearance of an ebook is that it will look different on different devices. Vellum has a handy preview feature to show you how your book will appear on the iPad, iPhone, Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch. Each view provides a simulation that allows you to page through the book.


Were the app a free one, or if it cost a small, one-off sum, my conclusion would be a no-brainer. It’s really easy to use, and generates great results.

My hesitation is over the cost. Vellum offers a choice of three ways to pay for it. Unlocking it to generate a single ebook (in all three formats) costs $29.99. A 10-book license costs $99.99, bringing the per-book cost down to ten dollars, while an Unlimited license is a rather eye-watering $199.99.

If you’re creating a free book, thirty bucks might seem a steep price just to make it prettier, when there are plenty of free tools around. But for commercial books, I think it’s a lot easier to justify. Writing a book is a pretty major investment of time and effort, so $30 to ensure that the end result is as pleasing as possible to readers is, I think, not as unreasonable as it might seem.

There is also some good news. You can edit the book as many times as you like (it just locks the title, sub-title and author to prevent cheating); there’s no time-limit for the 10-book deal; and your credits remain valid for all future updates of the app.

All-in, for a commercial book, I think it’s worth the cost.

Vellum can be downloaded direct from the website or via the Mac App Store. If you’d like to check out my technothriller, 11/9, it’s being launched as a Kickstarter project.

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