The new release of Beat is filled with little improvements and changes. It’s the single biggest update to Beat in almost a year, and includes a lot of behind-the-scenes overhaul.

To celebrate the WGA strike ending, this version also fixes multiple issues with US letter layout for our US-based friends. Because I’m working in the A4 realm, US layout were a bit neglected for some time, but thanks to one observant user, it’s much cleaner now.

Here’s a quick recap of everything that was added.

Printing Invisible Elements

The multiple requests were finally heard: you can now print # sections, = synopsis lines and [[notes]]. Click on the eye icon in preview or look at the advanced settings when exporting your file.


Templates provide a quick starting point for crafting your story. They also serve as tutorials of sorts, as they include examples on how to use section and synopsis elements when outlining.

The app currently includes templates for one-page synopsis (aimed at A4 size, with the synopsis of Fucking Åmål), three-act outline in eight sequences, and a comic book/visual novel template. The last one uses another exciting feature:


Those who are working with non-traditional screenplay formats (like visual novels, comic books and video games) have often requested ways to modify some values automatically. Macros are an answer to many of those needs. They are still a very experimental feature, so expect some bumps along the ride.

There are three types of macros: text, serials and dates. Text macros work as is, you can define your value using {{ valueName = Hello World }}, which prints out as Hello World. In the example above, we set city as Helsinki, and after setting it once, we can reuse it anywhere.

Serial macros are numbers which are incremented whenever they are encountered. After using {{serial mySerial}} for the first time, every time you type in {{serial mySerial}} or just {{mySerial}}, the output number will be one higher. The starting number can be set using {{serial mySerial=1}}.

Note that macros will print out whenever you use them, so if you’d like to define the value first, do it in an invisible block as above.

Date macros are simply {{date format}}, so for example {{date d.m.y}}. Plain {{date}} defaults to ISO standard format (YYYY-MM-dd).

The example above is exported like this:

Other stuff

You can now move between revisions of current generation by pressing shift-cmd-ctrl and up/down. If your current revision generation is set to orange, your cursor will move to the next / previous orange revision, while cmd-ctrl-up/down moves between any revision.

Pagination rules have also been adjusted a bit, mostly regarding scene headings and shots – if the following paragraph or block won’t fit on the current page, it will be broken between the pages. Earlier, if the following paragraph didn’t fit, both the heading and paragraph were moved on next page. It’s a minor tweak, but can affect your page count.

Overall, this is one of the biggest patches to Beat in a long time. It fixes some longstanding issues and opens up new doors for future features, such as custom styles and layouts. If you encounter any issues, make sure to file a bug report!

List of all bug fixes in 1.996.9:

  • Quick settings button glitch fix
  • Spell checking setting restored correctly
  • Very minor fixes to plugin API and how web resources are used
  • Backup vault location should now be persistent
  • Fixed crashes with extremely long dialogue blocks that contain no punctuation
  • Fixed issues with color customization
  • Scene heading pagination is a bit more sensible now
  • Fixed revision marker positioning for US letter
  • Fixed crashes when making a change and entering preview very quickly