Steps to upgrade to version 4

Updated Feb 23, 2017

Upgrading to ScreenSteps version 4 is pretty simple. Just make sure you are aware of the changes between ScreenSteps version 3 and version 4, then follow the steps to upgrade.

What you should know before you upgrade

ScreenSteps version 4 comes with a lot of improvements; however, you should know that not all of the ScreenSteps version 3 features are going to be included in the upgrade.

What is going away?

When you upgrade to version 4, a few things will go away:

Checking in/Checking out

ScreenSteps version 3 required you to check articles out (like a library book) in order to edit them, and then check the articles back in before your edits were uploaded to the web. The idea was to prevent authors from overriding edits--a result of two authors working on the same article at once.

This created a few problems, however, because authors would consistently forget to check articles back in after they were done working on them.

Version 4 does not have the check-in, check-out feature. If two authors are working on the same article at the same time, both revisions will be stored, and you can select the version that is most accurate. If you are concerned about authors working on the same article, we suggest that you leverage the article owner and status features. You can assign articles to authors, and implement an internal workflow to have authors only work on articles that are assigned to them.

Word Export

You will still be able to export to PDF--but Word is not invited to the version 4 party.

The main reason that Word export is not included in version 4 is that Word significantly slows down development for new features. Every time we wanted to add a new feature to ScreenSteps, we had to run it through the Word test to make sure that it would export.

We know that this decision will not be popular for a few users who create documentation for clients and want to provide a Word version so that clients can make updates, but it was a decision that we feel had to be made.

If you absolutely need to make edits to soft copies of your documentation in Word, you can still export to PDF, and either use a PDF to Word converter, or you can edit PDF in applications like Adobe Acrobat.

If you cannot live without Word export, email us at We would love to talk with you to learn how you are using Word export (e.g. translation, internal review process), and see whether there is another way we can help you accomplish your end goal.


Currently, there are no one-offs in version 4. The feature was not being used regularly, so we did not think it necessary to include in the upgrade.

If one-offs was a major part of how you used ScreenSteps, please email us at so we can discuss how you were using it, and what your options are going forward.

Package Files

You will no longer be able to export ScreenSteps package files. Instead, ScreenSteps version 4 has a JSON API that will allow you to extract content from your ScreenSteps site for backup purposes.

If exporting and importing package files was part of your workflow with ScreenSteps, please email so we can discuss your options going forward.

HTML export (will be different)

You will no longer be able to export HTML files, nor will you be able to copy HTML and paste the HTML in another editor.

ScreenSteps version 4 has a JSON API that will allow you to extract content from your ScreenSteps  site for publishing to other systems.

Version 4 articles cannot be opened in version 3

Once an article is created or edited using the ScreenSteps version 4 editor, you will not be able to edit the article using the ScreenSteps version 3 article editor.

This is important to understand when you are rolling out version 4 to your team. If you do not all adopt version 4 at the same time, then you may run into some issues because some of your authors who are using version 3 will not be able to edit articles that were edited using version 4.

Version 3 content is not automatically updated to version 4

Your articles that were created using the version 3 desktop editor will not automatically update to version 4--and that's OK. Your content will still appear like it always has.

We plan to eventually upgrade content from version 3 to version 4 for you, but we are not doing this right away. If you want to upgrade an article to version 4, you can do so by using the version 4 desktop editor to edit an article (and save your edits) that was originally created in version 3. The article will be updated to version 4 and you can use version 4 features such as foldable sections and text styles.

If you have any questions, or would like clarification on what is mentioned above, please email

What will version 4 give you?

Version 4 improves the authoring experience in so many ways, and it will improve how your readers consume content as well.

Foldable Sections

The version 4 editors can create foldable sections. These can be really helpful when you have a lot of information in an article and don't want to overwhelm readers with all of the text.


You can now add tables.

First Name Last Name
This is an example Of a table
Henry Ford
File Attachments

You could always attach files in the version 3 web editor. Now you can attach files in the web editor and the desktop editor.

Styled Text Fields

This is an example of a styled text field.

This is an example of a styled text field.

This is an example of a styled text field.

This is an example of a styled text field.

This is an example of a styled text field.

Draft Previews

If you save an article as a draft, you can generate a link and share it with your team so they can view what it will look like to readers before you publish it.

Indented Headings

You can now indent headings up to 4 levels deep.

PDF Downloads

PDFs are now generated in on the ScreenSteps server. We made this update so that you never have to deal with outdated PDFs ever again. When you update an article, the PDF is automatically updated along with it.

How to upgrade to version 4

Now that you are ready to upgrade to version 4, follow the steps below:

1. Transfer your PDF template

Make sure you transfer your PDF template(s) from the desktop client to the browser application. Here's how >> Transfer PDF template to version 4.

2. Check all of your articles in from Version 3

You and your team must check in all of your articles using ScreenSteps version 3 to guarantee that the most up-to-date documentation is in the ScreenSteps cloud, and avoid any confusion after the upgrade.

3. Download the version 4 desktop editor

We recommend that you uninstall version 3 before downloading version 4.

Download the version 4 desktop editor here >> Download the version 4 desktop editor.  Make sure that everybody on your team downloads the new editor.

Important: In ScreenSteps version 3, you were used to clicking on the desktop icon, opening the desktop client, and navigating through manuals and chapters. Version 4 has changed this.

You will now use the browser app (aka the Web Admin area) to view your manuals and chapters. We recommend that you check out these videos to see some of the changes.

4. Enable the version 4 web editor

4.1. Click on Account Settings

4.2. Click Account Settings

4.3. Check Enable the V4 Article Editor

This box might already be checked in your account. If it is, great! You are done!

4.4. Click Update

That's it! You now have everything you need to begin using the new features in version 4. If you have any questions about upgrading to version 4, please email

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