Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Installing packages using pip and virtual environments¶

This guide discusses how to install packages using pip and a virtual environment manager: either venv for Python 3 or virtualenv for Python 2. These are the lowest-level tools for managing Python packages and are recommended if higher-level tools do not suit your needs.


This doc uses the term package to refer to a Distribution Package which is different from a Import Package that which is used to import modules in your Python source code.

Installing pip¶

pip is the reference Python package manager. It’s used to install and update packages. You’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of pip installed.


The Python installers for Windows include pip. You should be able to access pip using:

py -m pip --version pip 9.0.1 from c:\python36\lib\site-packages (Python 3.6.1)

You can make sure that pip is up-to-date by running:

py -m pip install --upgrade pip

Linux and macOS¶

Debian and most other distributions include a python-pip package, if you want to use the Linux distribution-provided versions of pip see Installing pip/setuptools/wheel with Linux Package Managers.

You can also install pip yourself to ensure you have the latest version. It’s recommended to use the system pip to bootstrap a user installation of pip:

python3 -m pip install --user --upgrade pip

Afterwards, you should have the newest pip installed in your user site:

python3 -m pip --version pip 9.0.1 from $HOME/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (python 3.6)

Installing virtualenv¶


If you are using Python 3.3 or newer, the module is the preferred way to create and manage virtual environments. venv is included in the Python standard library and requires no additional installation. If you are using venv, you may skip this section.

virtualenv is used to manage Python packages for different projects. Using virtualenv allows you to avoid installing Python packages globally which could break system tools or other projects. You can install virtualenv using pip.

On macOS and Linux:

python3 -m pip install --user virtualenv

On Windows:

py -m pip install --user virtualenv

Creating a virtual environment¶

venv (for Python 3) and virtualenv (for Python 2) allow you to manage separate package installations for different projects. They essentially allow you to create a “virtual” isolated Python installation and install packages into that virtual installation. When you switch projects, you can simply create a new virtual environment and not have to worry about breaking the packages installed in the other environments. It is always recommended to use a virtual environment while developing Python applications.

To create a virtual environment, go to your project’s directory and run venv. If you are using Python 2, replace with in the below commands.

On macOS and Linux:

On Windows:

The second argument is the location to create the virtual environment. Generally, you can just create this in your project and call it .

venv will create a virtual Python installation in the folder.


You should exclude your virtual environment directory from your version control system using or similar.

Activating a virtual environment¶

Before you can start installing or using packages in your virtual environment you’ll need to activate it. Activating a virtual environment will put the virtual environment-specific and executables into your shell’s .

On macOS and Linux:

On Windows:

You can confirm you’re in the virtual environment by checking the location of your Python interpreter, it should point to the directory.

On macOS and Linux:

which python .../env/bin/python

On Windows:

where python .../env/bin/python.exe

As long as your virtual environment is activated pip will install packages into that specific environment and you’ll be able to import and use packages in your Python application.

Leaving the virtual environment¶

If you want to switch projects or otherwise leave your virtual environment, simply run:

If you want to re-enter the virtual environment just follow the same instructions above about activating a virtual environment. There’s no need to re-create the virtual environment.

Installing packages¶

Now that you’re in your virtual environment you can install packages. Let’s install the Requests library from the Python Package Index (PyPI):

pip should download requests and all of its dependencies and install them:

Collecting requests Using cached requests-2.18.4-py2.py3-none-any.whl Collecting chardet<3.1.0,>=3.0.2 (from requests) Using cached chardet-3.0.4-py2.py3-none-any.whl Collecting urllib3<1.23,>=1.21.1 (from requests) Using cached urllib3-1.22-py2.py3-none-any.whl Collecting certifi>=2017.4.17 (from requests) Using cached certifi-2017.7.27.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl Collecting idna<2.7,>=2.5 (from requests) Using cached idna-2.6-py2.py3-none-any.whl Installing collected packages: chardet, urllib3, certifi, idna, requests Successfully installed certifi-2017.7.27.1 chardet-3.0.4 idna-2.6 requests-2.18.4 urllib3-1.22

Installing specific versions¶

pip allows you to specify which version of a package to install using version specifiers. For example, to install a specific version of :

pip install requests==2.18.4

To install the latest release of requests:

pip install requests>=2.0.0,<3.0.0

To install pre-release versions of packages, use the flag:

pip install --pre requests

Installing extras¶

Some packages have optional extras. You can tell pip to install these by specifying the extra in brackets:

pip install requests[security]

Installing from source¶

pip can install a package directly from source, for example:

cd google-auth pip install .

Additionally, pip can install packages from source in development mode, meaning that changes to the source directory will immediately affect the installed package without needing to re-install:

Installing from version control systems¶

pip can install packages directly from their version control system. For example, you can install directly from a git repository:


For more information on supported version control systems and syntax, see pip’s documentation on VCS Support.

Installing from local archives¶

If you have a local copy of a Distribution Package’s archive (a zip, wheel, or tar file) you can install it directly with pip:

pip install requests-2.18.4.tar.gz

If you have a directory containing archives of multiple packages, you can tell pip to look for packages there and not to use the Python Package Index (PyPI) at all:

pip install --no-index --find-links=/local/dir/ requests

This is useful if you are installing packages on a system with limited connectivity or if you want to strictly control the origin of distribution packages.

Using other package indexes¶

If you want to download packages from a different index than the Python Package Index (PyPI), you can use the flag:

pip install --index-url SomeProject

If you want to allow packages from both the Python Package Index (PyPI) and a separate index, you can use the flag instead:

pip install --extra-index-url SomeProject

Upgrading packages¶

pip can upgrade packages in-place using the flag. For example, to install the latest version of and all of its dependencies:

pip install --upgrade requests

Using requirements files¶

Instead of installing packages individually, pip allows you to declare all dependencies in a Requirements File. For example you could create a file containing:

requests==2.18.4 google-auth==1.1.0

And tell pip to install all of the packages in this file using the flag:

pip install -r requirements.txt

Freezing dependencies¶

Pip can export a list of all installed packages and their versions using the command:

Which will output a list of package specifiers such as:

cachetools==2.0.1 certifi==2017.7.27.1 chardet==3.0.4 google-auth==1.1.1 idna==2.6 pyasn1==0.3.6 pyasn1-modules==0.1.4 requests==2.18.4 rsa==3.4.2 six==1.11.0 urllib3==1.22

This is useful for creating Requirements Files that can re-create the exact versions of all packages installed in an environment.

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, Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Mac OS 9.2.2 Universal


by toniwonkanobi - 2020, May 26 - 5:41pm

New by MikeTomTom - 2020, May 25 - 3:36pm

the Ti book. I have had trouble with system sleep with mine…

Perhaps with the G4 Titanium Book, it’s necessary to follow the hints in the post down below, made by “Doodle D Day” back in November, 2014. With regards to replacing the ROM file by using a more recent version of the ROM file which would have come with the Ti-book.

Fortunately since that post, we now have the full original install sets for the following Ti models:

The G4 Titanium DVI 667/800 and the G4 Titanium 867MHz/1GHz full install sets.

So depending on your model, you can either grab and replace the ROM file from the correct set for your Ti, or do a clean install of Mac OS 9 using the original Ti-books OS install sets.

And hopefully, this would fix any sleep problems noticed with the Ti and Mac OS 9.2.2.

I have tried two methods of restoring my PowerBook G4 Titanium (), and both resulted with an inability to wake from sleep:

  1. Using the aforementioned “full install set” for the 867MHz/1GHz: Mac OS 9.2.2 & X 10.2.1 (PowerBook G4 Titanium 867MHz/1GHz)
  2. Using an extracted System folder from the restore DVD, found here: Mac OS 9.2.2 System Folders

With both of these methods, I still have this annoying wake from sleep problem on 9.2.2. (I have no problems waking from sleep on Mac OS X, be it 10.2.1, as was the case for method 1 described previously, or with 10.4.11, as was the case for method 2 described previously.)

Sometimes, when I wake from sleep, I get a blank gray screen unresponsive to keyboard and mouse input. Other times, I see my desktop as it existed before entering sleep, with the cursor appearing as a wristwatch, and the control strip is just a blank white blob (with no responses to keyboard and mouse input).

I considered hardware issues, as I’ve installed new RAM from OWC, as well as an IDE to mSATAadapter drive thing, but since there are no sleep issues in Mac OS X, I’ve ruled those out. (Should I not rule out hardware issues?)


Okay, so I answered my own question. I decided to try and determine if the SSD was the problem.

Turns Out™ it was (sort of)!

The IDE to mSATA adapter I used comes from the factory in “Cable Select mode,” with Pin47-Pin48 jumped together. I needed the adapter to be in “Master mode,” with the jumper removed from the adapter altogether.

(As an aside: I figured there must be something wonky with either the adapter or the mSATA drive itself, because when I swapped in the old spinning HDD from a different PowerBook and did a clean install of 9.2.2, this PowerBook woke from sleep without issue.)

by MikeTomTom - 2020, April 8 - 7:59am

There is no burn button on my Disk Utility. That option is, I just found out, in a drop down list under "Image". Is there any way to get those buttons to display on my disk utility window? And how do I send a screen shot and attach it to show you what my Disk Utility window looks like?

The Disk Utility toolbar (which houses the buttons) must have been toggled to off, somehow. Under Tiger 10.4.x in Disk Utility, this is accessed under the "Window" menu as "Show Toolbar" or "Hide Toolbar" depending on which mode has been toggled on or off. In your case it will have "Show Toolbar" visible under the Window menu.

Likely not needed for that particular screenshot now, but you can upload pics at any time to the Mac Garden's Image Hosting site. You can then place links to them into any post you make here or elsewhere, to have them display in your posts.

You burned the CD successfully at last, under OS 9.2.2 and using Toast? Well that's just as good an alternative approach and I'm glad that it worked OK for you too.

That it boots up your AGP G4 with a Sonnet upgrade, that's very good to know. I wasn't aware that it it would be suitable for 3rd party cards, too, so it's great to hear of that, thanks.

Anyway, your modded G4 sounds very nice indeed and I hope you get many more good years out of it.

by wnlewis - 2020, April 7 - 9:26pm


First, I really like your System 7 logo, that you, and others, use. Way cool!

You said, "4). Once you see it's name arrive into Disk Utility's window, click it, to highlight the name, then click the "Burn" button in the top left corner of the Disk Utility's window. Insert a blank disk (or CD-RW) when requested and wait for it to complete the burn."

There is no burn button on my Disk Utility. That option is, I just found out, in a drop down list under "Image". Is there any way to get those buttons to display on my disk utility window? And how do I send a screen shot and attach it to show you what my Disk Utility window looks like?

I did get a CD successfully burned, but I went back to a drive with 9.2.2 as the OS, used Classilla to download the .zip file and then used Toast 5.2.3 to burn the CD - after properly locking the .iso file. Hooray!

The disk does boot my Sawtooth AGP G4. It will not boot on any system below 9.2. The Sawtooth G4's are somewhat twitchy beasts.

Details: It has been upgraded with a Sonnet 1 GHz processor. The motherboard has been upgraded to a Uni North = 7 so that when I find a Newer Technology MaxPower 7448 I will be able to use it.

It has a Firmtek/Seritek 4 port PCI card that provides SATA capability on the PCI bus. By going in through the PCI bus and by having ATA to SATA adapters, the LBA limitation on large IDE drives on Sawtooth Macs does not apply. They show up as SCSI drives and OS 9.2.2 can use the drives quite nicely.

The computer uses a Radeon ATI 9600 Mac Pro Edition video card. This allow two screens, and again, OS 9.2.2. and all of the PowerPC versions of X can use it.

I've gone to this trouble because I am running Ashlar Vellum Cobalt for OS 9 that I got for $300 - instead of $3,500 - when I was working as the Apple Sales Manager in a company in Wichita.

Cobalt is a full-up parametric solid modelling CAD program and still compares very well with SolidWorks and the best programs from AutoDesk. The new versions of those programs, and current Cobalt, is over $3,000; plus you rent them instead of owning them.

So, the decisions to spend a few hundred here and a few hundred there on what seems like an ancient system seems fairly logical; especially given the "pop" that Cobalt has with a 1 GHz processor and a good video card on a large, "gasp" ViewSonic monitor cast off from the place where I used to work.

Right now I am attempting to load MintPPC.

I have had Ubuntu successfully installed on this machine. That gives me access to current FireFox, current Libre Office, and access to a perfectly good HP 1510 that never worked, even though HP supposedly made software for it. They bungled the USB interface for the Mac and the printer driver cannot connect with the printer under Macintosh, plus HP has removed all such drivers and the necessary update that did fix the USB interface.

Linux does not support the scan function - I don't think. But I can now print from my Linux/Mac.

Probably "too much information", but I get yelled at for insisting on hanging on to an "ancient computer", when "you should just go out and buy a new computer", or "someone will just give you a computer". I've not yet found a "give away" CAD workstation.

by MikeTomTom - 2020, April 7 - 3:18am

@wnlewis: Hi, and sorry: ".zip", quite right.

It's not the downloaded ".zip" file that needs to be locked. Rather, it is the ".iso" file, once extracted that must be locked, before you do anything else with it (such as double-click and mount it on the desktop). This is to prevent the Finder from making any changes to this ".iso". Which it would do, if you double-clicked and mounted it on the desktop unlocked - doing so would render the ".iso" as being unable to create a bootable CD from that point onwards.

Disk Utility retains a list of disk image names that it has mounted previously, in the lower left portion of it's window, which is why you may see it's name subsequently (or if you have mounted it onto the desktop before starting Disk Utility, it's name would appear in the upper left portion on the disk's pane as a mounted disk).

You can remove old names of unmounted disks from the lower part of the list, simply by dragging them out away from Disk Utility's window then releasing the mouse.


1). Start with a fresh ".iso" by extracting "macos-922-uni.iso" once again, from the ".zip" file.

2). Lock the freshly extracted ".iso". Do not allow it to be mounted nor double-click it's icon.

3). Start up Disk Utility, clear the old name if it's there and drag the unmounted, locked .iso's icon into that lower left area of Disk Utility's window where unmounted filenames appear.

4). Once you see it's name arrive into Disk Utility's window, click it, to highlight the name, then click the "Burn" button in the top left corner of the Disk Utility's window. Insert a blank disk (or CD-RW) when requested and wait for it to complete the burn.

Because of your post, I downloaded the "" file from the above link, to test that it was still OK and working.

Following those 4 steps outlined above and using a G4 running Mac OS X 10.4.11, I burned the ".iso" to a blank CD-RW (to save on potential coasters) which resulted in a bootable CD that I was able to start up a G4 eMac (1GHz ATI) with. - It works fine. I've previously used this CD as a bootable OS 9.2.2 install disk on Macs such as the beige G3 thru to the G4 eMac ATI. So anything in-between, like your Sawtooth, should not be a problem.

This also gave me an opportunity to take a few screenshots during this process, which I've included below.
These may be of use to you. So see how it goes.

Click this image for a short slideshow:
by wnlewis - 2020, April 6 - 5:30pm

"Start up "Disk Utility" and drag the extracted unmounted .iso image file over into the lower left section of the Disk Utility's window. You will see it's name appear there. Select it's name and then click Burn."

@MikeTomTom: Thank you for your reply. My first problem is that BOMArchiveHelper open on download is the default option. So I changed that to "save file" (not open on DL).

The universal 9.2.2 file is not a .sit but a .zip - not much difference but just a note.

I locked the file that was downloaded and then double clicked it. It opened and gave me a .iso file. The .iso file was in the disk utility window, in the lower left pane, when I opened the disk utility.

Note: No dragging of the .iso file to the lower left pane is required. The lower left pane populates with any image that could be (or is) mounted or copied, but that is not currently an active drive).

I selected the .iso file and selected "restore" (not burn, since burn has never been an option). The options for the .iso file when right clicked are: information, first aid, and restore.

I put in a blank CD. A dialogue box popped up and asked if I wanted to open Finder, Disk Utility, Ignore, or some other action.

The only response that shows the blank CD on the desktop is "Finder". If I select any other option, the disk and the DVD Super Drive do not show in the upper half of the left pane of the Disk Utility Window.

I can drag the .iso file to the source box. But the blank CD does not show on the left pane of the Disk Utility window (and never has).

I have tried dragging the image of the DVD drive to the destination box, but no image of the blank CD shows. It is not possible to drag the image of the blank CD from the desktop to the destination box.

Until I can get the blank CD into the destination box I cannot do "restore". And as I said previously, "burn" is not an option. I have tried blank DVD's with the same result.

I am running 10.4.11.

Thank you for your help and patience.

by Doodle D Day - 2014, November 3 - 3:02pm

I just bought a TiBook 1.0ghz too and am having the same problems: it's mainly the peripherals that don't work, particularly AV (Monitors and Sound), but also DVD drive, and putting the computer to sleep. I have found that all 9.2.2 disks will install on any Mac if you can fool the installer, by way of Open Firmware and the BootX file (like XPostFacto does) or modifying the IncompatHW file in the Upgrader Files folder on the Install DVD.

The key to getting OS 9 running properly on any particular Mac model, however, is the versions of the System Folder files you have installed, mostly Extensions, but a few Control Panels, and ESPECIALLY the Mac OS ROM file. The way Apple has modified the various versions of the OS for particular models started with those old System Enablers, but continued with a package called Mac OS CPU Software. Each install disk (or restore disk) that came with each new Mac model had a newer version of the Mac OS CPU Software package. The latest I've heard of (probably the last) was version 5.9. If we could find a complete set of the files in that package for version 5.9 (or even whatever earlier version came on the original 9.2.2 Install disk with the Titanium PowerBook G4 1.0ghz A1025), all that would be needed is to copy just those files over into their proper places in the System Folder.

From what I understand, the Universal 9.2.2 Install CD here has Mac OS CPU Software 4.9 (which includes the Mac OS ROM file v9.2.1), which is too old for a TiBook. I am currently attempting to find various later versions of the CPU Software and try them out on my TiBook. So far I have even found a Mac OS ROM file version 10.2.1 which was part of CPU Software 5.8 (I believe there is even a later ROM file in 5.9). I note that the Mac OS ROM file which came with the 9.2.1 and 9.2.2 upgrader installers from Apple was v.8.7, so that's one reason why my TiBook isn't functioning properly.

All the files we're looking for in the Mac OS CPU Software package are simply later versions (and a few new files) of the ones in the standard OS 9.2.2 Install: Extensions and suchlike for monitors, video, sound, DVD, keyboard, and a few other things, and the Mac OS ROM file of course. If you find any later versions, copy them into your System Folder and see if that solves any problems.

The hardest part is that the images or stuffed files on The Garden are so large to download, when all we need are a few files from the right CPU Software package. I don't have the bandwidth to d/l even a 400meg image, let alone several just to see what version files or package is on it.

But it may be worth it, considering I only paid $65 for my TiBook and I'm just thrilled about my upgrade from the PB G3 Lombard I've had for 8 years. Finally a new toy! Wanna watch DVDs but something is missing...

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Vellum in virtual Mac environment Archives

Vellum Review: Read This Guide Before Using It!

From Google Docs to Scrivener to our very own Reedsy Book Editor, there are countless tools out there for writers to create, edit, and ultimately format and export their books to publish. Vellum is another one that you probably recognize, though you might not be completely familiar with its mechanics. That’s why we wanted to comprehensively review the latest Vellum software! In this post we'll evaluate key features, overall pros and cons, and how to know if it’s the right software for you.

First off, let’s cover what Vellum is, as well as the different packages and pricing available.

What is Vellum?

Vellum is a book creation tool for Mac that allows you to professionally format books for publication. The Vellum software is free to download and use, but you’ll need to purchase a package to actually export your files to publish.

The Vellum package options are:

1. Vellum Ebooks — allows you to create and export unlimited ebooks.
💰Cost: $199.99

2. Vellum Press — allows you to create and export unlimited ebooks and paperbacks.
💰Cost: $249.99

If you purchase Vellum Ebooks first, you can upgrade to Vellum Press for an additional $99.99. However, the mathematically-minded user will realize that this is $50 more than you’d pay for Vellum Press alone. So if there’s even a chance that you’ll end up printing your books, you might want to invest in Vellum Press outright.

These prices might seem pretty steep for publishing software, but keep in mind that you’re not just going to be using Vellum as a replacement for Microsoft Word. Indeed, its primary function is formatting, not writing, and its features allow for fairly sophisticated book design. Its strengths include great import and export abilities, style templates, and a multi-platform previewing tool — all of which we’ll cover below.

Did you know? The material “vellum” is parchment made from stretched calfskin, used by writers for centuries in lieu of paper. Though it’s much rarer nowadays, vellum is still used for certain religious and archival purposes, such as printing scrolls of the Torah and the British Acts of Parliament.

Key features of Vellum 2.5.3

📥 Import capabilities

Though just about every book formatting tool allows you to import other documents, Vellum’s import capabilities are quite impressive. You can only import Word .docx files (which makes sense, given that this software is only available for Mac), but the conversion is instantaneous and pretty seamless. Your entire book appears in the app right away, with chapter breaks inserted automatically, as long as you’ve denoted them with headings in the original document.

You can then edit directly in the app, though your bold, italics, and other basic formatting will carry over. Finally, you can do special formatting, such as ornamental breaks (which you can customize yourself!).

The only hiccup we found with Vellum’s importer was that it occasionally messes up the spacing in the first chapter. However, this can be fixed in-app by simply deleting the extra spaces. Some users have also reported chapters being clumped together or out of order.  To fix this, just select the configuration icon next to the heading and then choose “Convert To.”

If you’d like to test out the importer (or any of the following features) yourself, you can do so using the sample documents provided on the Vellum Tutorial page.

📖 Book Styles

If any one feature makes Vellum worth its hefty price tag, it’s Book Styles. Once you’ve arranged your chapters to your heart’s content, you can navigate to this panel (under “Styles” on the left) to tailor just about every other aspect of your formatting and interior design. Start by selecting the overall aesthetic of your book under the main Book Style heading (with stylishly named options such as “Meridian,” “Artisanal,” and “Oxford”). Then go on to customize just about everything else!

For example, remember how we said you can cherry-pick those ornamental line breaks between sections? Vellum provides no less than seven built-in designs, plus the option to upload your own image to use as the “ornament.” The Book Style panel also supplies multiple options for chapter titles and first paragraphs (including various fonts and drop caps), as well as block quotes, verses, and even images.

Past versions of the Vellum software have struggled to incorporate images into the text, but the newest version has more or less cracked the formula. There’s still no viable option for a full spread of custom-placed images (as you might see with photos in the middle of a biography, for example), but you can easily insert in-line images, or a single image that takes up a whole page.

As you switch back and forth among the different styles, Vellum will also display each option in an e-reader preview on the right, so you can get a sneak peek at the final product. Speaking of which, those previews aren’t just for experimenting with Book Styles…

👀 Preview mode

Another helpful feature of Vellum is its Preview mode. Most formatting tools have a preview mode of sorts, but Vellum’s is particularly thorough. It allows you to see how your book layout will look on a wide variety of e-readers: Kindle Fire and Paperwhite, Apple iPad and iPhone, Nook SimpleTouch, Kobo Glo, and Android tablet. Simply click on the tablet icon in the toolbar to select your mode of choice.

You can also preview how your pages would appear in a print book. Vellum definitely shines here, as it has both Draft mode (for looking at the overall text) and Proof mode (for scrutinizing the layout and design). The only downside is that Proof mode can be a bit slow to run. So if you’re using Vellum to preview a print book, you should probably save the “Proof” preview until your very last once-over.

📤 Export capabilities

Finally, we have Vellum’s export capabilities, which match its trusty import capabilities: the app exports smoothly and true to preview. As long as you’ve checked over your book on every kind of e-reader, you should have no trouble. Naturally, it also exports in various file types for ebooks, and different trim sizes for print books.

However, it’s easy to forget that you won’t be able to export files from Vellum without paying for a full package — and you don’t want to frustrate yourself by designing the perfect book, only to realize you don’t actually have the budget for it. So be honest with yourself about what you’re willing (and able) to spend, and weigh your formatting options carefully before you begin this process. Luckily, our next section should help you with that!

Overall pros and cons of Vellum

👍 Pros

  • Various professional, aesthetically pleasing formatting options with Book Styles.
  • Can include links to external sources and your other books. If you provide it with the right identifier, Vellum will even generate the correct link depending on what kind of file you export — so for example, if it’s a MOBI for Amazon, Vellum will automatically insert the appropriate Amazon link.
  • Preview function helps clearly envision the final product, whether it’s an ebook or print book.
  • No limit to the number of books you can export after you’ve purchased a package — great for authors self-publishing long series, and even has built-in box set capabilities.

👎 Cons

  • Much more expensive to use than comparable book formatting tools, such as Apple Pages (free), Kindle Create (free), the Reedsy Book Editor (free), and Scrivener ($45).
  • Not available for PC — though you can still use Vellum on a PC, if you’re willing to pay for access to a “virtual” Mac.
  • Doesn’t lend itself well to substantial textual edits. For example, if you write a new sentence to replace an old one, but then want to undo the typing (Ctrl+Z), Vellum will undo each individual letter rather than the whole sentence at once. (This is why, though it can be used as a word processor, we recommend waiting to import your book into Vellum until you have a final draft.)

The bottom line

Vellum software is a solid investment if you’re planning on self-publishing multiple books, especially if you’ve been dissatisfied with other DIY formatting options in the past. However, if this is only your first book, and/or you’re not sure whether you’ll go the self-publishing or traditional publishing route, it’s best to hold off for now — especially if you’re on a budget, since $199.99 (at minimum) is nothing to sneeze at.

In the meantime, why not check out some free book formatting tools, just to get a feel for the process? (We hear that RBE is pretty cool.) Or if you’re on the hunt to purchase some writing software, but don’t quite have Vellum-deep pockets, check out this post on the best — and relatively affordable — pieces of novel writing software in 2020. Don’t be afraid to try out lots of different programs: that’s the only way to find out what’s right for you!

Have you used Vellum to format your books? If so, tell us about it in the comments — and if not, leave a question for someone who has!

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