Quick Start Guide to Atticus

Learn how to format your book in just a few minutes using Atticus.

Welcome to Atticus, software designed to streamline your writing journey and transform your manuscript into a professional, publish-ready book. This quick start guide to Atticus will show you how to get started with your new book formatting program, including installing the app to your computer, laptop, or mobile device. 

Let’s get started!

Create Your Account

Once you’ve purchased Atticus, you’ll receive an email to create your account. If you don’t see it right away, try doing a search of your entire inbox, including folders like promotions, spam, and junk, for the subject line: Create Your Atticus Account, or the from email hello@atticus.io.

Click the button that says Get Started with Atticus and it’ll open up in your default browser. Now you can set up your password. Your login will always be your email address. 

Once that’s done, you’ll redirect to the main Atticus dashboard. 

You can use Atticus on any web browser of your choice by logging into app.atticus.io from any device that is convenient to you at the time. 

If you plan on moving between devices, it’s important to remember to fully log out of Atticus on one device before logging in on your next device. This will force sync all your hard work and make sure it’s ready to go on your next device. 

Profile icon in the top right corner of Atticus where you'll find the log out link

NOTE: To logout completely, click the Profile icon in the top right, and then the Logout button. You’ll know you’re successfully logged out when you’re returned to the Log In screen.

Install App

If you find working in a browser too distracting, you can also download and install an app version of Atticus. This will always be tied to your browser, but it will open in a standalone window. The app version is not compatible with all browsers, and we highly recommend using Chrome if possible.

If you’re logged into Atticus, in the top right, you’ll see an Install button. Click this to install and open the app instantly. Every device is different, and depending on your operating system, browser, and extensions, if this button is not working, you can also look to the browser bar to find a similar icon. It will prompt you to Install Atticus and, again, open up the app automatically. 

Image of 2 separate icons where you can click to install the app version of Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

If you are on a Mac, you may want to move the file from your Chrome Apps folder to your Applications folder.

Screenshot showing how to drag the Atticus app icon from the Chrome Apps folder on a Mac to the Applications folder
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

On most Windows and Mac devices, you can also right click on the icon in your taskbar when the app is running to pin it for easy access in the future. 

Atticus Home Dashboard

Your Home Dashboard will be simple to start, but will eventually fill up with any books you’ve created or uploaded, with the most recently worked on book showing up first. You’ll always have the following options:

  • Upload a Book to import a document you’ve already started or completed.
  • Start a Book to begin a new book from scratch in Atticus.
  • Create a Boxset to compile previously formatted books inside Atticus into a Boxset.

You’ll always find a convenient link to our Tutorials page if you need help with any writing or formatting feature or technique.

Would you like to start with a practice book?
Try this one: Little Dog Ready

Blank Atticus Dashboard
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

NOTE: We do not recommend copy and pasting content from other programs into your Atticus book, as that can bring with it problematic hidden coding which may cause trouble with the formatting. Whenever possible, we recommend either writing directly in Atticus, or importing a .docx file. We have multiple tutorials to help you out with both of these options.

Once you have a book or books started, like you see here, you can click on the three dots beside the title and time stamp to delete your book or duplicate it.

Click a book thumbnail image in the Atticus home dashboard to find the options Duplicate and Delete

Master Page Gallery

If you scroll down the page you’ll find your Master Pages Gallery. When you’ve created Master Pages, they will appear here. You can click the thumbnail image to open and review the page, or you can click the three dots to Rename the page, Sync to All Books, or Delete the page.

Access the Master Page gallery from the bottom of the Home dashboard

If you click “See All” to the top right of your book thumbnail images, you’ll be brought to the My Books dashboard. From here, you can see All, Books, and Master Pages, which we’ll get into more later. 

To the right, you can search for a specific book by title, or organize your dashboard by recently added (default), date modified, alphabetically, or the project or version  – all details you set according to your needs and preferences.

You can also view everything either in the default Grid view, or change it to List view if you prefer. 

Gif of the My books section of the Atticus Home dashboard

Writing in Atticus

When you’re ready to work on a book, click on the title or cover from your dashboard. This will bring you straight to the writing page where you can dive into writing or adding to your manuscript.

GIF of the Writing toolbar in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

You have the Left Navigation Pane where you can organize all your pages and chapters. The Toolbar along the top offers all the text formatting tools you can use in your content. 

Along the bottom of the screen is the Status Bar, where you’ll see a variety of important informational points and tools:

  • Your Saving…Saved notifications
  • The ability to export to .docx
  • The Sprint Timer
  • Your Word Count

To the far right we have more tools for your writing comfort. 

The Editor Settings allows you to set the preferences for the Content Editor. This is for your benefit while writing in Atticus. These settings will not export to the final version of your book – only the Formatting settings will influence your final product. 

There is also a Find and Replace tool, a place for you to set your Goals and track your Writing Habits, and a Smart Quotes applicator.

GIF of the options available in the right sidebar of Atticus

Preview While You Write

If you’d like to see the preview while you write, you can click the Preview icon in the bottom right corner to open the preview panel.

You’ll now see your navigation panel on the left, your work on the center of the page, and a preview of what the chapter looks like on the right. 

Create Chapters and Pages

Add new chapters by clicking “Add Chapter” or you can add front or back matter pages by clicking on the three dots and selecting what page type you want. You can also drag and drop your chapters anywhere they need to be in the left navigation pane. 

You can also save Master Pages or Import Chapters from additional .docx files here. 

Add Chapter button at the bottom of the left navigation pane in ATticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Formatting in Atticus

Once you’re finished writing and editing, you can click on Formatting to start choosing your Formatting preferences.

The Formatting dashboard in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

You can start from scratch or choose one of the Atticus designed themes and customize to your liking.

You can customize and save all the elements, including:

  • Chapter Heading
  • Paragraph
  • Subheading
  • Scene Break
  • Notes
  • Print Layout
  • Typography
  • Header/Footer
  • Trim Sizes
Options available for customizing or creating a theme in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

We have a complete step-by-step tutorial to help you design a unique theme of your own, along with many other helpful tutorials to help you master all the features Atticus offers.

Export Publish Ready Files

When you’re ready to export your fully formatted book, you can choose from ePub or PDF underneath the Previewer in the Formatting tab. The files Atticus exports are ready to publish using any major publisher, including KDP and IngramSpark.

Export buttons below the previewer in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Additional Backup & Export Options

You can also click Edit Book Details in the top left, next to your book’s title, for more export options.

If you’d like a back up copy or a version of your manuscript to share with editors, you can also export to .docx. Atticus is both a writing and formatting program, so the special features you add to the design elements of your book will not be recognized by Word, but all the important content and chapter breaks, etc will be exactly where you need them to be. This is perfect for an editor.

Atticus automatically saves your work every few characters, but if you’d like an extra layer of protection, you can press this Download Snapshot button to force sync your book to our secure servers and download a .json file which can be used to restore your account if anything out of the ordinary were to happen. 

Export buttons, including .docx export, available by clicking the Edit Book Details button in the top left
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Also in the Edit Book Details section, you can update various book and publisher details as well as upload the eBook cover image.

Edit Book Details in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

At any time you can click the Atticus logo or Home icon in the top left to go back to your Home dashboard. If you press the Backup Content (save)  button from here, it will force sync your entire account and the .json file downloaded will be a back up of all your books currently saved to Atticus. 

Clicking your profile icon and logging out of Atticus completely will also automatically back up your entire account and sync it to the cloud.

Backup account buttons in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Create a Box Set

If you have formatted multiple books in Atticus and you would like to combine them into a Box Set, it’s now an incredibly quick and easy process. 

From your Home dashboard, click Create a New Boxset.

Select the books from your account that you would like included, making sure to click in the order you would like them to appear in your box set. 

Click Next and enter the details for your new box set. Atticus will then compile all selected books into a single file for you.

GIF showing how to create a new boxset from the Atticus home dashboard
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Customize and Edit a Boxset

Atticus will automatically generate Front Matter for the boxset as a whole, but if you click the title of an individual book from the left navigation panel, you will find each book also has front matter, including an individual title page, copyright page, and Table of Contents. You are welcome to keep or remove these details for each book as suits your box set needs. 

front matter area of a boxset
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

Using the left navigation pane you can hide or show all the chapters for each book using the arrow next to the Volume title.

Left navigation pane of a boxset in Atticus
Right click to Open image in new tab for a larger image.

You can set your theme for the entire box set, just like working on a single book. Make any other small adjustments and export the file into a single PDF or ePub, ready for publishing.

Support and Troubleshooting

For more tutorials and instructions, we have a variety of helpful resources to choose from, depending on your learning style preferences. 

The first stop we recommend is our Tutorials page. All the most common needs for Atticus Authors are addressed here. We highly recommend you check out our Atticus Best Practices tutorial next!

We also have a YouTube channel and Facebook community with further live demos and community interaction. 

If you’re still stuck, head over to our Support Page and send our amazing customer success team a message, and they’ll be glad to help!

On behalf of the entire Atticus team, we welcome you and wish you all the best of success with your writing, formatting and, of course, publishing!

Last Updated: 02/14/2024

Was this tutorial helpful?