Introduction to Zinelit

Welcome to ZineLit! 

This manual provides documentation for you to learn ZineLit's features. ZineLit is a free app designed to help you organize your notes. It facilitates sharing them as digital books. You can pick between three formats to structure your content:
  • zNote 
  • zMag
  • zPedia
These formats resemble types of writings in the real world, such as a simple note, an article, a book, and even an encyclopedia! The screenshot below shows a brief description. See the chapter Formats for a detailed explanation.


We called ZineLit's proprietary native eBook type a Zine. This is pronounced zeen, as in magazine

Zines produced by printing or copy machines are often described as self-published work produced by a single author or a small group to write about, well, anything!  (In case you don't know, zines are a thing. Google it 😄) They are vehicles of self-expression and are used to promote artistic, original, bold ideas. ZineLit's zines serve this same purpose but in electronic format. You can write about anything you want and share it with others. 

Every time you create a new item on the Home Screen and then give it a name you are creating a Zine. Exporting an individual Zine generates a file with the extension zine, as in MyFile.zine. Zines can only be created and open in ZineLit. 

Offline-first App

ZineLit is an offline-first app. You do not need an internet connection to create, read, or update your Zines. Your data is stored locally on your device and it is always available. Naturally, certain tasks like opening web links or watching embedded YouTube videos do require a network connection.

Electronic Publication Properties

ZineLit is much more than a note-taking app. A main feature of ZineLit is that it can turn your notes into a digital publication. An exported Zine shares similarities with eBook types and digital files such as EPUB, MOBI, and PDF. Of course, each format has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some cool things you can do with ZineLit:
  • You can create unlimited Zines right on your device. It is as easy as taking notes.
  • As mentioned above, you have 3 formats to choose from.
  • You can export a Zine and share it with your readers and friends.
  • The exported Zine can be either locked (cannot edit) or unlocked (can edit). See chapter Locked and Unlocked Modes for more details.
  • When you lock a Zine, you can opt to lock it with or without a key. Both options lock the Zine for edits. In the first case, a key will be randomly generated, and it will be required to import and open the file in ZineLit. Conversely, without a key, the Zine can be installed by any person in possession of the file. 
  • The text content inside any locked zine file is encrypted. 
  • Unlike PDFs, you can adjust the font size of a Zine in ZineLit.
  • Unlike the EPUB and MOBI formats, you can generate and share unlocked Zines that are editable. This means that your end-user will be able not only to read but also to freely modify the Zine. For use cases, see the chapter Locked and Unlocked Modes.
  • Hardcopy books are good, but you cannot watch YouTube videos on those. ZineLit makes it easy for you to embed YouTube videos and pictures into your Zines. This takes full advantage of the digital nature of a Zine. Combining text, videos, and images makes reading a lot more visual and more appealing to a larger audience. 


As mentioned above, ZineLit is an offline-first app. At the moment, it is not possible to sync data across devices. However, you can create a backup by exporting all your data, including text and media, to an external drive or to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, iCloud, or OneDrive. The exported backup file will have the extension zbak, as in MyBackup.zbak. For more information, see the chapter Create a Backup


At the moment, ZineLit works optimally in English. We are aiming to fully support other languages in the future, which includes translating the text of the app's interface. You may write notes in other languages but please be aware of the limitations mentioned below.

The app has been tested in other languages using Roman letters, and it works well with a few caveats. For instance, the alphabetical sorting feature doesn't order the list correctly if the first letter of the word has diacritic marks, such as "É", "Ñ" and the like. Such words may be positioned incorrectly at the end of the list. As a workaround, you could avoid using diacritics on the first letter of topics or titles that can be reordered alphabetically.

We tested the app using Chinese characters. Writing notes in Chinese (both in the Simplified and Traditional scripts) works well but again there are a few caveats. Obviously, Chinese characters cannot be sorted alphabetically. We have no support for Pinyin.  Also, on the Topics screen, you will not be able to save a topic unless it starts with a Roman character. As a workaround, you may add the initial of the Pinyin notation as the first letter of your topic. For instance, the term "中文" could be written "Zh 中文" so that ZineLit can sort it using the letter Z. 

Purchases And Account

In-app Purchases

We offer a subscription to Remove Ads on ZineLit. You can buy this offering as an in-app purchase. We appreciate your support in becoming a paid user.

Restoring Purchases

To restore purchases, it is required to register a ZineLit account. After you registered an account with us, you will be able to restore and apply your purchases on devices other than the one used to make the purchase. Typically, it would suffice to log in to your ZineLit account on a different device and your purchases will become active immediately. However, if you wish to change the email linked to your ZineLit purchases, you can create a new account using that new email. Then navigate to the Purchases screen and press the Restore button on the header. This will transfer your purchase to your new ZineLit account. 

Account Registration

Since ZineLit is an offline-first app, all your notes are stored on your device, not in the cloud. The benefit of this is that you can use ZineLit completely anonymously with the peace of mind that the only person that has control over your data is you. You do not need to register an account to use ZineLit. However, as mentioned in the subheading above, account registration is needed to apply purchases on devices other than the one you originally made the purchase on. 

For instance, if you made an in-app purchase on this device, you will have access to them, even if you reinstall the app. For this to work, your device user account must be the same one used to make the purchase on the App Store or Play Store. However, if you have a second cellphone under the same Android or Apple ID and you wish to apply your purchases there too, we can honor that but we need a way to identify you. The way to do it is if you register an account with us. That is the only use we have for your email and username, to authenticate you across devices and honor your purchases.

You can find a registration form on the Settings screen. You may use a social login or email and password.

So, many apps have user login and store some personal information. What's the big deal? True, this is a common practice nowadays on many apps. However, we believe in respecting our users' privacy. Some apps compel you to register even if it's not really necessary. Many times, using an app anonymously is not possible. Users concerned with privacy will appreciate having the choice of using our app and even making purchases, such as removing ads, without giving ZineLit a drop of personal data, not even an email.

On the flip side, the inconvenience of not registering is that only the device that made the purchase will have a record of it. Your purchases can only be used there. If you want other devices to also use a certain purchased feature, you will need to buy it separately on each device.

For more information, see our Privacy Policy


Structured Notes

In the first chapter, we introduced you to the Zine, the native file of ZineLit. A Zine has three formats you can select depending on your writing needs. Each format adds one layer to the note's structure. These formats are out-of-the-box scaffolds to help you structure and shape your notes.

The basic note is a zNote. To that, we add one layer in the form of chapters to make a zMag. And then we add a third layer for alphabetical sortings like an encyclopedia. We call it zPedia. Notice that these names are self-explanatory:
  • zNote: A plain note
  • zMag: Like a magazine or book
  • zPedia: Like an encyclopedia or dictionary

Formats Screen

After you press Create New on the Home screen header, you will navigate to the Formats screen. There you can give a title to your Zine and select if it will be a zNote, a zMag, or a zPedia. After you complete these steps, you can start writing your awesome content.

The following is a brief description and some use cases of the formats.


This is your regular one-dimensional, single-page note similar to what you find in your typical note-taking apps. You can add headings, formatting, styles, images, and even videos to your zNotes. You can write as long as you want as long as you are happy scrolling down endlessly.

Use Cases: Anything you would jot down on a piece of paper or a napkin can be written on a zNote. But a zNote is much more than a sticky note. Due to its sharability and publication-like properties, a zNote can be used to write an essay, a poem, a short paper, an article, or any type of writing that you would like to preserve, protect or publish in digital format. You could also create a video playlist of your favorite YouTube videos using this format. In fact, all that can also be done in the other two formats. But in zNote it's easier to keep your content to a manageable length. The sample zNotes included with ZineLit is Mark Twain's essay How to Tell a Story and the list of embedded videos Learn Something New. They exemplify what you can create using this format.


What if you have too much information for a one-pager? That's where adding an extra layer of structure comes in handy. Just like a magazine or book has several articles grouped together in an issue, the zMag format allows you to bind together multiple notes under one title. We could have called it zBook but somehow zMag sounds cooler, and less recycled 😋.

Use Cases: Have you ever dreamed of writing a book? Well, you can draft your eBook right here on this app using the zMag format. You probably already noticed that this manual is a zMag. So anything from a manual, a magazine, documentation for a product, a novel or even your biography can be documented using the zMag format. Upon finalizing it, you can export it and share it with whoever you want. 


An encyclopedia groups many topics in alphabetical order. Each topic may have a number of subtopics in it. Similarly, dictionaries group words in alphabetical order. You can do all that with the zPedia format. Here we add a third layer to the Zine's structure which allows for a more complex style of organizing a large set of data while facilitating navigation.

Use Cases: Do you know a great deal about a particular subject? Write a zPedia! For instance, you may take a look at Quotes By Topics, the sample zPedia included by default in ZineLit. Since we have thousands of quotes that will otherwise need hundreds of chapters, it is more practical to organize them alphabetically. In fact, any collection of data in alphabetical order can make use of the zPedia format. 

If you want to organize your favorite jokes by topic or arrange your list of recipes by country or name, a zPedia is what you need. If you need to put together a glossary of terms or if your want to compile a dictionary with the jargon used in your field of work, or if you are working on your own Klingon dictionary, a zPedia will come in handy. 

Digital First

ZineLit can help you develop and maintain your notes in electronic format. Of course, you may print the content in your Zines if you wish. But keep in mind that ZineLit doesn't provide printing functionality. Our Zines are designed to be digital, not printed.

Create a New Zine

How does it work

Creating a new Zine is easy. You can initiate this action on the Home screen, where all Zines are listed. 

As seen on the picture below, press the Create New button at the top left-hand side of the header. This will take you to a screen where you can name your Zine. Keep in mind that Zines names must be unique on each device. So try to be creative while keeping the name simple and readable. Avoid using the name of an existing Zine. You also need to select a format. See the chapter Formats for more information. After you complete the three steps on the Formats screen, the editor will open. Write your first note and save it.


Each Zine has a thumbnail displayed on the Home screen list. When you create and save a Zine, a thumbnail is randomly selected. These random thumbnails come from ZineLit's gallery of thumbnails. After a new Zine has been created, you can change the random thumbnail on the Home Screen. 

Press the thumbnail and then pick one of the options on the action sheet. You can use your own image or pick one of the pictures in ZineLit's gallery.

Edit or Compose a Note


You can compose a new note or edit an existing one on ZineLit's editor. The editor offers different input fields depending on what you want to compose or edit and whether the selected format supports titles, chapters, topics or just content. 

Under the hood, our editor uses HTML, not Markdown. Let's examine some features of the toolbar.


Take a look at the editor's toolbar. You will find basic styling and formatting features such as making some text bold or italic or adding bullet points. As seen below, scroll the toolbar horizontally and you will see more styling buttons.

On the toolbar, you will see a YouTube icon. This button enables you to embed YouTube videos in your Zines. For more information, see the chapter Embed videos into your notes.  

Editor Screen vs Note Screen

On some devices, the same article may look a little different on your note viewer screen and your editor. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Anything that can be pressed is disabled on the editor. For example, you can embed a video but you will not be able to play it on the editor. You can add links but won't be able to open them and browse while on the editor. Once you save and return to the Note screen, you can press and test them.
  • The Editor and the Note screens' styling may look slightly different. For instance, maybe you added some bullet points to a note on the editor. But when you go back to the Note screen, the spacing between the bullets may look different.
  • Pictures placement looks different on the editor. The editor renders a low quality image that may not be centered. But on the viewer you will be able to see the final product.
Without getting into technical details, the reason for these discrepancies is that the technology used under the hood on these two screens is different. The Editor screen prioritizes flexibility whereas the Note screen favors speed. Hopefully, we will be able to consolidate these two technologies in the future. 

Embed Videos into Your Notes

YouTube videos 

YouTube has a video for just about anything under the sun. ZineLit allows for YouTube videos to be embedded into your notes. This can make your Zines more appealing and instructive. Many, many thanks to YouTube and Alphabet for providing the ability to embed their videos for free. 👏

How to do it

On the editor, click the YouTube icon on the toolbar. This will open a modal or pop up screen that will ask you to "Paste a YouTube video share link (not the embed iframe)." 

It is important to understand the distinction between an iframe, an URL and a share link. 
  • An iframe is a snippet of HTML code. YouTube provides this code when you press the "Embed" option. Do not use that on ZineLit.
  • The URL is the website address you can copy from your browser's address bar. It usually starts with "https://www."  You can use the URL of a YouTube video you wish to embed. At the moment of this writing, it works well on ZineLit. However, since companies can change their URLs conventions at anytime without warning, the URL you paste to embed videos on YouTube could break anytime. That's why you should use the next option.
  • A share link can be copied after pressing the Share option on YouTube. You will see the link and a button to copy it to your clipboard. Paste it on the pop up and press OK.

Give credit to content creators

Please never forget to give deserved credit to all those awesome content creators that make the amazing videos you may use on Zines you distribute. We could help them by recommending and subscribing to their channels and liking their videos.


We hope YouTube doesn't change their policy and continue to allow users to embed videos freely. However, we have no control over YouTube policies. Keep in mind that if YouTube ever restricts their embedding features, embedded videos on your Zines may not work.

Some videos cannot be embedded due to copyright restrictions. For example, most music videos on YouTube are restricted from embedding and can only be watched on YouTube. However, it seems that the majority of the videos published on YouTube can be embedded. 

At the moment, there is no support to embed videos from sources other than YouTube. 

Add a Note

Look For The FAB Buttons

You can add new notes to unlocked Zines you have imported or created. Unlocked Zines can be edited. For more details, see the chapter Unlocked and Locked Modes.

Look for the big floating action button (FAB) at the bottom right-hand corner of a screen. You can't miss it!

You will find a FAB button in zMag and zPedia formats of your editable or unlocked Zines. Once pressed, it will take you to the editor so that you can compose your note. 

Please keep in mind that imported locked Zines cannot be modified and therefore a FAB button is not displayed for those. 



To delete a Zine, press the More button (three horizontal dots) on the top right-hand corner of each Zine listed on the Home screen. This will open an action sheet with the Delete option. After your press, it will ask you to confirm. Make sure that you don't need any information in the Zine before you delete it.


A zNote is a single note so it is deleted the same way you delete the entire Zine as seen on the screenshot above. Delete the Zine, and you delete the zNote. There is no delete button inside it. Of course, you can edit and delete specific note content on the editor. 


A zMag is composed of a number of chapters. To delete an entire chapter, press the zMag title on the Home screen to enter the zMag Index screen. Notice the More button on the top right-hand side of each chapter listed in the index. Press it and you will see the Delete option on the action sheet. There is no delete button in the zMag note. 


In a zPedia, you can delete topics in addition to individual notes inside each topic. 

Deleting a topic is similar to deleting a chapter in a zMag. Go to the Topics screen and press the More button. Then you will see the delete option. All notes inside the topic will be deleted.

To delete a specific note in a topic, you need to be on the Note screen. Here is how to get there: When you press a topic, it navigates to the Outline screen. There is no delete button on that screen. Press an item on the Outline screen to enter a note. Press the Options button on the header. You will then see the Delete option as shown below.

No Undo

Please be aware that since your notes exist only on your device, there is no undo after you delete a Zine or a note. Once they are deleted, they are gone. The only way to recover a deleted Zine or note is if you have a backup or if you made a copy of the Zine before you delete it. See the chapters Export a Zine and Create a Backup

The Info Card

A Zine's ID

Each Zine has an Info Card. This is loosely modeled after a book's Title and Copyright pages and the properties or metadata of a digital file. True, it is a lot more concise since Zines are meant to be simple. Let's see what kind of info you can add. 

Where Is It?

On the Home screen, press the More button (the three horizontal dots) at the top right-hand corner of each Zine. An action sheet will pop up. Select the Info Card option. That will open a modal screen with some information about the Zine. Only the author of a Zine in unlocked mode can edit the Info Card. In locked mode, the Info Card is visible but cannot be edited.

Info Card Fields

As seen on the screenshot, the fields available in the Info Card are:
  • Author
  • Credit
  • In A Nutshell
  • Brief
  • Legal
These fields are self-explanatory, especially with the added information in the input's placeholder. The following are some additional details.

Author: Any person(s) who directly contributed his/her/their intellect to create the Zine. Only one line is provided, so in the case of multiple authors, you may need to use a group name, abbreviated names, or code names. The placeholder includes roles such as a writer, editor, and publisher.

In A Nutshell: It's been said that nowadays people's attention span has fallen between 8 to 12 seconds. Can you capture my attention with one line? Can you tell me what your Zine is about in a few words? Explain it to me like I'm 5. 🤓 And do so in a way that will make me read it. 

Credit: Who helped you create the Zine? Any translators, contributors, consultants, or sponsors? Any content creators or sources that deserve credit? You have space only for a few names, so be selective.

Brief: You have up to 300 characters to add other important details. It could be a brief description, a synopsis or a preview. You could use it also as an introduction or an acknowledgment. Space is limited but its brevity could encourage reading. Granted, long detailed explanations have their place on eBooks. How to handle those on ZineLit? In the case of zMags and zPedias, you can have a chapter or a topic with a longer introduction, preface, dedication, and the like. Or you could host them on the web and add them to a Zine's content in the form of a link.

Legal: If you are distributing your Zines and sharing them with the world, you may want to add some disclaimers or other legal statements.

Export and Import Zines

Go to Settings

On the Home screen, you will see at the top right-hand corner a gear icon. That is the Settings button that will take you to the Settings screen. There you will see the following options, among others: 
  • Export Locked Zine (with key)
  • Export Locked Zine (no key)
  • Export Unlocked Zine
To import, you will see the option: 
  • Add Zine From File. 
Let's see how they work.


In short, exporting a Zine in locked mode means others cannot modify it. Conversely, exporting a Zine in unlocked mode means others can make changes. See the chapter Locked and Unlocked Modes for more information. 

Unlocked: After you press the Export Unlocked Zine option, you can select a Zine to export. Then you will be taken to a screen on which you can share your Zine. Depending on your device and operating system, you can opt to upload the exported Zine to a cloud storage service or share it by email or using a messaging app.

Locked: After you press the Export Locked Zine (with key) option, you can select the Zine to export. Next, you will see a screen pop up with a randomly generated key as seen on the screenshot below. This key is very important. Without it, the Zine cannot be imported and decrypted. Its content will be rendered useless. The purpose of the key is to protect your data in the zine file after sharing it and to prevent users from changing your Zine. 

The Export Locked Zine (no key) option will take you through the same process but without the key screen. 

If you are exporting a locked Zine for the general public, be creative when selecting a name. Zine names must be unique on each device. Since duplicated locked Zines are not allowed, a repeated name will prevent others from importing your Zine. See the subheading Duplicates for more details.

Zines can be exported for distribution and sharing of information. You can share the Zines you have created with friends or perhaps with people that like to read your content. If you only want one or a few persons to read your Zine, you can export it locked with key. Also, exporting individual Zines is a form of backup. 

Please note that you can only export unlocked Zines. This includes the Zines you have created and unlocked Zines you have imported. Locked Zines cannot be exported. Empty Zines, meaning Zines with no notes, cannot be exported. 


This allows you to enjoy Zines other authors have created. You can import any zine file, whether locked or unlocked. Of course, in the case of locked Zines, you need the key to open it.

When you press Add Zine From File, it will open a screen for you to select the Zine to import. Upon selecting it, ZineLit will start the import. If the zine file is valid, you will see a success message. In the case of locked Zines, you need to input the Zine's key to proceed with the import. 


When you import a duplicate of an unlocked Zine, it gets renamed by adding a copy number. The picture below shows this.


However, duplicates of locked Zines work differently. The creator of a locked Zine evidently doesn't want others to change his work. Thus ZineLit cannot rename locked Zines. When you import a locked Zine that already exists on your device, an alert is displayed informing you of the reason why it cannot be imported. The following are some common scenarios: 
  • You imported an exact copy of a locked Zine already existing in your device.
  • You imported a newer or older version of a locked Zine in your device but the creator didn't update the Zine's name. Thus the name is not unique.
  • You imported a completely different Zine that just happens to have the same name as one of your Zines. 
In all these cases, your locked Zine's import will not go through. It is up to you to decide whether to contact the author of the Zine, or to delete an older version, or to do something else. 

If you are also a creator of locked Zines and you distribute them publicly, please remember the points above. Again, you should be creative in naming your Zines. If you update and distribute the version or edition of an existing Zine, it is best to update the name as well. Something as simple as increasing the version or edition number in the Zine's name may suffice. The example below shows a Zine using the release month date as a unique name identifier on each update. 


Before you import a file, make sure you know or trust the origin and the author of the Zine. Do not import or open anything you are unsure of its source. Hackers and other bad actors can use very ingenious ways to attack your device. Like with other apps that can open files, please be cautious. Your carefulness and cybersecurity awareness can outsmart the best hacker out there. 

Locked and Unlocked Modes


When you export a Zine, you need to pick between locked and unlocked mode. This determines whether others will be able to modify or change the Zine. 

Locked Zines have the following properties:
  • They cannot be modified
  • They cannot be re-exported
  • Optionally, imports can be restricted with a key
  • The zine file's content is encrypted (images excluded)
Unlocked Zines' properties are the opposite:
  • They can be modified
  • They can be re-exported
  • No key is required to import
  • The zine file's content has weaker encryption (images have no encryption)

Why Unlocked

If, as an author, you want your readers to use your Zine as the foundation of a derivative work, and you don't mind them making changes to your content, then share your Zine unlocked. 

If you publicly distribute your Zine unlocked, basically you are making your Zine open source. You are granting your work to the public domain and you claim no profit or legal ownership. 

An example of an unlocked Zine included by default on ZineLit is Quotes By Topic. These quotes can become the foundation of your own quotes Zine. If you like quotes, you can add your favorite sayings and proverbs to this Zine and start your collection of quotes. Some users may share an unlocked Zine of favorite jokes, recipes, poems, a video playlist or something else.

You can add any needed legal information to the Info Card or include it on the content of the Zine itself.

Once you select unlocked and share your work, there is no way to enforce any requirements on your users other than appealing to their sense of fairness so that they can keep your information in the Zine's description and give due recognition to you as the original author.

Why Locked

If you want other users to know you are the author and owner of a Zine and you don't want them to tamper with your work, then make sure to export in locked mode. Other users can view your Zine but won't be able to modify or re-export it from within the app since they don't own it. Functionality and buttons used to modify a Zine such as edit, rename, reorder or FAB buttons are disabled. For instance, this manual and the How to Tell a Story Zines are locked, thus they can't be edited. The image below shows the buttons that are missing in locked Zines.

Naming Exported Locked Zines

If you are a creator of locked Zines and you distribute them publicly, remember that Zine names must be unique. For more information, see the chapter Export and Import Zines, subheading Duplicates.


Here is how you know if a Zine is locked or unlocked: 
  • On the Home screen's list, you will notice a lock icon at the bottom of each Zine next to the Format field. The lock can be open or close, which indicates unlocked or locked modes. 
  • If you press the More button at the top right-hand corner of each Zine on the Home screen, an action sheet will pop up. Select the Info Card option. Next to the title, you will also see the locked/unlocked icon.
  • If you press the thumbnail of a locked Zine on the Home screen, an overlay with a lock icon will appear.  

Locked With No Key

When you lock a Zine without a key you are changing mainly one thing: the import of the Zine. When there is no key, the Zine is imported automatically with no further checks. Anybody with the file can open it. However, it is still a locked Zine because the content in it cannot be edited. 

If you go to, you can download the zine file of this manual. We locked it without a key because we just want to share the file publicly and at the same time keep control over its content. We only need to provide our users with a download button. There is no need to create a text component on the page to also provide the key. We are mentioning this example just to illustrate that exporting with key can add a layer of security but on the flipside, it may cause some inconveniences on distribution. 

In short, typically locked Zines with no keys are good for public distribution. Locked Zines with a key are useful if you want to restrict its distribution or are targeting a small group of people, perhaps privately. 

Understanding How Keys Work

If you decide to export with key, please read this section so that you know what a Zine's key is and what it is not. 

Zine's keys are meant to add a layer of protection to your content. It mainly does one thing: it prevents unauthorized users from opening a Zine. Even if they hack the zine file, they will only find scrambled text. That's because the key facilitates encrypting your content while in traffic as a zine file. However, anyone with the unlocking key can import the Zine as many times as he or she wants. The key does NOT work like a computer program's license only used once per user device. 

Keys generated for exported locked files are created uniquely for each export, not for each Zine. Thus, each time you export a locked Zine, a new key is generated. If you export the same Zine ten times, you will generate ten keys. And they can only open the one file created with them.
For instance, if you export Zine A in locked mode, ZineLit will generate a key for that particular zine file. If immediately after you export the same Zine, ZineLit will generate a different key for that new exported file. From ZineLit's perspective, that file becomes Zine B, even though its inner content is the same as A. The key for A cannot open B and vice-versa. The import will fail if you use the wrong key.

To avoid getting the keys all mixed up, you could give unique names to each exported Zine. You can do that by renaming the Zine before exporting. Then, keep a record of the keys corresponding to each version. And keep a copy of the files you export and distribute. If you often distribute locked Zines, it is good practice to keep track of your keys and their corresponding zine files.

Create a Backup

How to backup

On the Home screen, press the Settings button on the top right-hand corner. This will open the Settings screen as seen in the image below. Press the Create Backup option. This will pack all your data, including notes and images, into a file with the zbak extension. Select a storage location to save your backup. 

Please note that the data in the zbak file is not encrypted. For more information on how to restore a backup, see the next chapter.

Why backup

Your ZineLit data is stored locally on your device, not in the cloud. This is good for privacy if you don't like to be at the mercy of a big tech company keeping your data. You don't need to wonder if a cloud service provider is prying into what they shouldn't or even harvesting your content in some other way. Unless your device is compromised, your private and intellectual property is safe in your device. 

The downside of this is convenience. Your data only exists on your device. That means that if you lose your device or it suddenly dies, your Zines die with it. But it doesn't need to be like that. That's where backups come in handy. You can make a backup of all your data and save it to an external storage or to a cloud storage service that you trust.

If you are concerned about privacy and cybersecurity, there are ways to make it hard for bad actors to hack you. This is beyond the scope of this manual, but you may want to look into the security and encrypting features of your OS, your device, or even third-party programs that create encrypted containers where you can save your backups before uploading to a cloud service.

Restore a Backup

Select A Backup File To Restore

On the Home screen, press the gear icon on the top right-hand corner. This will open the Settings screen. Press the Restore a Backup option. Next, you can select a ZineLit backup file with the zbak extension. 

You will see a warning alert informing you about a strange behavior seen on some cloud storage clients. For example, imagine you open your cloud service app where you stored the backup file. You find the file and press it, but nothing happens. You press again, and again, and still nothing happens. But then abruptly the app reacts and becomes erratic. Unintentionally, you requested to download the file three times. We have seen this strange behavior regardless of internet speed even in some popular apps.

Ideally, your cloud storage app should give some feedback once you press and select the backup file. It should also block or throttle your presses after your selection. Many apps behave like this and offer a great user experience.

But if you find your cloud storage app behaves strangely, this is what you could do. First, check the size of the backup file you are restoring. If is big, it will take some time to download depending on your internet speed. Select the backup file by pressing once and have a little patience. Give it some time to react. If you keep pressing, it will take longer to download. It should give you some feedback once the file is downloaded. Alternatively, change your cloud storage provider. 😊

Your Old Data Will Be Deleted

As show in the screenshot below, you will be warned that the backup will replace all your existing data. Your current data won't merge with the new data. It will be deleted.

After you confirm this action, your backup will be restored by importing its data into ZineLit. 

Reorder Your Content

Lists in ZineLit

Most lists on ZineLit can be reordered. Only the list of topics in a zPedia cannot be reordered because it is arranged alphabetically. The following is a description of how to reorder items on ZineLit.


When you create a Zine, it goes to the top of the list. That's the default order, newer first. But you can reorder your Zines by pressing the Reorder button on the header's right-hand side. This will open the Reorder screen. Press down the drag icon and move the Zine titles to a position of your choice. 

Chapters in zMag

Similar to the Home screen, you will see the Reorder button on the right-hand side of the header. However, newly added chapters are inserted at the bottom of the list. You can reorder the chapters as you wish on the Reorder screen. 

Notes in zPedia

On the Outline screen in a zPedia, you will see a List Options button on the top right-hand side of the header. That will open an action sheet with two options to reorder. 

Custom Order: This will let you reorder your notes by dragging them similarly to reordering Zines or zMag chapters.

Order A-Z: This option allows you to sort your list in alphabetical order. Although any previous custom order will be lost if you use this option, you can customize your order at anytime. 

Other Settings

Other Features 

In the previous chapters, we talked about many of the features listed on the Settings screen. Here we will discuss briefly the rest of the options. 


ZineLit has three theming options: system, dark, and light. What this means is that you can set ZineLit to a theme different from your cellphone. For example, if your cellphone theme is light, you could still set ZineLit to dark. 

Here is how these settings behave:
  • System: ZineLit's theme will be the same as your device theme. For instance, if your system theme is dark, ZineLit will also use a dark theme.
  • Light: ZineLit will use a light theme regardless of your system's theme. If your system theme is different, some screens that originate in the operating system, for instance, alert screens, will still keep the device theme.
  • Dark: ZineLit will use a dark theme regardless of your system's theme. As stated in the previous point, some minor components will continue to use the device theme if different.
You notice that the light and dark themes can look slightly hybrid if your device theme and ZineLit's theme differ. So don't be surprised if you see a light-colored alert even though you set a dark theme on ZineLit. That is the expected behavior.

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Privacy, Terms, and Version

We encourage you to read these important pages so that you can learn about our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. We update the app from time to time, so the Version option can help you verify if you have the latest version installed.