Story Section Types

Title Section

The first section of your story. Display title and subtitle text over an image or video. Make your text larger or smaller. Align your text top, bottom, left or right. Include a byline.

Scrollmation Section

In landscape orientation, flip through images off to the side as the reader scrolls the text column. In portrait orientation flip through images at the top as the reader scrolls the text column.

Background Scrollmation Section

Flip through background images as the reader scrolls the text.

Reveal Section

Transition through a sequence of full screen images as the reader scrolls. Reveal images from the left, right, top, bottom or fade in.

Text Over Media Section

Display title text over an image or video. Make your text larger or smaller. Align your text top, bottom, left or right.

Text Section

Just text. But beautiful text.

Media Section

Uncropped images, full size videos.

HTML Section

Need a section type we don’t offer out of the box? Just add your own HTML code to this section.

Custom Section

We can build a reusable custom section type just for you.

Collection Section

If you have a group of related stories, add them to a collection, then add the collection to your story as a Collection Section. Great for creating a list of related stories or grid of stories on a landing page.

Story Editing

Text formatting bar

Formatting text is as easy as selecting it, and choosing from default paragraph text, two heading text sizes, pull quotes, bulleted list, numbered list, bold, italic, underlined and linked text.

Inline videos

Add MP4 or YouTube videos right into a text column.

Inline images

Add images right into a text column.

Inline Soundcloud

Add audio clips to bring sound to your stories.

Drag & Drop Section Reordering

Reorder sections in your story just by dragging them around.

Drag & Drop Media Upload

Drag and drop media assets right into your story.

Inline custom HTML

Add a custom HTML block right in a column of text.

Image links

Add links to inline images and Media section images.

Caption Images and Videos

Add captions to any image or video.

Section Options

Control the look and feel of each section, including tint, text fade, scrolling behaviour and more.

Add alt text on images

Provide a text alternative for non-text story elements.

Fully responsive

Shorthand creates multiple versions of your uploaded images and ensures the most appropriate version is served based on screen size. Also, add portrait crop image versions to provide the best experience for readers on portrait screens.

Built-in themes

Choose from a selection of high quality built-in themes.

Branded themes

We can build a branded theme especially for you. Branded themes enable you to specify fonts, colors, styles, default header logos and more.


Upload your header logo to make your Shorthand story yours.

Story templates

Kickstart your story creation process by selecting from a range of templates, including editorial, annual reports, and landing pages.

Story preview

Check your story at any time via the live preview function.

Responsive previewer

In addition to the regular story preview, check what your story will look like phones and tablets.

Theme switcher

Switch from one theme to another with a single click in the story editor.


Create compelling animated effects with image sequences and transitions to bring life to otherwise static photos, maps and charts.

Publishing, hosting & integrations

Full story export

Download your story as a zip archive, and host it wherever you like. The export contains the HTML, CSS, Javascript, and media assets, as well as a JSON representation of your story.

Story API for CMS and plugins

Use our Story API to programmatically access your stories. Handy for integrating with Content Management Systems and custom plugins.

WordPress and Drupal support

Use our WordPress and Drupal plugins to tightly integrate Shorthand with those CMSs.

One-click S3 publishing

Do you use Amazon S3 hosting? Publish your Shorthand to your Amazon S3 bucket with a single click. Just configure your S3 settings in Shorthand.

Configure an asset server

Want your images and videos hosted separately from your story HTML? Simply add the URL of your asset server to story settings.

Shorthand story hosting

We can host your stories for you. Your stories can be published to a Shorthand subdomain (xyz.shorthand.com), to a custom domain of your choice (xyz.com), or to a subdomain of your current domain (xyz.your-company.com).

Story launcher

Host your story on Shorthand or your own asset server, then embed your Shorthand story into another web page. When the reader clicks on the embedded Shorthand story, it blooms to life over the top of the launch page.

Sharing, SEO & Analytics

Built-in social buttons

Easily enable readers to share your story on Facebook and Twitter.

Custom social buttons

Need other social widgets? These can be added to your custom theme according to your design specifications.

Toggle social buttons for mobile

Mobile platforms have social sharing features built in. Control whether you want to show or hide social buttons on mobile.

Google Analytics

Just add your Google tracking ID to the story settings. This will also add our custom per-section dwell time analytics to your Google Analytics reports.

Built-in analytics

See at a glance how many times your story has been read. More advanced analytics are in beta.


Easily drop in your Disqus, Livefyre or other commenting system code into a Custom HTML section. Then your Shorthand stories can share the same commenting system used across the rest of your website.


Add news keywords, descriptions, authors and Open Graph metadata. A human and search engine friendly URL is automatically generated for your story.

Custom development

Custom themes

Require more than a branded theme? Our design team can create a theme with custom features just for you. (Additional cost.)

Custom Javascript

Add custom Javascript to your stories using the Javascript pane.

Custom CSS

Add custom styles to your stories using the CSS pane.

Custom <head> code

Do you have Javascript code that needs to load before anything else, or custom metadata tags? Add these to your story using the Custom <head> field in story settings.

Custom section types

Need a section type we don’t offer out of the box? Contact us for a quote to build a special section type just for you.



Do you publish under multiple brands, or have teams working in different departments? Your Shorthand Workspace can be set up to reflect the structures you already use to work optimally.

Work on stories together

It often takes a team to create stories that move mountains. We make it easy to invite team members to collaborate on stories.

Real-time collaborative story editing

Multiple people can edit the same story at the same time (in beta).

Filter stories by team and collaborator

Your Workspace can contain a virtually unlimited number of new stories, drafts and already published works by you and your team. When you want to find a specific story, filter by title, team or collaborator.

Make Shorthand feel like home

Your Workspace and the teams and collaborators within it can be given their own custom avatars. At a glance, you can see who’s working on what.

Share story previews

Share story previews with your colleagues or clients by sending them a URL, or by sending them an SMS right from within Shorthand.



Our Customer Support team is staffed by trained journalists and storytellers. They’re here to provide feedback when you need it.


Our Engineering team provides technical support for customers when required. The team has deep expertise in web development (oh, and three of them have Ph.D’s in computer science from world-leading universities; everyone knows us for our art, but we’re pretty hardcore on the science, too!).

Fast turnaround

Our customers love us for our super fast responses to requests for help, and we are dedicated to keeping our customers happy!

Online knowledge base

Answers to the most common (and not so common) questions about creating stories in Shorthand can be found in our knowledge base, which is on the web and also built right into Shorthand.

Shorthand tips

When you sign up to Shorthand, you can elect to receive tips by email, helping you on your journey to getting your first Shorthand masterpiece published.

Monthly newsletter

Our monthly newsletter showcases some of the most outstanding Shorthand stories published in the previous months, and provides tips, tools and techniques for making your stories sing.


Our live online training sessions show you how to get the most out of Shorthand, with best practice tips & inspiring examples.