Substance Composer Beta 3: Release Notes

In a vigorous effort we created the next version of the Substance Composer - Beta 3. We are very proud to present wonderful new features, most importantly, native support for Video and Audio. In addition to Windows and OSX, we now have a bundle for Ubuntu ready. We are grateful for your feedback and reports during the last 2 weeks. It helped us to fix numerous bugs and increased the overall stability.

New Features

We have extended Substance Composer with the ability to add video and audio. To allow you to type accented characters we add support for those so-called dead-keys.


You can easily embed videos in your publication. Substance supports modern HTML5 video formats.
A video node filled with a MP4 and a WebM version of a video
Unfortunately, browsers support different encodings for video playback. We recommend to use a combination of MP4 (h264) and WebM for maximum browser compatibility.


Similar to video you can also include sound files in your documents.
An audio file only as MP3 version
Please note that due to licensing issues MP3 files can't be played within the Composer as well some browsers. The recommended way is to add two versions of the same audio: MP3 and OGG.


We have extended keyboard support to allow you to use so called dead-keys (e.g., `,^). For example you can write things like á, è, â.

Known issues

We are aware of the following problems so we want to let you know them. We will try to address these issues as soon as possible.

No SDF files

With introducing video and audio support a greater issue appeared with the zip library (jszip) we have been using. In its current state, jszip is not able to deal with large files (which are common with videos) and even leads to crashes under some platforms. For that reason, we deactivated the ability to save documents to SDF files. You can save to a folder instead.
Save your document into a folder.
Existing SDF files can still be opened, but you will be asked to save it into a folder as soon you save.
We are looking for a better solution for creating SDF files and will re-activate this feature as soon as possible.

Empty node after adding Image

When you insert an image, audio, or video into an empty paragraph, the empty paragraph does not get replaced.
For the time being, you have to delete it yourself.

Backspace in empty caption

When you press backspace in an empty caption of a video or audio node you will find that the node gets deleted. You can use Undo (command + z / ctrl + z) if that happens to you.

OSX: Do not use Edit menu

This menu has currently to be there, as it is currently the only way to enable key bindings for editing (copy, paste, etc.).

Rich-text paste not working

Currently, if you copy a greater snippet of the document and paste it somewhere else strange things happen. Do not rely on that feature for now.

OSX: global quit breaks application

If you try to quit the entire application from the menu, some things get broken (e.g. the menu will no longer respond).
(Cover image: Yukon sunrise, Creative Commons /Neil Barman)
Oliver Buchtala
Oliver Buchtala has joined Substance in 2012, turning it from a platform into a flexible and extensible technology stack. He has worked over 15 years in software development.
Michael Aufreiter
As the initiator of Substance, Michael is passionate about the idea of open digital publishing. He coordinates the project and leads UI/UX development.
This article was created with Substance, an open self-publishing system.