Using Ulysses

(Joe Buhlig) #21

Use a Mac. :laughing:

On a serious note, I’m not sure how to tackle this one other than copy/paste the research into Notes or something temporarily.


I’m assuming you’re talking about iOS, which is how I use Ulysses too. On Mac, you can open multiple windows, and this is something they’re working on adding to iOS I believe.

The only option is to paste your research into the attachments field.

It is a slight problem not having access to multiple sheets, but pasting into the attachments has its benefits. It allows you to refer to more than one source of research, and use photo files from a number of sources, rather than just one.

The alternative is to use Scrivener, which allows you to quick reference another document while writing in the main editor. However, the drawback with this is that you can only reference one document. By pasting into the attachments field in Ulysses, you have access to more options.

The ideal solution would be to allow us to open up multiple versions of the same app. Have Ulysses open twice in split view, with a third version of the app floating.

(Wilson Ng) #23

I am getting tempted to try IA Writer as a markdown editor. But I’m just getting used to Ulysses. Being able to customize the appearance of the text editor in Ulysses has been a pleasant surprise. I’m using a solarized skin during the day and dark theme at night. It looks like Ulysses beats IA Writer in this aspect. but IA Writer supports Multimarkdown and Ulysses doesn’t (yet).

Tables is something that I’d like to use but it’s not available in Ulysses yet. I saw a tweet that stated it would be coming. Then I see some other features that I wouldn’t necessarily use but would be nice to have. I know some of my university friends would love to use math equations. I wouldn’t mind cross references myself. But I think Tables would be the number one feature for me.

I’m wondering why Ulysses went with its own flavor of Markdown called Markdown XL instead of just adopting Multimarkdown or GitHub flavored Markdown. :thinking:

(Joe Buhlig) #24

I’ve wondered this as well. I don’t understand when companies do this. Just adopt the existing and add to it if you want but keep the core the same.

(Wilson Ng) #25

I think the Ulysses developers might be using Markdown XL so that they can adopt specs at their own pace. They wouldn’t be certified as Multimarkdown compatible if it doesn’t support all the specs. By using Markdown XL, they can slowly add to Ulysses when they’re ready. I’m guessing they are using the original Markdown spec and building from there. It does look like Ulysses has a preference setting to choose which markdown spec you want to use…

42 AM

The Ulysses preferences allows us to define our own markdown tags if we need to. In the original Markdown, the divider line is defined as four dashes. I had to create a Discourse definition to replace the divider line tag as ten dashes. So Ulysses is more flexible than IA Writer in this aspect.

(Wilson Ng) #26

Aha… Just got an email from Ulysses support about future features…

Hi Wilson,

Thank you for your message.

Markdown XL is our own creation, specifically addressing writers and making the writing experience as comfortable as possible. However, we hope to add support for TOCs, math formulae and tables in a future version of Ulysses. I can’t make any promises as to when or whether this will be, but consider your votes as counted.

Currently, there are workarounds for some of these features, though. You can find the one for math equations here:

And the one for tables here:

Regarding TOCs: when exporting as ePub, a TOC is already automatically created based on your headings.

I hope this clears things up. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get back to us.

All the best,

Lea Oussalah
Customer Support | Ulysses

(Joe Buhlig) #27

Nice investigative work there, Wilson. :wink:

(Justin DiRose) #28

Version 12 is out!

I’m still on the fence about subscribing.

Reasons for:

  • I’ve always wanted a cohesive writing library.
  • The organization features work really well for maintaining a library of written songs.
  • It’s just a nice app.

Reasons against:

  • Am I going to use it enough to justify the expense? (being mostly Windows-centric at work again, I haven’t opened my Macbook in over a week.)
  • I just subscribed to Bear for a year, too.

(Mike N) #29

Probably not necessary to have both bear and Ulysses.

If you can install Dropbox on your work pc, Ulysses can use that for a library. You used to lose some features on the iOS version for Dropbox libraries, not sure if that is still the case. Then you can just open the files in a text editor on the pc.

(Wilson Ng) #30

Bear is a nice replacement for Apple Notes or Evernote. For longer form writing, Ulysses is the better choice. If you need a more comprehensive writing package, Scrivener is the Incredible Hulk.

Bear can work for longer style writing if you want. but I’m preferring Ulysses.

(Mike N) #31

I’ve been playing with the new release, particularly on iOS, and the focus library feature solved my issue of being able to archive items and not have them show up in the search. You could get around it in various ways before, however this is dead simple.

I’ve added a two top level groups - Live and Archive - and by default I’m leaving Live as the focused library. Then just moving the sub groups under there. Incredibly useful.

(Joe Buhlig) #32

I’m firmly on the web-based side of things. I think services should start on the web and then move to apps. That way you’re guaranteed the largest market possible. But what do I know? :wink:

:thinking: And this is why I love the Guild. There’s no way I would have thought of that.

(Wilson Ng) #33

Here’s some more mystery revealed about Ulysses’ file format.

The hosts goes in-depth into a review of Ulysses for iOS but it can be applied to the MacOS X version as well.

Ulysses is not a pure MultiMarkdown text editor. It is a custom fork of Markdown titled Markdown XL.

A standard Markdown document is a plain text file. If you wanted to added images, you would have to copy the images to the internet and refer to the image via URL inside the plain text document.

Ulysses overcomes this by creating a textbundle file. This textbundle is a zip file that can contain text, graphics, additional non-text attachments (PDFs), and other metadata (tags, multiple sheets). All non-text resources are incorporated inside the text bundle.

The podcast hosts do say it’s their writing app of choice. They like the user interface and state that its simplicity is deceptive. I’ve heard stories of using Ulysses to write long novels but I personally think Scrivener is better suited for that longer form of writing.

There are rumblings of Scrivener 3 coming out soon so it’s good to see there is a healthy group of apps that are available to accommodate different users.

(Mike N) #34

From the Ulysses blog. Works inside of lists as well.