Ulysses 15 Introduces Split Text Editing Window, Keywords Manager, and More

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Version 15 of Ulysses was released today, bringing some notable new features to the popular Mac and iOS app for writers.

    On Mac, users now edit two texts simultaneously in a split editing window, with options to display the two texts next to or on top of each other and switch the editors around.


    The currently active editor remains highlighted to make it easy to recognize, while both sheets retain their individual zoom settings.

    The developers have also added new shortcuts to allow for fast switching between (Command+Shift+3) and simultaneous scrolling (holding Option) of the two editors, making it easier for writers to refer to their research while writing, for example.

    Ulysses 15 also brings new search and management features to keywords, with a new way to search for keywords in the sheets panel.


    There's also a new Keywords Manager lets users edit all keywords in one spot, with options to change colors, rename, merge or delete them.

    Elsewhere, users can now set pre-defined image sizes that apply during export, and Ulysses is now able to display previews of web images inside the editor (i.e., images that are referenced with a URL). Web images are now also supported when exporting to PDF, DOCX, or ePub.

    In addition, Ulysses for Mac, iPhone and iPad now includes an option to turn on a dark mode for the export preview, enabling users to view what a final ebook, PDF document or blog post will look like without being blinded by a contrasting white screen.

    Ulysses can be downloaded for free on the App Store and the Mac App Store. After a 14-day trial period, a subscription is required to unlock the app on all devices. A monthly subscription costs $4.99, while a yearly subscription is $39.99. Students can use Ulysses at a discounted price of $11.99 per six months. The discount is granted from within the app.

    Article Link: Ulysses 15 Introduces Split Text Editing Window, Keywords Manager, and More
  2. rcooked macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2015
    Interesting. I just hit submit on my Ph.D. application yesterday. Going to examine this and Scrivener to see which would be best for a thesis.

    Any experience on this front out there?
  3. BaccaBossMC macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2016
    Nursing Home of the U.S.
    I saw the homebrew text and was hopeful that somebody had developed a BASH console for iOS. I guess my hopes were too high.
  4. AzzUrr1 macrumors member


    May 17, 2012
    As much as I appreciate Ulysses and Scrivener I would recommend LaTeX for scientific writing. A fantastic Mac client for this is Texpad
  5. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    While I still prefer Scrivener for certain types of longer pieces like a novel or a thesis, I’ve found Ulysses invaluable as a general writing tool and daily journal mainly due to its seamless sync and integration with Shortcuts.

    I have a Shortcut that creates a new sheet with today’s day within that respective month’s group and puts the weather info below in separate formatting so that it’s one tap and then a few notes about my day. Sadly I can’t do this with Scrivener and I find the barrier to getting to a new sheet is much lower here.

    Also, I use it enough that the $30 a year subscription seems justified and gives me some mild piece of mind that it won’t become abandonware.
  6. Pow! macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2014
    Is that really the shortcut the devs chose? They expect us to disable the default screenshot shortcut?
  7. johannnn macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2009
    LaTex is really only advices if he is into math or physics. LaTeX only shines in creating good-looking equations.

    When something doesn’t look right you have to go into the actual LaTeX code and fix it. Most people have better things to do than learn another coding language. And good luck with collaboration with supervisor or other students when you give them 1) a document with a bunch of code, of 2) a PDF they can’t edit.
  8. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    I use both applications. The main concern I have with Scrivener is it's essentially a one-person development shop. The iOS version needs updating, and the Mac version will take a bit to support OS features.

    Ulysses can require some post-export after care, but the app itself is very solid and is frequently updated. By after care, this is a good example: For school, I am creating a 60-page plus strategic plan. Using Ulysses for the actual creation is aces. I have a sheet for each major section and I can use keywords to see what still needs to be edited. I can export it to Word, and have found a great style on the Ulysses Style Exchange that I love. But, to add the ToC and some other matters, like tables, I will need to use Word for the final bits.
  9. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I'm definitely a newb when it comes to all these writing apps, but what is the advantage of good old fashioned Microsoft Word? Once I learned how to properly use Styles and the internal-cross-referencing features, Word seems really powerful to me for writing big documents.
  10. Joniz macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2017
    It might depend on what you’re trying to write. For a reference-heavy document, Word might be better, I don’t know.

    For writing fiction, particularly novel length, I definitely prefer Ulysses over Word, Pages, Scrivener, and everything else I’ve tried. It’s easier when it comes to shuffling and moving chapters around, everything is right there in the app instead of a bunch of files in a folder, and, most importantly, you waste no time futzing around with font, text size, spacing. And when I’m in fullscreen mode, my entire screen is black and all my text grayed out except for the sentence I’m working on, which stays bright and at the center of the screen as I type (instead of going off the bottom or staying at the bottom).

    I’m infinitely more productive with Ulysses, having written a number of novels now. And as much of a pain as exporting using CSS can be, I’ve gotten the hang of it and I can export to Word to send to my editor and into a file that I can feed into Vellum to produce a Kindle version that I use to read as I’m self-editing.

    Ulysses has some minor issues, but I’m still with it because it just doesn’t get in the way, but does what I need. (Even able to write a properly formatted screenplay if you have the right export style.) Probably not worth the cost if you just need it on rare occasion, but easily worth it if it’s what you live in every day.
  11. NervousFish2 macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2014
    If it is *not* a scientific PhD but, say, humanities, then Ulysses is the way to go. I am not a scientist at all, so LaTex is overkill for me. Ulysses lets you actually write.

    One disappointing thing recently was the collapse of Papers 3, the citation manager. The app is still available, but its not supported. They got bought out right by ReadCube after they added Ulysses support. And ReadCube has been very slow about creating a macOS app. So, I am not sure what is gonna happen. Prior to Papers 3 adding support, I wrote in Ulysses, and then did all my citations in Word. Which is actually a fine workflow -- you just sort of manually do the citations as you go, in Ulysses, then traced over them again later in Word, using the decent Papers 3 integration already available for that app. But being able to work with citations WITHIN Ulysses was the dream! And now it is out of grasp once again...
  12. rshrugged, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019

    rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    It's actually Command+Option+3.

    Edit to add:
    The above command Xs 2 will switch sides positionally for the Editors, Xs 1 will change focus to the second Editor while hiding the other one.*

    To switch Editor focus:
    Left to Right, or Top to Bottom--Command+Option+Right Arrow
    Right to Left, or Bottom to Top--Command+Option+Left Arrow

    *Cmd+Opt+3 works slightly different depending upon which side has focus when you key the command. It all works smoothly, as expected.
  13. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    It makes the creation process easier for long documents. For example, the 60-page document I am creating is easier in Ulysses. Each of the 13 top-level section has its own sheet in Ulysses. A sheet is really just a long-running virtual page with no end. I can put a piece of generic placeholder text like "XXXX" which tells me the section still needs work. I can then build a filter that shows me all the sections that still need work. I can also edit the section without worrying about messing up the other section's formatting. The first line of the sheet uses Markdown headers (#Section BlahBlah)

    When I export it, those H1s become Header 1s in Word. Now, when I build my TOC, I don't have to do any other formatting. also, the new version lets me finally edit the size of placed images.

    Scrivener, though, does have one edge: the research binder. You can throw any sort of thing in there: web pages, pdfs, images, etc. I forgot to mention that, but it's a handy thing for having your research travel around with the main document.
  14. NervousFish2 macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2014
    Thats a fair point. I don't store much research in Ulysses. Just notes, fragments, outlines, and ... the actual work. Like in Scrivener, I store all of this in Groups, in Ulysses. But the actual sources for research go in other apps. PDFs go in Papers 3, and web articles go in Evernote.

    I do not like Papers 3 much. But it seems to be the best at what it does. And Evernote, I admit I use just because I've been using it so long. I don't like some of the recent changes, but there don't seem to be any good alternatives.
  15. unfunfionn macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2015
    I think Scrivener and Ulysses both have strengths and weaknesses. Ulysses is the superior text editor because it's distraction-free and they've realised (like many others) that most people don't need traditional rich text editing. The Scrivener editor is a little clunky and outdated, and often not that nice to use. But it's outstanding for organising all of your material together and building a diverse overview of the writing for an entire project. Ultimately that won me over, and I stuck with Scrivener. Ulysses is nice but for me it wasn't worth 2x the cost of Bear, and Bear serves far more purposes for me.
  16. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004

    For quite a while now.
  17. ignatius345, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019

    ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Good thing, too! MacOS uses for a ⌘⇧3 to take a full-screen screenshot.

    What do you mean by "Xs 2"?
  18. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    Writing “Xs 2” and “Xs 1” was rather cryptic, sorry. I should’ve written keyed twice and keyed once.
  19. tuxster.mk macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2017
  20. tuxster.mk macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2017
    $50.oo / year Subscription price is a joke. There must be free software or lower priced that can offer the same.
  21. BaccaBossMC macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2016
    Nursing Home of the U.S.
    Thank you very, very much. I can't wait to have some fun with this and see what it can do!
  22. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Scrivener is around $45, with upgrade pricing. I am not sure how often they come out with paid upgrades but it is not every year. I subscribe to Ulysses, but I get a deal because I was a previous owner.

    For me, it is worth it. It's a good one-stop-shop for writing. I can post to Wordpress, or create an ebook. There are things I hope they add soon, like automatic chapter numbering.
  23. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    For new Scrivener licenses it’s $45. For existing license holders, Scrivener 3 for Mac was/is $25. It was the first paid upgrade in 7 years.
  24. spooklog macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2015
    New Hampshire
    i'm not a fan of the Scrivner interface (especially on ios), but this is mostly an aesthetic objection, not a functional one. Basically I find Scrivner to be an essential program that works well on Mac, Windows and ios. All versions that I have need to import and manage all manner of document types (enormous quantities of each) and it does this quickly and accurately. Regardless of what I'm doing or the platform I'm doing it on, Scrivner just works and has never shown any sign of freezing or crashing or similar malfunction--and that reliability is very important to me.

    Many people tout the "distraction free" modes of other writing programs, and describe the omission of rich-text formatting as if it was a feature. Personally I find that absurd (although, to each his own); thank goodness Scrivner has basic tools to format text. For more thorough/elaborate formatting, Scrivner recommends exporting your finished work to something like Microsoft Word, and this makes good sense and works well.

    I do have some complaints, such as the UI and functionality of the ios version. It seems ancient and performing basic things is awkward and non-obvious. In my opinion the app needs a detailed overhaul. On the other hand, it does perform and shows every sign of being as robust and reliable as the desktop versions. At the end of the day, I think, that's what really matters.
  25. mw360 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Go ahead and post a link when you find it.

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