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Popular writing app and Apple Design Award winner Ulysses gained WordPress publishing and Dropbox support today, in a simultaneous update to its iOS and Mac apps.

The changes that come with version 2.6 of the writing app mean that bloggers can publish their texts straight to a WordPress account, complete with tag, category, excerpt, and featured image support.

ulysses.jpg

Writers using the iOS or Mac app can also schedule the publishing time and preview their posts before they go live, all from within Ulysses. German developers The Soulmen say the app supports blogs hosted on WordPress.com as well as self-hosted installations, and also allows publishing to multiple accounts.

As with the Mac, iPad and iPhone users can now also sync their texts over Dropbox instead of via iCloud, with full support for adding Dropbox folders to Ulysses' hierarchical text library.

In addition, plain text and Markdown files stored in Dropbox folders behave just like native Ulysses sheets - supporting the app's sorting tools, filters, group goals, favorites, and so on - so users no longer need to import their files manually.

The 'Quick Open' feature on Ulysses for Mac has also made its way over to the iOS version, allowing users to perform entire library searches and open sheets without navigating through text hierarchies.

Meanwhile, Ulysses 2.6 brings Typewriter Mode to iOS, which promises the same focused writing experience to be found in the Mac app, allowing writers to highlight paragraphs and sentences, fix scrolling, mark the current line, and more.

Lastly, Ulysses 2.6 has been optimized for accessibility, to better cater for visually impaired writers working in macOS and iOS, with support for VoiceOver on both platforms.

Ulysses for Mac costs $44.99 and can be found on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Ulysses for iOS is available as a universal app on the App Store, priced at $24.99. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Writing App 'Ulysses' Gains WordPress Publishing Support and More
 

alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
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This is my iOS update week! Beta4, documents from Readdle (long overdue update!) and Ulysses got an update.

I don't use Ulysses that often, but for easy, destraction free and hassle free writing it is unbeaten imho. I might even start blogging! If I would actually have something meaningful to tell.
 
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petsounds

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Jun 30, 2007
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How are people liking Ulysses compared to Scrivener? I do my literary work in the latter, and I've been waiting forever for an iOS version of Scrivener, but now that it's here I see it's missing iCloud sync which I consider mandatory. So I've been thinking of jumping over to Ulysses, but it doesn't seem as full-featured for literary tasks.
 
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username:

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Dec 16, 2013
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How are people liking Ulysses compared to Scrivener? I do my literary work in the latter, and I've been waiting forever for an iOS version of Scrivener, but now that it's here I see it's missing iCloud sync which I consider mandatory. So I've been thinking of jumping over to Ulysses, but it doesn't seem as full-featured for literary tasks.

just don't worry so much about having to use iCloud?
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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How are people liking Ulysses compared to Scrivener? I do my literary work in the latter, and I've been waiting forever for an iOS version of Scrivener, but now that it's here I see it's missing iCloud sync which I consider mandatory. So I've been thinking of jumping over to Ulysses, but it doesn't seem as full-featured for literary tasks.
I've messed around in Scrivener for a while but never really took to it. I find Ulysses to be a beautifully designed and very functional writing environment. Lots of great features that stay out of your way until you need them. And the design is very Mac-like. As for iCloud syncing, Ulysses offers sync either via Dropbox or iCloud. I tend to use Dropbox because I'm used to it and I like how transparent it is -- and if for whatever reason I decided to stop using Ulysses, my files would all be sitting there out in the open in .md format that I could edit with any other text editor out there.

Not sure if this answers your question, but also be aware that there's a demo of the OS X version on the Ulysses site, so you can poke around a bit before you commit.

EDIT: Since writing this, I've decided to buy the iOS version, which was a pretty frivolous purchase since I don't write much on my phone if I can avoid it -- but it's still nice to be able to access my library. The iOS app is gorgeous and very very full-featured. You can customize the theme to the same one you use on your Mac, and you can even upload custom fonts. Very impressive.
 
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petsounds

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Jun 30, 2007
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just don't worry so much about having to use iCloud?
It's the sync service I use? I don't trust Dropbox, nor do I like how it sends deep roots into OS X for its syncing. Every dev should be supporting iCloud at this point if they're doing sync on Apple platforms. CloudKit is in my experience reliable.

I've messed around in Scrivener for a while but never really took to it. I find Ulysses to be a beautifully designed and very functional writing environment. Lots of great features that stay out of your way until you need them. And the design is very Mac-like. As for iCloud syncing, Ulysses offers sync either via Dropbox or iCloud. I tend to use Dropbox because I'm used to it and I like how transparent it is -- and if for whatever reason I decided to stop using Ulysses, my files would all be sitting there out in the open in .md format that I could edit with any other text editor out there.

Not sure if this answers your question, but also be aware that there's a demo of the OS X version on the Ulysses site, so you can poke around a bit before you commit.

Thanks, I'll have to give the demo a spin. To be honest, I've never been completely enamored with Scrivener. I find its "do whatever you want" philosophy too distracting for my brain when I want to get into the meat of writing a new chapter or a quick idea. I prefer something that gives me the tools to focus on specific writing tasks and presents them in elegant, intuitive ways. But, Scrivener is very powerful for some tasks and it's been the de facto tool for many, so I've continued to use it over the years.
 
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zen

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Jun 26, 2003
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This looks really interesting, but the price makes my eyes water a little, for what the app does...
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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This looks really interesting, but the price makes my eyes water a little, for what the app does...

Speaking for the Mac version, I can honestly say I've spent so many hours using it that it's been well worth it to me. Having one single app that handles all (well, almost all*) my writing is quite valuable to me.

*they don't support Fountain screenplay format yet, which is a shame, since it's plain-text based and would be a great fit
 
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zen

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Jun 26, 2003
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Speaking for the Mac version, I can honestly say I've spent so many hours using it that it's been well worth it to me. Having one single app that handles all (well, almost all*) my writing is quite valuable to me.

*they don't support Fountain screenplay format yet, which is a shame, since it's plain-text based and would be a great fit
Right - I am using the 10-hour demo version, so I'll see if I can learn more about it. I like a lot of the visual/UI features - I'm a novelist and because I spend so much time staring at my screen I have a tendency to be picky with fonts and background colours when I'm in the first draft - but I still haven't quite worked out how to change and apply the colour schemes. in fact I can't even figure out how to change the display to match one of the dark examples they have in their own screenshots!

But I do like the inbox-style organisation of pages/sheets.
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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This looks really interesting, but the price makes my eyes water a little, for what the app does...
If you'll really use it as a tool for a lot of writing, the price is quite reasonable. Just to get a taste, to see if you like it, yeah, awfully spendy for that. One of the weak points of the App Store system. Still, I think I give them points for not doing "free with $25 IAP unlock", just because it's refreshing. They do have a long track record and legions of happy customers on OS X, if that makes you more comfortable.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
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If you'll really use it as a tool for a lot of writing, the price is quite reasonable. Just to get a taste, to see if you like it, yeah, awfully spendy for that. One of the weak points of the App Store system. Still, I think I give them points for not doing "free with $25 IAP unlock", just because it's refreshing. They do have a long track record and legions of happy customers on OS X, if that makes you more comfortable.
Yeah you are right - and as mentioned above there is actually a 10-hour demo available direct from their website.

I am a professional novelist - as in, published and I make my living as a novelist - and I have used Scrivener for drafting up until now. I'm eager to simplify things (there are a tonne of features in Scrivener I never use anyway), and to have a writing app that is easy on the eye. Ulysses does seem to check those boxes, but the learning curve seems a little steep.

Or maybe I haven't had enough coffee today :p
 
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ignatius345

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Ulysses does seem to check those boxes, but the learning curve seems a little steep.

The learning curve looks worse than it is, I think, especially at first. One can use it on a basic level immediately, but there are lots more advanced features under the surface. I find everything quite intuitive and discoverable -- hallmarks of good user interface design.

I will say that Markdown takes a bit of getting used to, in that the formatting is done with visible characters (_italic_ or *bold*, for example), versus the classic WYSISYG model. After a while, though, that doesn't jump out at you too much. If you end up liking and using Ulysses, I'd recommend the color scheme Stendahl (available on the "style exchange" part of their site) if you want those formatting characters to recede somewhat into the background.
 
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Telos101

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Apr 29, 2016
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Big fan of Ulysses, myself. I have used Scrivener and it's a great catch-all suite for when you have a humungous research project on the go, but... So. Many. Functions. My little brain can't handle it.

Ulysses on the other hand is the best thing I've ever used on a Mac for pure writing. Slick, customisable and with its own bells and whistles, you can't go wrong. Plus the iOS app is a thing of beauty.
 
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username:

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Dec 16, 2013
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It's good that scrivener has some competition but scrivener is easily the better app, including its iOS app now.
 
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adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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I've never heard of this before. Did the 10 hour trial via the Ulysses website. Connected to Wordpress. very nice. Finally an application that I can switch to from MarsEdit?

I have used MarsEdit for years but it has pretty much been neglected for 3 years.
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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It's good that scrivener has some competition but scrivener is easily the better app, including its iOS app now.
Also interested to hear why. The interface looks far more cluttered to me, but maybe it has some killer feature I'm not seeing?

Design is important to me in picking an environment in which to write, and Scrivener looks like it's from about 2004 at the latest.
 
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username:

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Care to elaborate why it's beter?

Also interested to hear why. The interface looks far more cluttered to me, but maybe it has some killer feature I'm not seeing?

Design is important to me in picking an environment in which to write, and Scrivener looks like it's from about 2004 at the latest.

I'm wondering from your comments if you have used the app. It received a UI update only a few months ago. The interface is well-designed, modern, and entirely customisable. I mean, the ENTIRE interface can be changed to suit how I like it. Every detail if I wish. Or it can be used out of the box. And the iOS app is just as good.

Scrivener has a much more straight forward organisational system. The main advantage of these apps is the organisational side of it, having all the writing in the one place. And Scivener does it better and more intuitively than Ulysses. That's really the whole issue.
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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I'm wondering from your comments if you have used the app. It received a UI update only a few months ago. The interface is well-designed, modern, and entirely customisable. I mean, the ENTIRE interface can be changed to suit how I like it. Every detail if I wish. Or it can be used out of the box. And the iOS app is just as good.

Scrivener has a much more straight forward organisational system. The main advantage of these apps is the organisational side of it, having all the writing in the one place. And Scivener does it better and more intuitively than Ulysses. That's really the whole issue.

I was going off the screenshots on the website. It's a very bad looking website, so that was probably skewing my opinion. I grabbed the demo and it looks a bit better than it did on the site. It's not bad, but for my taste, there's just way too much going on. Ulysses, to me, just feels like a lot of clutter is removed, and there's more polish. Obviously this is all highly subjective stuff. Not sure I agree with you about the "intuitive" part, but let's agree to disagree there.

It looks like Scrivener definitely holds a lot more stuff than Ulysses, which is meant really for text (though it does support attachments to some extent). The way I work, I'm way more likely to keep research materials and such in a folder in the Finder somewhere, synced/backed up through Dropbox, so I'm less likely to need all those extra features that Scrivener has.

Fortunately, both apps are available with free demos, which is something that makes me very glad there are alternatives to the App Store.
 
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username:

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2013
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I was going off the screenshots on the website. It's a very bad looking website, so that was probably skewing my opinion. I grabbed the demo and it looks a bit better than it did on the site. It's not bad, but for my taste, there's just way too much going on. Ulysses, to me, just feels like a lot of clutter is removed, and there's more polish. Obviously this is all highly subjective stuff. Not sure I agree with you about the "intuitive" part, but let's agree to disagree there.

It looks like Scrivener definitely holds a lot more stuff than Ulysses, which is meant really for text (though it does support attachments to some extent). The way I work, I'm way more likely to keep research materials and such in a folder in the Finder somewhere, synced/backed up through Dropbox, so I'm less likely to need all those extra features that Scrivener has.

Fortunately, both apps are available with free demos, which is something that makes me very glad there are alternatives to the App Store.

I agree it's subjective! I found Ulysses more cluttered! I could not get rid of some of the default folders which annoyed me!
I love having PDFs, pictures, websites and YouTube vids in scrivener. I can't remember if ULysses supports double-pane writing for writing and reference side by side? Or multiple documents open at the same time both on OS X and iOS? Couldn't live without that
 
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Janichsan

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Oct 23, 2006
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While I like Ulysses's somewhat cleaner interface, the way it handles documents is a no-go for me: I want to be able to manage my documents myself and not be forced to cram everything in a closed-off proprietary database.
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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While I like Ulysses's somewhat cleaner interface, the way it handles documents is a no-go for me: I want to be able to manage my documents myself and not be forced to cram everything in a closed-off proprietary database.
I was also a bit concerned with the iCloud thing too. Closed-off, proprietary databases scare me as well, especially for something as important as writing. So I emailed the Ulysses people, and it turns out that inside the folder structure it sets up for itself, all your sheets are formatted as plain-text based .md files. Nothing proprietary at all. Once you know where they're kept -- iCloud makes this a little opaque, but they're accessible in the Finder -- you can open them in any plain-text editor (Sublime Text is amazing for this). Everything is backed up and recoverable through Time Machine, and it supports the versioning that's built into OS X.

But for even more transparency, you can sync it with Dropbox, which puts your files even more out in the open.

(God, I sound like a shill for Ulysses, but I do like it a lot)
[doublepost=1470674890][/doublepost]
I agree it's subjective! I found Ulysses more cluttered! I could not get rid of some of the default folders which annoyed me!
I love having PDFs, pictures, websites and YouTube vids in scrivener. I can't remember if ULysses supports double-pane writing for writing and reference side by side? Or multiple documents open at the same time both on OS X and iOS? Couldn't live without that
Yeah, you can do that if you open separate windows and put them both in "distraction free" mode.

To be totally honest, when I need to really spread out and see a lot of text on the screen at once, I use Sublime Text and set it to full-screen and use the layout options to have separate documents open at once. Then whatever's done gets pasted into Ulysses for filing away. Be warned, Sublime Text can be a huge rabbit hole since it's incredibly customizable and built for programmers.
 

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username:

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2013
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365
I was also a bit concerned with the iCloud thing too. Closed-off, proprietary databases scare me as well, especially for something as important as writing. So I emailed the Ulysses people, and it turns out that inside the folder structure it sets up for itself, all your sheets are formatted as plain-text based .md files. Nothing proprietary at all. Once you know where they're kept -- iCloud makes this a little opaque, but they're accessible in the Finder -- you can open them in any plain-text editor (Sublime Text is amazing for this). Everything is backed up and recoverable through Time Machine, and it supports the versioning that's built into OS X.

But for even more transparency, you can sync it with Dropbox, which puts your files even more out in the open.

(God, I sound like a shill for Ulysses, but I do like it a lot)
[doublepost=1470674890][/doublepost]
Yeah, you can do that if you open separate windows and put them both in "distraction free" mode.

To be totally honest, when I need to really spread out and see a lot of text on the screen at once, I use Sublime Text and set it to full-screen and use the layout options to have separate documents open at once. Then whatever's done gets pasted into Ulysses for filing away. Be warned, Sublime Text can be a huge rabbit hole since it's incredibly customizable and built for programmers.

Hey you should really try scrivener. No need for multiple windows open!
 
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