Ulysses 12: Small Refinements for More Productivity

In last week’s announcement post you already learned about the most important new features in Ulysses’ latest version. There are a few further refinements we would like to point you to. Even if they’re about small details, they may – depending on your workflow – improve your working with Ulysses every day.

Use Shortcuts to Move Paragraphs

During the process of editing, you may realize that rearranging the order of your text is necessary. So far, you needed to cut paragraphs and paste them to their new location. With the new version, you can use the following shortcuts to move a paragraph up or down in your text:

  • ⌃⌘↑ (control-command-up arrow)
  • ⌃⌘↓ (control-command-down arrow)

Note: It does not matter where in your paragraph the cursor is placed, these shortcuts will move the entire paragraph.

Even if you don’t mind reaching for the mouse — try it out, it is much more convenient than the traditional way.

Read …

How Many Words Does My Novel Have? — Group Statistics on Ulysses for iPad and iPhone

The average reader would need around 2 days (with 8 hours for sleeping) to read everything I have ever written at work since I got here. How do I know? Would you like to know how many words you have published on your blog so far, or how many pages your novel has? In all of these cases, Ulysses’ group statistics can help. Since version 2.8 they’re available on iPad and iPhone as well.

Checking a group’s statistics is super easy: Go to the library, swipe left on the group in question, and select “Detail”. In the “Progress” section, you can check the combined word count of all sheets that live in this group and its subgroups. Now, tap this number to see all available statistics: from sheets to characters to words, sentences and pages to reading time.

If you need the combined statistics of a selection of sheets, you can check them, too: Switch to the sheet table, tap “Select” and mark the sheets in question. Your word count will be displayed at the top of the sheet list — again, tap it for detailed statistics.

Extra tip: If you rather want a different counter than the default word count, just tap it. It will then be displayed in the progress section and at the top of the sheet table.

For more information on how to take advantage of statistics for single sheets, or when working on the Mac, check out this knowledge base article.

Protect Your Ulysses Text Library with Touch ID or a Password

Sometimes you might want to keep your work private from curious viewers: be it because it’s work in progress, or because it was meant for your eyes only from the beginning. Whatever the case, Ulysses’ new Touch ID and Password Lock helps you keep your texts exclusive.

Starting with version 2.8, Ulysses lets you protect your text library: once locked, a personal password or Touch ID (available only on supported devices) will be required to access the app. The idle time, after which Ulysses locks itself, can be determined individually.

Read …

More Power to Ulysses’ Filters: Exclude Keywords or Text Occurrences

Ulysses’ filters can help you organize your work. They let you track the texts you want to keep your eye on. In Ulysses 2.8, we’ve added a new trait: You can now create filters based on negative criteria. That’s right! We’ve made it easier to sort out all the texts you don’t want to see.

Filters, as a reminder, let you sort your sheets according to certain criteria: text occurrences, keywords, or creations dates. Their uses are numerous and versatile. As a blogger, you can filter for blog posts with a keyword “In Progress”. As a novelist, you may want to filter incidents based on your main character’s name, to follow her or his actions through the course of the story. What’s new is that you can also collect sheets that do not contain a word or phrase, or that are not tagged with a certain keyword. 

Read …

Ulysses 2.8 – Touch ID, Group Statistics, and the Return of Clarus the Dogcow

Touch ID

Hey there, friends. Ulysses 2.8 is upon you, and I’d once again like to take this opportunity to shed some light on what’s new, and why we thought the changes and additions were great ideas.

Touch ID

The most prominent new feature is Touch ID and Password Lock. It’s also the easiest to explain and rectify – locking was requested roughly a gazillion times, and seeing how Ulysses has moved to mobile devices, and how these device are oftentimes shared among family and friends, privacy is a major concern, and little if anything is more private than your writing (check your photos, though).

Read …

Improving Ulysses’ Touch Bar

Two weeks ago, we released Ulysses 2.7 with support for Touch Bar on Apple's latest MacBook Pro. When we started work on Touch Bar, we only had Xcode and some third-party apps to do very basic emulation: showing keyboard and Touch Bar on an iPad Pro, for example. You can’t fully test, even less appreciate a new input device via emulation, though. So we eagerly awaited the arrival of our own hardware.

And when it finally arrived, we only had three days between unpacking and the 2.7 release. This was barely enough to go through quick “yes, works” test-runs – and even during this time, we already realized how some of our ideas wouldn’t work that well and needed a proper revisit in due time.

So since then, we have taken another look at our initial implementation, came up with new ideas, and shuffled around some buttons and options. Today, we are releasing Ulysses 2.7.1 with an updated take on Touch Bar, and I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about the biggest changes, and our Touch Bar approach in general.

Read …

For Better Focus: Typewriter Mode, Revamped

What’s new in Ulysses 2.6? In a series of blog posts, we’ll closely look at each of its new features and examine how they can help writers to get their work done.

MacBook, Typewriter Mode enabled

An earlier implementation of the new Typewriter Mode was actually part of Ulysses for Mac since 2013. With version 2.6, Typewriter Mode was revamped and finally made it to iPad and iPhone.

Typewriter Mode – you guessed it – got its name because it mimics the behavior of mechanic typewriters in some respects. Some older users may even remember how it was to write on these! Writing on a computer instead has many advantages, but there’s one thing typewriters were actually very good at: letting writers focus on their texts. And better focus is exactly what Ulysses’ Typewriter Mode aims for.

Read …

“The App Should Still Be Fun to Use, Just Like Without VoiceOver”

What’s new in Ulysses 2.6? In a series of blog posts, we’ll closely look at each of its new features and examine how they can help writers to get their work done. Today we talk to Lucas, development trainee at The Soulmen, who was in charge of optimizing Ulysses for VoiceOver users.

Screenshot of Ulysses on iOS with VoiceOver enabled. The accessibility rotor is visible and set to “Actions”.

With the latest version, Ulysses claims to be accessible for visually impaired writers. Could you please explain the difficulties blind and visually impaired are facing when using a computer? How can they be solved?

Read …

Saving Life Time: Quick Open on iPad and iPhone

What’s new in Ulysses 2.6? In a series of blog posts, we’ll closely look at each of its new features and examine how they can help writers to get their work done.

Quick Open is part of Ulysses for Mac since its launch back in 2013. When Ulysses for iOS came out last year, users missed the feature sadly, and kept asking for it. Well, it is finally there! Quick Open is, in short, meant to save you time and effort. You can search your entire library within seconds, and instantly open a sheet for editing, without the need to navigate through your group hierarchies. Sounds like a small thing? Hey, if you only save only 10 seconds per sheet thanks to Quick Open, and you’re looking for 6 sheets per day for the next 30 years, this sums up to 8 days in total! Time you could spend on vacation or use to write a short story, for example. Read …