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.

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Ulysses 2.7: Touch Bar, Sierra Tabs and Then Some

Today we’re releasing Ulysses 2.7 on the App Store. It’s a rather big release, even though there’s not that one major headline feature, like… making coffee or such (though, boy, this would come in handy now). It’s more of a foundation release, with tons of fixes, under-the-hood changes and improvements to keep Ulysses’ code base fresh and… juicy. Yes, juicy. There, I said it.

That’s not to say there aren’t any new features, mind you. Though “new”, as is the case with any adjective claim, lies in the eye of the beholder, but more on that later.

Touch Bar Support on MacBook Pro (2016)

To get this one out of the way quickly: Ulysses 2.7 now supports Touch Bar, Apple’s latest take on humanizing hardware interfaces. It’s brand-new, obviously, so there isn’t much (if any) experience with how users expect this thing to work, but we took the time and implemented what we believe is a solid first take on awfully promising technology.

The primary focus for our initial Touch Bar support was, of course, the editor, and you can now access Ulysses’ markup features right from the Touch Bar. Yay! But since markup is based on keyboard input anyway, and since the most common definitions are so easy to type (headers, emphasize etc.), we didn’t just populate the Touch Bar with a scrolling list of tags. Instead, we took a page from our iOS implementation, and are offering logical markup groups alongside dedicated buttons for three of the more complex (but widely used) definitions.

Ulysses' Editor Touch Bar

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30 Tips for Beating Writer’s Block, and a Final Giveaway

Ulysses is a sponsor of NaNoWriMo 2016, and we’re inviting all participants to write their novels with Ulysses (for free). Our offer also includes an introductory video, a free email course to get the most of Ulysses, and app giveaways during the NaNoWriMo season.

Last week we asked you to share your best tip for dealing with writer’s block in a Facebook comment — the results were amazing. Thanks to anyone who participated! The tips are so manifold that they should help any writer to lift their blockade. So, this may come a little late for this year’s NaNoWriMo, but you’re invited to keep our compilation for upcoming writing challenges.

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Writing Mathematical Equations in Ulysses

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Eline, originally from The Netherlands, is currently doing an English Language and Linguistics Master and is a member of The Soulmen’s support team. In her column, she responds to some of the most frequently asked questions and share support answers that could be of interest for more Ulysses users out there.

Ulysses isn’t just used by those who write fiction – it is also suited for mathematicians and other scientists that have to include equations in their writing. In this blog post, we will present you with two of the most commonly used workflows: on the one hand, you can use LateX to write your equations, rendering them with Pandoc. On the other hand, you can use MathJax, a powerful web-based script which can render your equations in HTML.

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Your Best Tipps for Dealing With Writer’s Block

Ulysses is a sponsor of NaNoWriMo 2016, and we’re inviting all participants to write their novels with Ulysses (for free). Our offer also includes an introductory video, a free email course to get the most of Ulysses, and app giveaways during the NaNoWriMo season.

9 more days to go until November 30! If you have hung on until now, you’re likely to make the 50,000… well, if you don’t get stuck in writer’s block. Supposedly, most writers have experienced this phenomenon at some point. You know – when your head suddenly feels empty, and the words simply don’t want to flow anymore? It’s a mess.

But more importantly: Have you found a way to deal with writer’s block? A simple way out maybe, or a complex routine to get you back on track? Then you should share your wisdom today, because we’re giving away 5 Ulysses for Mac licenses for the best tips to combat writer’s block.

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Professional App for Working With PDFs — Introducing PDF Expert

Many people who write a lot — lawyers or academics, for example — also have to work a lot with PDFs: They read and annotate books and articles, or edit and sign contracts. PDF Expert is an easy-to-use, powerful PDF editor for Mac that perfectly meets those needs. Today, Denys Zhadanov, VP of marketing at Readdle, the makers of PDF Expert, introduces you to its powers. What’s more, you’ll have the chance to get PDF Expert at a reduced price.

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The Novel We’d Really Want to Read

Ulysses is a sponsor of NaNoWriMo 2016, and we’re inviting all participants to write their novels with Ulysses (for free). Our offer also includes an introductory video, a free email course to get the most of Ulysses, and app giveaways during the NaNoWriMo season.

Last week we called on you to send in the first 100 words of the novel you’re currently writing. Notably, 51 Wrimos interrupted their work to do just that. Thank you so much! This morning, Eline, Lara, Martin, and Rebekka stopped programming, answering customer emails and planning marketing activities, respectively – in order to read your novel beginnings. Respect, you seem to get some great stories going! We certainly had a lot of fun, and the decision was not an easy one. Here is our favorite, by Jessica Hewlett:

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5 x Ulysses for Mac for the Best Beginnings

Ulysses is a sponsor of NaNoWriMo 2016, and we’re inviting all participants to write their novels with Ulysses (for free). Our offer also includes an introductory video, a free email course to get the most of Ulysses, and app giveaways during the NaNoWriMo season.

NaNoWriMo Giveaway

Wrimos, listen up! Today is your second chance to win Ulysses for Mac and keep it for your future works. We’re giving away five licenses, and they’ll be granted to the best NaNoWriMo novel beginnings!

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