Tutorials

Smart Copy and Paste

| By Alexander der Große

Let’s face the facts: Writers often need to use the Copy and Paste commands when working with texts. Be it for reusing text snippets, collecting research notes on the web, or transferring content from one application to another. Ulysses’ Smart Copy and Smart Paste features are helpful when working with different text formats, as basic formatting often gets messed up or lost when using the standard copy and paste functions.

Visualization of different text forms. The first image represents Markdown, the second one HTML and the third one Rich Text.

Smart Paste

In short, Smart Paste allows you to

  • convert from Markdown or HTML code,
  • convert from Rich Text formatted text,
  • strip out all tags by pasting as Plain Text,
  • add code examples by pasting as Code Block, and
  • paste code as Raw Source.

Say you want to add a piece of text from an article found on the web to a sheet in Ulysses. Select and copy the text in question. To preserve the formatting, proceed now as follows:

On iOS, tap on the location in the sheet where you want to paste your text. From the appearing menu, select “Action…”. Select “Paste…” and then “From Rich Text”.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible are the menu items “Select”, “Select All”, “Paste” and “Action…”. The “Action” item has been highlighted.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible items are “Paste…” and “Split Here”. The “Paste…” item has been highlighted.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible items are “From Rich Text”, “As Plain Text” and an arrow pointing to the right, representing more items. The “From Rich Text” item has been highlighted.

On Mac, you'll find the options for Smart Paste in the Edit menu. In this example, you would select "Edit › Paste from › Rich Text".

Another example: You’re writing a technical handbook, and want to add code snippets to your text. Follow the instructions above, select “Paste as Code Block”, and you’re good.

Smart Copy

Using the Smart Copy feature is just as straightforward. You can copy your text as HTML, Plain Text, Markdown or Rich Text. You can for instance copy text in Ulysses as HTML to quickly add it to your website.

On iOS, select the text you wish to add to your website. Tap “Action…” on the menu, select “Copy…” and then “As HTML”. Paste the text into your website/editor.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible items are an arrow pointing left, “Share…” and “Action…”. The “Action…” item has been highlighted. In the background some text has been selected.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible items are “Copy…” and “Paste…”. The “Copy…” item has been highlighted. In the background some text has been selected.

Screenshot of the context menu of the editor of Ulysses for iPhone. Visible items are an arrow pointing left, “As HTML” and “As Rich Text”. The “As HTML” item has been highlighted. In the background some text has been selected.

On Mac, simply make use of the "Copy as › HTML" command in the Edit menu. 

Shortcuts

If you work on Mac or with a keyboard attached to your iPad or iPhone, you can speed things up with the following shortcuts:

  • ⇧⌘C (shift-cmd-C) to open the smart copy options menu
  • ⌥⌘C (alt-cmd-C) to copy selected text as Markdown
  • ⇧⌘V (shift-cmd-V) to open the smart paste options menu
  • ⌥⌘V (alt-cmd-V) to paste text as Markdown

 This article was last updated June 5, 2018.

Smart Copy and Paste

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