Ulysses: Writing App

Productivity
Rating
4.7 (1.1K)
Size
169.6 MB
Age rating
4+
Current version
34.3
Price
Free
Seller
Ulysses GmbH & Co. KG
Last update
2 months ago
Version OS
16.2 or later
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User Reviews for Ulysses: Writing App

4.66 out of 5
1.1K Ratings
4 years ago, Slade Roberson
An Elegant Alternative to Scrivener
I use Ulysses for writing ficiton. I was a Scrivener user for years. It's a powerful program that reminds me in some ways of Photoshop - incredibly powerful yet complex in ways I often never get around to using. The #1 reason I choose to write in Ulysses is the ability to sync and access my Ulysses projects from all my Mac devices - iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro. This is where Scrivener falls apart - their iPad app is a different program, and syncing across multiple devices requires third party programs and platforms ... and then it still doesn't work that great. I can write anywhere, anytime. My other favorite feature is being able to write in Markdown -- so with two keyboard clicks, I can leave inline notes to myself within the text that do not export to the finished document and don't exist in a sidebar. The simplicity of the design in relationship to the variety of function is great. Two feature requests - I still use Pacemaker for project wordcount setting and goal keeping. I'd love it if Ulysses' in app goal setting features were so robust. I also wish the color coding on keywords was more saturated/ high contrast, and that colors could be assigned to elements in the Library.
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2 years ago, chicagoland-ipaduser
I’m in love with this writing app (update)
Finally, a program where I can keep my academic writing drafts and reading notes in a single uncluttered, easy-to-use environment. I love the simple markdown commands, which keep me writing without constantly having to stop to mouse over to a toolbar or open a menu window. I encountered only one problem in my initial use of the program, which was that my block quotes kept appearing center-justified and in italics after export (this is not a typical format in publications in my humanities discipline). When I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get the quotes to come out in normal font style and left-justified, I wrote to customer support for help. Within 24 hours I received clear instructions for solving the problem by changing the style sheet, and now I know how to change other formatting issues in the style sheet should they arise. ***UPDATE: I've been using the app now for a couple of years and although I'm not making any particularly high-tech use of it (I don't blog or otherwise publish online using my own markup), but it continues to serve my academic needs extremely well. It's a keeper!
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4 years ago, plaintiger
Not my thing
Apps with non-standard UIs and I just don't tend to get along. I use most apps in fits and starts, and that's certainly true of Ulysses. If I wrote for a living, or maybe even if I journaled every day, it'd be different - I'd be using the app pretty much daily and wouldn't have a chance to forget all its peculiarities. But I don't write every day; I write when I feel inspired to, and that might be every day for three days in a row or for a week, and then I won't feel the need to write again for a month, and therein lies the problem with apps with non-standard UIs: when I launch an app with a non-standard UI after that month of not using it, I've completely forgotten how it works and I need to go through a tutorial all over again if I want to use it. Which is not something I'm willing to do for any app that's not essential to my life. And for me personally, the value of a pretty UI and having no visual distractions while writing is nowhere near so great that I would think it worth my while to re-school myself on how to use Ulysses all over again every time I forget.

The whole idea behind the Mac is that computing should be intuitive, and Ulysses is not. So I'm most likely done with it and will be going back to Word or some other app that I know how to operate when I open it, no matter how long it's been since I last used it.
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3 years ago, John Kusters
Nearly Perfect Writing Tool
As a novelist and short story writer, I'm enjoying using Ulysses on both my Mac and my iPad. It's biggest strength against any competitors is the seamless iCloud syncing. Other apps are too finicky or have very limited syncing options. With Ulyssees, the writing I do on my Mac just appears on my iPad and vice-versa. I can write and edit virtually anywhere. The otheer feature I think is a strength is that all of your writing is in one container, which you can organize however you want. I like this over having separate files for each project and wondering where that story you worked on three years ago is on your disk. Features that would get it a fifth star would be better planning tools (like a spreadsheet view that showed part of the first line of a sheet, or the first comment, keywords for each sheet, the target word count, and the current word count, with rows that can be rearranged by dragging), an ability to add meta data to a group and include it in the export (for example, author name, word count, story title, and the like for a manuscript suitable for submission to a publisher), and more formatting options in the export styles.
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10 months ago, S.P Walters
Not a silver bullet but Close
I have just moved over to the Mac ecosystem from windows/google, and I was using another program almost exclusively. Heard Wonderfull things about Ulysses and had to give it a try. First off, I’m not a hug fan of subscription models, I would rather just pay outright, but this is worth it. I love the fact that the editor just gets out of my way, almost as if I have a blank page in front of me. Over the years, I found I work best when I can get my idea out first, then edit second. Ulysses makes it easy to plan as much or as little as I want. Outline, character sheets, plot mapping all can be done inside the box. Markdown is simple enough and to be honest, I like to keep everything as a txt file, yes you loose formatting, but it can still be opened twenty years later. What really won me over is the fact that bouncing between devices is painless. I don’t have to worry that what I wrote on my phone at lunch will not open or format right on my laptop when I get home. This is what sold me, I can start an idea anywhere and fully flesh it out later without loosing a beat.
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3 years ago, Scolari Fam
Because writers write:
Here's a splendid tool that every writer should have, a versatile engine that is devoted to nothing less than prose itself, and while it can do much more, its entire point is as simple as that, becasue as the old saying goes, writers write -- and it's really the only pedigreee any writer needs, because if you're writing, you're a writer, and if you're not, you aren't. Ulysses takes its name from what happens to be my favorite poem, an heroic epic from no less than Tennyson almighty, who like all writers knew the agony of an art that begins with nothing, but by som curious alchemy offers outcomes our world simply could not be without. We writers are as Tennyson penned, "one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield." Quite simply -- in a way that is both simple but not easy, Ulysses (both the app and the epic poem) helps us get there. So download it, then spring for the modest annual, and then get to work and use it every day, because whether you know it or not, the world needs your pen, your poetry, and your prose, and we need them all more than ever before. Five stars, but only becasuse it wont let me give any more.
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8 months ago, IreneS2
I love the updates!
I've been using Ulysses for years since I started writing a novel & needed a better system for organization and editing. The recent updates with Projects feature have been great so far; before then I had to buy another app (Scrivener) for more complex stuff but then I kept coming back to this one because the UI and syncing in Ulysses are truly unbeatable. I not only write from my mac but also my phone and iPad, and have to admit that it really has the best UI for focus and simple editing. One thing I hope from the app is that there are less options for importing outside sources, like attaching PDF files or images. I know the editor isn't exactly to support high resolution files or complex layout before editing, but as the one who does not publish my writing through HTML or PDF and use Markup features only for faster writing & organization I sometimes want a system that can put together what I've researched for writing. I understand that simplicity is the key in Ulysses but it'd be great if you could allow something similar to happen in this wonderful app!
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5 years ago, bwintx
Sync issues — like most “shoebox” apps
Editing my previous review (bumping it up to four stars from three)... A couple of weeks ago, I slammed Ulysses for recent iCloud sync issues. Then I did some more research and learned it’s not alone in that regard. Indeed, many if not most so-called “shoebox” or central-library apps — like, to name two very familiar examples, Apple’s own Notes and Photos apps — are prone to them, too. It seems to be the nature of the beast. If you value having all your work together in the same library at all times without having to futz around with individual files and folders, the risks that go with the “shoebox” method are part of the price of admission. So I withdraw that previous complaint. Indeed, if it were not for that method of file storage and the occasional (but sometimes scary) glitches that accompany it, I’d give Ulysses five stars. For most of my work, I prefer the advantages of MultiMarkdown and a more transparent file structure than what Ulysses offers. That said, I still recommend it highly; it’s a great app and a marvelous writing environment in which you’ll spend many hours working happily and productively.
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5 years ago, benfsmith
The best
In additional to my Ulysses subscription, I also subscribe to Bear, Agenda, and Drafts, and commonly use IA Writer and Word, each with distinct use cases. Where Ulysses stands out most is its custimizable writing environment and document organization. Ability to have different colors for different header levels has proven critical for me in being able to quickly recognize my place in long text and see structure at a glance. I use Ulysses for as much of my writing as possible, inluding important or lengthy email. Why the other subscriptions? I find Bear better for notes because of image and attachment handling, especially for notes that I will routinely refer to again. Agenda is best for meeting notes given connection to calendar. Drafts is best for text manipulation and automation, as well as ephemeral text. IA Writer is cross platform. Much of my business work requires Word output. How I wish I had one app that served all these needs, but I'd say Ulysses is the most critical and by far the one I use the most. I wish all of these apps offered table support comparable to Apple Notes, or even Evernote. I'd also like Ulysses to recognize Taskpaper syntax
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4 years ago, Dindicns
Amazing platform… VERY BAD grammar and spelling
I hardly write reviews but I love this app so much that I feel that it would be heloful to point out this flaw. The autocorrect, grammar and spellcheck, and dictionary of this software lag FAR behind the brillaince of the rest of the package. The program doesn’t know many common words, autocorrects to a dangerous degree, and, most annoyingly of all, when a word is marked as misspelled, it is very cumbersome to right-click in order to change it from the available menu of corrections as one would do in word. Right-clicking on a word that has been flagged will often jsut bring up the same menu as woul dcome up if you right-click anywhere else. At least fix this. When a word is flagged I should be able to right-click it to select a correciton with maximum ease. Other than that, thank you for this product. It really is an excellent way to compose and to take notes and it fits effortlessly when integrated iwth other apps, esepcially using split view on Mac where you can make the window small and take notes from another, larger, part of the screen.
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2 years ago, JavaMama38
I love Ulysses now
When I first started using Ulyssess around five years ago I found it frustrating. Not only because it was missing a few features I really wanted, but because of its custiomer service. They prompted users to give feedback and then when I'd provide it they would tell me the reasons why they couldn't do it instead of just thanking me for taking the time. So I went back to my other apps and didn't both with it for many years. Then last year I decided to try it again. Low and behold the changes I'd hoped for, better cloud sync and the ability to set goals for chapters and manuscripts with visual progress. The app also had so many great features it was even better than before. The editor, focus mode, improved markup options, and a simple, easy-to-use interface designed to be distraction free. I haven't reached out to their customer service again, but I'm hopeful that this too has improved. Bottom line: You really can't find a better writing app out there that has all the features PLUS reliability.
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4 years ago, peyton1849
Love this application
I’m currently writing a non-fiction book and in a bachelors proram getting ready for Law School. So I needed an alternative to Microsoft Word and Grammarly to help make my papers look more legit and professional. This is a perfect app. I took a chance on this and began using it wondering if it would be worth the money and it is. The footnote feature is specifically what I was looking for and the heading and automatic formatting. This helps me to make all my book chapters and sections look professional and really clean. If I had one criticism it would be a more in depth explination of the all the features. Maybe I didn’t pay attention long enough during the tutorial - so I’m giving 5 stars because that’s probably what happened - but overall, the interface is easy to use, the layout is awesome, and the product is amazing. I’m a big supporter of independent platforms and getting small businesses off the ground. This is a great and much easier platform to use than Microsoft Word. Glad to be part of the team, guys! Keep putting out god work!
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2 years ago, Sendaaxo
Generally excellent, a few niggles
Dont get me wrong, this is the best app of its type I have tried. There are a few niggles worth raising though. First, Mac syncing isnt always seamless or quick, have needed to shut down and restart my Mac several x to get it to sync (but it does so each time). Second my genre is poetry and export for poetry is really very poor. Poetry requires careful formatting, and the formats provided do not work, and diving into recoding the parameters is a nightmare for a writer/non-coder. I am always reformatting by hand in word, and cannot rely on the export function to work well. Finally, I would say that (again for poetry specifically), the editing functions are not quite precise enough, there are a lot that are irrelevant, and others which I would really welcome. Overall, a version for my genre would be fantastic, but I recognize its not a huge % of their customer base. Last word though, their customer support is excellent. Strongly recommend.
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4 years ago, Awesome app5364
The best writing app out there
This is by far the best writing app I've ever used, I got it at the start of my time in high school with some itunes gift cards, and used in all four years. Before, I had tons of folders on my desktop to organize my various notes for classes, but with Ulysses' key word feature, I was able to organize a system where I would just open up a new doc, write the title, and it was automatically placed into the folder I needed it to be in. This was incredibly easy for me to use, to stay focussed while in class, and the experience only got better as I learned more of its powerful features and intricacies. I was also easly able to export my essays clearly formatted in MLA format without every having to worry about specific requirements in Microsoft Word or Pages for my teachers to accept my work. The various exportation options are beautiful, simple to use, and pleasing to the eye. This app is a students best friend and I HIGHLY recommend it.
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5 years ago, jofromo
Good but not great
I used Ulysses on and off starting with one of the first versions. Don't remember which and when. I like it for textual information but for the type of writing I do I need the ability to easily build tables and embed mathematical formulae. For these reasons, even if I start writing in Ulysses, I have to move the work to other applications at one point or another. So, given that basic functionality is the same, I just started to use the other ones for part of my writing. But that defeats the purpose of using a single application for managing all my writing needs. Scrivener is good, but it is way to complex for most of what I need, IA Writer is good, so is MultiMarkdown Composer. The one I like the most is a free one - Typora, which offers me most of what I need. I though end up comming back to Ulysses, in the hopes it finally gets the functionality I need and I keep using it for jotting down ideas and notes that do not require math and tables.
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5 years ago, law4
The Only Writing App I Use
The most clear way I can express Ulysses is this: it's an indispensable tool that I use every day. I'm currently writing a book, and frequently write articles, podcast episodes, emails, and other web and businessy things. Everything I write starts in Ulysses. Reasons I love it: * Cloud syncing to iCloud is flawless * Fantastic export options * The minimal interfact has plenty of hidden features, and the Markdown rendering is fantastic * It exports directly to WP and Medium (though I've moved my site to Squarespace, which can translate both Markdown and Rich Text exports from Ulysses without any additional formatting) * The organization of text snippets, notes, chapters, etc. is first class * Dark mode... There are a few features I wish they'd add though. Here's my short list of cons: * Tagging could be better implemented, preferably with hashtags within documents * Linking between docs with an @ mention would be quite useful * Some mechanism for collaboration would be fantastic * Export to Google Docs for editing and collaboration help please; exporting rich text into Google Docs renders a poorly formatted text, which may be a limitation of Google Docs, but come on Ulysses team...ubiquity, ya know? --- Overall I absolutely love this app and highly recommend it. If you're serious about writing, and especially if you frequently publish to email or the web, this is your app. Look no further.
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1 year ago, Mac Vandelay
Please -- Give an Option to Hide Markdown
This is a brilliant, beautiful app, and I am not going to punish you with my rating. But please hear me out. There are a great portion of writers attracted to Ulysses because they desire an aesthetically pleasing minimalistic environment *while* writing. For many of those writers, viewing markdown characters at all times is legitimately distracting. Apps like Spaces, Bear, Obsidian, have all proven that markdown can function just as well when hidden. It provides all the same technical functionality as when always visible. And while certain types of writers, like journalists or bloggers or researchers, clearly benefit by always viewing markdown characters because their aim is publishing, and that information is as constantly important as the words themselves, for many creative writers like myself, viewing the coding characters at all time for simple things like bolding and underlining and italicizing and titling is not only unessential, but actively distracting from the creative flow. All I ask is that the Ulysses team can respect my right to choose in this specific regard. What is not a distraction for you is a distracton for me, and users like me. I understand your preferences differ from ours, but please have enough respect for this section of your userbase to give us a toggle to write as Ulysses intends for us to write -- distraction free.
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5 years ago, heykitty9
Hands down best writing app
I am a journalist as well as an amateur creative writer, and Ulysses suits my needs for every type of writing I do. Look no further: Ulysses is the best writing app on the market. This app not only provides a clean and unintrusive space to do my writing, but it's also packed with loads of features if you need them. Ulysses is fast and lightweight, unlike some of the bulkier writing apps I've tried. The sync between the iOS and Mac versions is instant (and the mobile apps are equally beautiful and easy to use). The focus mode and writing goals motivate me to actually sit down and WRITE. I also love the ability to view a number of sheets together in a single, streaming editor, because this allows me to sketch an outline with multiple sheets and then fill in as I go. The most recent update (March 2019) with the split-screen editor and the keyword manager are just a few of the significant new features that have rolled out since I became a happy subscriber to this app last year. I am thrilled to support these developers with a subscription when it means a stream of quality new feaatures like this. Thank you for making this app and continuing to develop it with such attention to detail. It's clear how much thought and effort has gone into the design and usability of this program and it is very much appreciated.
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3 years ago, SBCpp
No longer fits my needs
I hope Apple does not delete my review and post it this time! I have used Ulysses for several years, and at the time it was probably the best of its kind. It is stable, reliable, and syncs flawlessly using iCloud. However, here is what is missing in Ulysses that is now available in some of its newer competitors: No formatted text option. I know some usres love markdown but there is a ton of similar apps that use markdown. What about those of us who use Ulysses primarily for taking notes, planning projects, commenting on events and issues, capturing and organizing information from online sources and other things that are not meant for publishing but for having electronic/digital records only? We like to have a pleasant page layout with control over fonts and colors. Other competing apps offer several options (formatted documents, plain text, and markdown), so why not Ulysses?. No option to insert tables in documents. No checklists; most other notes apps offer tables and checklists. Search is a bit confusing. I find myself most of the time searching for a something and not foinding only to find out the my search was limited to the note I am viewing. Out of frustration, I moved all my notes and documents out of Ulysses to another app which offers all the features that are missing from Ulysses. I have not yet deleted my subscription on the hope that some newer version would address my issues soon.
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4 years ago, Marcopolopop
Focus or Features? You decide.
Ullyses is the app for the consumate writer, the writer who obsesses over process and ritual but knows that when the deadline looms, it's time to get to work. It has all the bells and whistles of word processing programs without being a "word processing program." You'll notice Ulysses lacks the spade of distracting options, though it has those in droves. The difference is that it's housed in a modern UX design that can push away all distractions with one button for supremely focused writing. What's more, you can customize the look and feel of your font, background color and paragraph width to create a consistent experience for yourself regardless of what the final product may look like. Put simply, this is the home for my writing. Trust me, having a dedicated desktop app brings the writing home, away from the distracting internet.
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5 years ago, Winter Zero
The note taking app I’ve been waiting for!!
Finally — the right mix of hierarchal-based note taking, lightweight design, and ease of use. As a past user of Scrivener, Evernote, and OneNote, I have long craved something in between — a simple, bare-bones note taking app that would allow me to stash notes in a hierarchy, so I could easily keep related pieces of research and meeting notes together. OneNote and Evernote come close, but recent releases have changed the ease by which you can create and collapse hierachies, that aspect of their features/design feels at times limited or heavy-handed. Scrivener was a great go-to for awhile because of the support for sliding things around in hierarchy, but honestly I find Ulysses to be simpler and easier to manage the hierarchy. I can see this has some powerful markup/structured authoring features as well, but I’m not currently using those. Just basic note-taking, each project in its own folder (group), and it’s really great for just that!!
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3 years ago, Mr. C.
Long time customer... won't be renewing this app
I've been with Ulysses since the start but won't be renewing my subscription. They have taken it upon themselves to just create updates that make all of your writings out of wack - for example fonts size automatically became super large for headings. While this can be changed to "small / medium / Large" it is pretty much their directive to what these sizes mean... and they are actually still too big for me. If you value your writing without an app developer suddenly messing it all up without your consent.. then steer away from this app. I simply don't trust that the next update more things will be out of wack. I've been with Ulysses since the start but won't be renewing my subscription. They have taken upon themselves to just create updates that make all of your writings out of wack - for example fonts size automatically became super large for headings. While this can be changed to "small / medium / Large" it is pretty much their directive to what these sizes mean... and they are actually still too big for me.
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10 months ago, We're all in a Time Loop
I won't give it a bad review because it is a good writing app, but...
As a book writer, I actually have a color key that includes a total of 6 colors, including your normal black, that goes from scrap, main, freestyle, non-reader, previous draft in new draft, and current draft in past draft. I also use other colors to alternate in my chapter names in the contents to help with specific things. So, when going for a writing app, naturally, one of the first things on my list to check are the fonts and colors with the ease of access to these. But I see that colors is not something you do really with the fonts for simplicity whilst writing--correct me if I am wrong--as I do not intend to keep the app from just this. This app could be useful to my other writings where I am not dealing with extensive word counts with mulipite drafts throughout the documents and placing notes in spots that are not meant for the reader. However, my number one focus are my extensive books. And racking up to 90k, it isn't a time to formulate a new system within the document, especially when this system of organization, itself, has been years and years in the making. Get font colors and ease of access to it, then I'll, perhaps, stroll back over. Have a beautiful day :)
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3 years ago, Ben Sira 99
I like it
I was stuck in a problem of having too many software programs for writing. Blogging on my site, Scrivener (which is still pretty awesome) a regular journal and then a program that could handle writing projects. I suppose people that write with Word just create a bunch of folders for themselves. Sounds messy. Ulysses lets me have all three of these needs met in one program. And lets me do one thing - write. I don't need to mail merge with 1400 clients a la Word, and I do not need 5000 ways to look at my project a la Scrivener. I like the idea of going in and with a couple remembered codes hack away for an hour or two without letting go of the keys. Also Ulysses has more functionality than a lot of Markdown apps I tried. I couldn't get most of them to even indent the first sentence of a paragraph! A winner of a prgram!
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5 years ago, contrapasso_rm
A Little Bit Magic
I am in love with this app. It combines the creative spirit of customizing a journal with the functionality of ordered pages. I’ve spent hours today playing with color palettes and customizing shortcuts. I’ve written 5,000 words in the last 2 days because it’s so darn FUN. I love scrolling through my work and admiring how pretty it is. It’s actually a self-esteem boost, because the words could be terrible, but you wouldn’t know by looking at all the pretty colors. I change back and forth between my favorite schemes often to keep the excitement alive. This app has actually made me want to start coding. The magic of a few characters here and there creating color blocks and changing font styles is so impressive to me. But this is kid stuff. This is the stuff real coders wipe off their shoes. What other magic is there in the coding world?
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2 years ago, Ralifawn
A great writer's platform
I have many great things to say about Ulysses. It's a wonderful writing platform, especially for online content - and what isn't online today? There are two features that I would love to see with Ulysses. First is the ability to directly collaborate with another users on a specific Sheet without having to first publish it to a platform like Medium. Being able to directly collaborate with an editor or friends for comments would be a great add to the product. The other feature I would love to see is support for Windows. I often have to switch between Windows and Mac (mac my preferred) and it would be very useful for me to be able to do some Ulysses editing on my work on my Windows machine. Ulysses is also missing a critical audience who are Windows only users.
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10 months ago, nakoi001
Simplicity at its Best
For years, Ulysses has been my go to app for writing my ideas. I enjoy its "Dark mode", the simple side bar of my organized works, the full screen to reduce distractions and especially the stats on my progress. I use the progress bar to help me end my chapters so that readers won't enudre a long length of reads and be easily lost, better to end my chapters at around 30 mins instead of 50 or more, I think. It's a bonus to have this app on my phone, so that when i'm on the go, or at work with free time, I can read and edit my writings. I only wish there was a "reading mode" so that I won't accidentally poke or mark my work while viewing it like a digital book. That would be amazing, unless I haven't found that feature yet.
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2 years ago, WrigglingOstrichEgg
Solid Performance, Still Room For Improvement
Ulysses is best for user who don't need formating or full word processing, and will use a secondary piece of software to configure their writing. I am a student, a researcher and a designer. Ulysses is the most beautiful interface offered and will keep you excited about writing digitally with many of the themes you can create. They do not have a way to import your own icons or create your own themes, you can only modify the icons or themes with they have on offer with the parameters they provide. The team has done a tremendous job of creating streamlined tools that group functionality ubiquitously compared to competing applications like Scrivener. I find the outlining portion to be one of the most functional tools because it allows you to use Markdown to index your writing. It's very useful in research and note-taking in particular. One issue is that the application doesn't know what its purpose is regarding pipeline. The plain text editor provides great control over export functions and more function over inputs--most notably markdown. It doesn't offer many basic formatting functions, so students who require formatting will struggle (unless they can program) to use this application if they are looking for an all-in-one solution.
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2 years ago, Rfuller9550
Just the Best
I have seen and used a great many writing apps. Ulysses is just the best there is, and there is no comparison. It's simple, direct, and uncluttered user intervace makes it a joy to use when writing - writing anything. I use it for papers, poetry, essays, journals and everything else because the filing system is intuitive and easy. Perhaps the best feature is the inter-device operability, which simply means I can dictate an essay while walking the dog and then return to edit. As an English teacher for many years, I would recommend this app to all my students. In fact, I would suggest that secondary schools and colleges adopt the program as a writing foundation. The apps ability to post finished work to social media accounts makes writing real.
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4 years ago, Big Doofus
A Screenplay Version Of This Please!
Ulysses has become one of the most used programs I have. I use it for everything from personal journaling, to brainstorming, to keeping track of my daily workouts... did I say workouts? Yes... Every morning I sit down at the laptop and invent a workout. Then I take my phone, head to the backyard, crank the music, and open the Ulysses on my phone and there's my workout. It's perfect... If I could add one thing to this program, it would be an ability to format it like a screenplay. The setup of the app with mulitple "entries" is so convenient. It would make writing scenes, or ideas for productions, a lot easier to keep track of. I've experimented with the export settings but it doesn't seem to be compatible with any kind of standard format for screenplays.
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4 years ago, Johnamar
Most comfortable writing tool
I've used pretty much every writing and editing tool available over the years, writing fiction, and I really liked several of them, including Scrivener, but I always keep coming back to Ulysses these days. What tilts it over the edge for me are two things: 1) Simple and flexible and doesn't get in my way when I want to write. It just feels good to write with it. Almost a 'vibe' kind of thing. Almost like the old worn paper notebook that I carried everwhere back in the 70's, sketching out my ideas whenever they hit me. It never gets in the way and its always with me. 2) Synchronization is nearly invisible between devices as long as you have decent Internet. I write with whatever tool is closest at hand when I get a thought. I can capture some ideas on my iPhone when out for a walk, refine them on my iPad when I get back to my car while the thoughts are fresh, and then continue to flesh them out on my Macbook once I get back to my home office. The text just appears everywhere. I rarely get a editing conflict message, and only when the Net is bogging down. Even then, the automatic synchronization is usually faster than I can walk from one room to another.
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2 years ago, Annie Pavese
Saved My Lost Book!
I'm a fiction author, and I've had Ulysses since 2015. In 2017, my MacBook crashed in a single day, and I was devestated, and totally sick with worry, wondering if my book files were safe. I knew I had the iCloud feature of Ulysses turned on, but I had never put it to the test. Sure enough, after laptop repairs and a new hard drive, I loaded up Ulysses, and all of my files filtered back in, one by one. I was SO relieved. Ulysses is amazing. I love so many of the features, I love having access to everything from my phone or iPad when I'm on the go, and I love the password protect, in case one of my devices gets stolen. All in all, an amazing app, and I'm so greatful for everything you guys do! Keep up the good work!
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5 years ago, ZipTurtle
Superb for not for me
I tried to overlook the way Ulysses hides links but I just couldn't get past it. As Ryan Christoffel wrote of Ulysses on MacStories, "I know of some people who simply cannot use the app, no matter how much other parts of it appeal to them, because they hate having their writing abstracted behind text boxes." I'm one of those people. It's a solid app. Two features that really attracted me: (1) you can manually split, merge, and rearrange your entries with very little friction and (2) you don't need to name them. Everything's extraordinarily smooth, BUT— The handling of Markdown is, shall we say, idiosyncratic, flouting standards. For instance: • Three dashes for a horizontal rule? Nope, gotta be four in Ulysses. • Square bracketed-text as a link only when a parenthesized URL follows? Nope, _anything_ in square brackets gets linkified by Ulysses unless you backslash-escape those suckers. • You like using reference-style links? Sorry. • Since Ulysses lets you add footnotes, you might think of using tables or other such extended Markdown, too. Nope. • You like adding HTML markup here and there? Forget it — never mind that it's a core element of Markdown. In the end I kept using BBEdit and 1Writer instead. But if the things I've mentioned won't bother you, GET THE APP AND PAY THE PEOPLE FOR IT. They've earned it.
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3 years ago, PeterAnthony
Missing only one thing from Scrivener
The only reason I tried Ulysses a couple years ago (can't remember how long) was because Scrivener kept delaying it's ios version. Anyway I quickly came to love markdown, but I missed scrivener's ability to move "scrivenings" from one position to another. That is a huge thing for someone who can't stick to an outline but creates as he goes. The ability to quickly slot a thought from one position to another greatly facilitates how i write. If Ulysses can match this in a future upate it would make the app closer to five stars for me. Hopefully you'll not only be able to see the outine but be able to use the outline view to move headers and their contents (like Scrivener's scrivernings) from one position to another, higher or lower in the flow.
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3 years ago, -My annotations are melting
Keyboard shortcuts please!
Ulysses does a very decent job of "getting out of the way" of my creative process and allowing me to write and annotate as needed. The actual writing is a joy, I just really really wish the annotation and editing experience was more thoughtful. Specificaly: - keyboard shortcuts for adding annotations (striking out a passage) are tortuous to find and implement. - In review mode, there is no way to easily select and act on an annotation. Attempting to remove a "deleted" passage of text can easily turn into removing what you want to save, if you aren't careful becuase of how the annotations are placed. - There is no option to "select all" of a certain kind of annotation. These are not minor complaints, and would really improve the reliability of this writing tool. A minor issue is that if you select a page that is glued to another - you can see the pages stats if you click the stats icon in the page list, but not in the right hand stats bar. This is a bit confusing. Over all I really love this app and am glad for the recent improvements in statistics (not counting annotations in word counts etc). I just really need keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to take actions on annotations.
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1 year ago, CWStew
Ulysses is a great app, until you need help
I have a MacBook Pro that crashed from a bad logic board. I got a new laptop and transfered my data to w/o much of a problem. I opened Ulysses the next day and found over 6 months of crucial work missing. I contacted Ulysses who apologized and referred me to the FAQ. I responded back that I still could ot find the data files and FAQ was not addressing my issue. A representative responded that it was likely a problem with Apple's iCloud service. I then contacted Apple's iCloud Tech Support and after being on the phone with them for over an hour, Apple's tech said it was an app issue because they could not find any Ulysses files anywhere in their cloud. I sent a note to Ulysses on Apple's findings and now I find myself 'Ghosted by Ulysses' and all my work 'still' gone. As the old saying goes, Ulysses is a great app and a good company right up to the point that you need them. If you need anything past a form letter, you're on your own.
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5 years ago, daq man
Perfect distraction free writing
Thank you for this excellent writing tool. One thing that I have struggled with since I first started using Word in 1985 is that I am easilly distracted away from the primary goal, getting something written, by all of the fancy document formatting options. The beauty of Ulysses for me is that I can type away for hours and not worry about formatting at all since that is saved up until the final conversion to PDF phase. I have used other "distraction free" writing tools but it is this final step, the conversion to a formatted document, that makes your product the winner. It would be very useful to include an editor for the styles, or at least point us to a preferred editor that supports preview. That way I could generate a few stylesheets for document types.
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1 year ago, Anglophrenic
Ulysses iCloud is the Dream Team
Ulysses has facilitated the writing of over 200k words. Being able to write on my phone and on my computer has been phenomenal. I've never had any issues with reliabilty or glitching, but my partner was using Ulysses for years and lost some of their content due to a syncing issue... so they've left Ulysses for Pages. I'm sure to back up every few months, but Ulysses interface is just too perfect for me to find an alternative. I can see how it might be precarious because Ulysses isn't responsible for the actual data... that's an iCloud thing, so it assumes communication between the two is perfect. Still, I don't ever want to use another writing app... so I'm willing to forgive Ulysses a lot.
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2 years ago, writinglady
Private and Distraction-free Writing
18 months in and Ulysses is still my go-to. It fundamentally changed how I approach my writing. I allow myself to go deeper in my emotions because I know my writings are 100% private unless I share them. That is a big deal! I also love how quickly it syncs in the cloud. I know that any notes I write on a walk on my phone will be on my desktop when I return home. The distraction-free writing is a huge bonus. I am a designer and a writer so I am a sucker for how my writing will look on a website. That often distracts me from the craft of writing. But not with Ulysses! I can focus on writing for the sake of writing because of Markdown. And then when I am ready to think about how it will look on a website, I can still edit in Ulysses. I tried Scrinever for a while. It felt too clunky. And was difficult to switch between devices to write because of syncing issues. At the end of the day, a software will aide you only so far. The craft of writing is something you have to conquer with lots of practice and revision. There are no short cuts to good writing but Ulysses will aide you!
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4 years ago, Rooneyferbibbit
Quality has tanked
For the last few years, I've not only been a happy subscriber but what companies call a promoter. I would select 10 when asked how likely I would recommend Ulysses. The frequent updates were proof that my money was feeding innovation. Now, not so much. I used to be able to go from my iPad to my Mac to my iPhone instantly to keep working. But for months I've had iCloud sync issues. Today, I waited and waited for something I started writing on my iPad to show up on my Mac. Even force syncing (which I shouldn't have to do so much) wouldn't work. Eventually I had to use the Universal Clipboard to copy the original sheet on my iPad to a new sheet on my Mac. Their support (and replies to reviews) state it's an iCloud issue, not theirs. Sorry, but that's BS. Literally everything else in my iCloud Drive syncs instantaneously. Maybe they SHOULD have a public folder on in iCloud Drive like the other apps that work flawlessly.
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2 years ago, Don't Even Try Me
sounds great
Sounds great, would really like to try the things the turtorial asks you to do, but the version you get is read only, unless you are willing to give them a credit card for a free 7 day trial. Why, when I am trying to even figure out how to even use such a thing, would I want to give oout my credit card to do othe things the turtorial is asking me to do to otry and see if I can even understand how to use, or will be able to omake use of such a thing? When I am ready and comfortable that I would like to try the program free for seven days to see if it actually does what you say it does, efficiently, without slowing my computer, freezing up, closing unexpectedly, then, I will give you my credit card number. Why on earth would you provide a tutorial that tells you to try things out, then not allow the program to allow the user to try that out? Surely, if you can create such a program, you can allow the tutorial to allow more than read only under special circumstances. Don't want anyone to be able to create a single thing? Fine, I don't care, do not want t scam the system, just do not want too give ouot payment info until I am sure it is a program I even want to try. Fix this.
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5 years ago, Liby99
Some UX improvements
Overall good experience. I would like to see the following improvements if possible: 1. When hitting Cmd-Left inside a builet point/ordered list, I want the cursor to go to the right side of the bullet/number instead of all the way to the start of the line. When I have indented lists I don't want to navigate through all those white-spaces before the bullet. 2. If you are inside an ordered-list, say you are in the point #3, you hit enter and you will start a point #4. Now you hit tab wanting to indent, the indented number is still #4 but not #1. This is confusing. Also if you create a new point in between, the points after will not get changed and hence I have to go through them to update the number one by one. Also I really like the functionality of swapping lines by Cmd-Ctrl-Up/Down. But the number doesn't change too. There are actually lots of such kind of confusing behavior on Ordered Lists and I would like to see it improved. 3. The ability to adjust the indent size 4. Ability to scroll pass the bottom line so that if we want to concentrate on the vertical center part of the screen we can do that without constantly staring at the bottom part of the screen.
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2 years ago, SStomper
Excellent Program
First time I used Ulysses the desk top version (I prefer over SAS). I use this to write fiction stories and novellas. For simple plots it's a great program. When I build complicated plots I rely on Scriviner or Storyist. My complaint about on-line software is getting access when internet fails, as happened. I could not open the online program but the desktop version I use worked great. For writing its great, makes it simple and easy to format a document. This might sound odd it is not feature heavy like MS Word, Scriviner or similar programs. Easy and simple layout. I wish Ulysses would push out a desktop update in case the on line cannot be accessed. That aside I use it every day.
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4 years ago, Phrii
To Good to be true
If you are a writer, Ulysses is almost too good to be true. Everything is in one place and accessible. It incredible features, but they are presented in a minimalist way that does not make you feel overwhelmed. I love being able to preview text live, being able to turn that preview into an actual document in different formats by simply dragging it to my desktop, and the way that Ulysses renders ebook content. It even handles working with long documents well. I simply break up the chapters into individual sheets that I can view separately or together. I can rearrange the chapters simply by dragging and dropping them. Heck, I even like the icon. Definitely worth the investment.
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2 years ago, DavidInVegas
I just want to write, not program.
I downloaded this because it claims to let you just write but I never even got to the writing before giving up. I guess if you already know how to program this may be second nature, but when I tested a sample page and tried to export it, the first line of each paragrash was indented which doesn't work when writing short sentances. After hours of looking at their support page and reading their help, trying different style sheets, it became obvious this wasn't for me. I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out how to stop it from doing somthing so simple as indenting. What happens when I write a long piece and then it exports with some weird formatting I wasn't expcting. Saving me from using the mouse once in a while doesn't justify all of the extra notes and guess work and research to do it without it.
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2 years ago, esynthesis.com
Incredibly Useful and Worth Every Penny
Ulysses is software made with love and care for the people who use this wonderful writing tool. The clean and thoughtful interface, the seamless integration between my devices, discovering new useful features—these are some of the things that make this product great. It's an essential tool and one that I recommend wholeheartedly. A must-have for anyone who writes, especially professionally. And no, it is not perfect but to be honest, any shortcomings are mere nit-picks and too time-consuming to even find and catalogue in this review. This app makes my job easier and is worth every penny. If you're thinking about getting it, just do it, you will not regret it.
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2 years ago, JulieSwan19
Makes Running My Podcast and Blog So Easy!!
I was recommended to use Ulysses by a fellow youtuber friend and she raved about it. I tried it out and wow, she was so right! I love how easy it is to keep all my writing in one area, very organized, and much faster to organize, use, and find items compared with other document programs. I also love how it syncs with my phone. After I'm done writing a blog post, I'll often have my phone read it to me while driving to see if it sounds right and that I got the right phrasing and explanations. I can also make edits while I'm waiting at the store or picking up my kids. 

I don't think I'll ever use another word processor.
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3 years ago, jeepdon
Pleased beyond words
I'm incredibly happy with Ulysses. I use it for writing fiction (which is then sent to Vellum for formatting, because I don't have the patience to create the level of export template I'd need to be happy with a direct Ulysses PDF). I also use it to publish to WordPress and Ghost blogs. I love the cross-device sync (invisible and just works) and cross-device feature parity. The editor is simple, and gets out of my way. On an iPad, I can run two copies side by side and use one side (1/3rd screen) for my notes and the other (2/3rd) for writing. It all works GREAT for me, and I've found the developer to be incredibly quick and responsive to problems as well as suggestions.
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1 year ago, Phillip T. Stephens
Best all-purpose writing app for Macs and iOS
I've been writing professionally for years, and have tried quite a few writing apps, including Word, Pages, Scrivener. I've also experimented with dozens of text and note apps, but none seems to provide the utility of Ulysses for the ability to collect my drafts, notes, images and other resources on one document. This is especially true for blogging and online publications. When the iPad was first introduced, it took developers several years to create a full-featured iOS version, and moving my work between platforms was a pain. The two now integrate seemlessly and my productivity has doubled. Yes, it helps to master MarkDown language, but it isn't necessary. It also helps that I can customize the MarkDown commands to suit my own needs. The app also provides dozens of templates and interfaces to allow you to find the look you want. While I export the finished drafts to Word or Scrivener for submission to publications, Ulysses streamlines the drafting phase. I'd feel crippled without it.
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3 years ago, Easy reed
The best PERIOD....
For some reason when the Ullysses app prompted me to write a review. There was already a review preloaded in and I am not sure if I wrote it or not. I was not sure because everhting this review said was dead on. I could have just hit submit and be done with the whole product feedback chore. But... Ullysses acutlly makes me want to write. It makes me want to use my own words. It has this quality that makes me more productive and thoughtful at the same time. It's the WP equvlent of what I imagine a cofortable parir of siippers means to an old person in a cozy house next to a raging fire ala Kincaid painting. I really like Ullyesses and renewing it each year ia an expense I will happily incure.
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