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Ulysses

4.6
(11)

Ulysses for Mac lets you focus when you need to concentrate. It keeps all your texts neatly stuffed in its intuitive library. With a few clicks, Ulysses can create beautiful documents from your manuscripts: PDFs, web pages, even iBooks-ready ePubs.

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Ulysses review by Mark David G.
Mark David G.
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"A Terrific Writer's Tool"

What do you like best?

That it syncs content to all my devices. It's important to me to be able to access my writing project on whichever device is convenient without worrying about version confusion.

What do you dislike?

I have had some technical challenges when dealing the back-up feature and when migrating my account to a new laptop.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you're a writer on the Mac/iOS platform looking for software that's easy to use and syncs effortlessly via iCloud to all your devices, this good be a good candidate for you. Just bear in mind that it bypasses Finder in favor of its own file structure. In some instances, that can be confusing. Having said that, customer support has generally ben very responsive and helpful in navigating any problems that I have encountered. Bear in mind, too, that Ulysses now operates on a subscription basis, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I'm an author, and Ulysses allows me to move effortlessly from laptop, to iPhone to iPad on any given writing project. As well, RTF exports then import seamlessly into Indesign for the book's design and layout.

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Ulysses review by Bakari C.
Bakari C.
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Very useful lightweight text editor"

What do you like best?

I’ve used Ulysses off and on for over five years. I prefer it over applications like Word, Pages, and TextEdit. I like that Ulysses allows me to keep documents inside the application, which means I can work on longer projects and manage parts and chapters as separate "sheets" rather than one long file. I also especially like "Typewriter Mode" which keeps the text in the middle of the file so that I don't have to look or scroll down to keep typing. It's also useful that there's a iOS version Ulysses which means I can read documents on my iPad and iPhone. Moreover, I like Ulysses allows me to select which documents I want to sync to iCloud and which I want to keep on my local device.

What do you dislike?

The subscription model is pricey, and there are really not useful benefits for subscribing. I get that developers need to make money for the work they do, but now they have set it up so that you can edit documents without paying the subscription fee. Would also like the ability to hide documents that I'm not using, but don't want to delete.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make use of the various tutorials about Ulysses on YouTube.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Ulysses helps with me with longer writing projects, and often like proofreading drafts on my iPad, which means I don't have to print documents to read and edit them. It's also great because I don't have keep separate files for numerous documents. I can keep them all in inside the application.

What Document Creation solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Ulysses review by Marius S.
Marius S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"MarkDown enabled editor with iCloud sync"

What do you like best?

Ulysses is based around the MarkDown language, and it synchronizes with your iCloud account, to make your scripts available on every device you own. They even have a mobile app for iPads, so you can write anywhere. There is an option to export your texts directly to your Medium blog as an article.

What do you dislike?

Recently they switched from one-time license payment to a monthly subscription, which makes it more expensive in the long run.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Good option for writers, especially with the distraction-free mode that hides everything else, allowing you to focus on the writing task.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It it a fast text editor, and it also renders MarkDown tags in a word processor style. There is an option of organizing multiple sections or articles into folders or chapters, for better document management.

Ulysses review by Nicholas G.
Nicholas G.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"The greatest, writer-focused, writing software yet. "

What do you like best?

Ulysses transforms your relationship to your writing software. Unlike a word processor, where you pick and futz and monkey around with formatting, fonts, and grid, Ulysses enables you to focus on the content, the words on the page. Formatting is handled simply through markdown, an easy to learn and easy to type structured markup; it takes minutes to learn. Meanwhile, templates enable you to export to PDF, ePUB, or .docx formats when you're ready to "publish."

It's extremely innovative sheets concept takes minutes to get used to, but then, again, transforms your thinking away from documents and towards components.

In addition, their sync to iPad and now iPhone is extremely well executed.

What do you dislike?

Currently the export formats, if you're a front end develop and you like to code, take more CSS know how then the average person would expect. A styles editor that created the CSS would be great.

There are no logical sections, yet: so formatting documents in different grid systems — two columns, one column, etc — isn't yet supported in a single document.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Before Ulysses, I strugged with writing in word processors: I was constantly distracted with styling the text, rather than writing the message. Now, I'm on focus, and on point, and far more productive.

Ulysses review by Taurean B.
Taurean B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"A Markdown writing app that gets out of the way"

What do you like best?

Ulysses manages to accomplish the often impossible task of allowing the kind of customization users say they want without deteriorating the beauty of the application along with its usability.

What do you dislike?

I personally wish there was a way to hide markdown formatting altogether. For example, if I write `*bold*` just show bold text, not the asterisks around it. If My cursor is within that word, then show the formatting to make editing easy for the user. I imagine that would be a very complex thing to implement but its something that I would absolutely love.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Get the companion iOS apps to manage your work on the go. The custom keyboard allows for really easy formatting and navigation.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Ulysses serve the same business problem as any other markdown writer, the ability to focus on ideation and content instead of presentation (without feeling like you're sacrificing it altogether). The amazing thing that comes with sheets is that it allows you to _visually_ separate content with effectively page-breaks without you truly creating separate markdown files. Ulysses has the power to help you plan an organize a document like word or pages without the time consumption in basically formatting/designing while you write.

Ulysses review by Brad C.
Brad C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"The best writing experience, ever."

What do you like best?

Ulysses offers an easy and clean writing environment that is entirely customizable and incredibly usable. Because documents are stored as sheets instead of separate documents in some folder, you can hop around between “files” easily from the sidebar. Everything is searchable, and it’s simple to create new file “groups” for organization. Everything is synced through iCloud and available on iPad and iPhone. I really like being able to customize my work environment and create visual styles that match my mood. Because it uses markdown, it makes formatting easy and it looks really great. In particular, I like the typewriter scrolling that keeps the line that I’m typing in the dead center of my screen.

What do you dislike?

Creating export styles isn’t very easy. I would like to modify exported texts so I can better control the look, but it’s just not simple like everything else. This isn’t a big deal, however, because many users have created cool export styles.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you’re familiar with Markdown, this is the best app you can get. I’ve never worked with a better writing app, and now that it’s available on iPad and iPhone, you can create and edit your writing from wherever.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Ulysses allows me to write in a clean environment from my MacBook, iPad or iPhone, and quickly move through documents by searching or using “structures/bookmarks.” Ulysses is incredibly well designed and looks great; this motivates me to write more often than I might otherwise. Currently the copywriting and editing that I do is done primarily in Ulysses — any longform content is copy/pasted in so I can work with it in a better environment than Word or its clones.

Ulysses review by User in Writing and Editing
User in Writing and Editing
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Simple, focussed writing ecosystem"

What do you like best?

I like that it is more bicycle than SUV. It is a straightforward writing environment--read distraction free in modern shop talk--that allows you to focus on writing words and not fiddling with hundreds of menus and unnecessary options (like Word and imitators). For those familiar with markup languages, there is support for Markdown.

What do you dislike?

I dislike that the default storage mechanism is to store it in a central database. Also, while it has Markdown support, it doesn't currently support other markup languages; they say this is coming but they've been saying that for a while.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This is one of the best options if you want to get writing done and don't want to get distracted by the writing environment. Others are Scrivener and Sublime Text. Ulysses is maybe smack dab in between those two. Fewer features (and distractions) than Scrivener but not quite as lean and configurable as Sublime Text.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Writing copy. It's great to have a focused tool with some features. Again, think a nice bicycle to get somewhere. Or a motorcycle. You can get anywhere with that.

Ulysses review by User in Information Technology and Services
User in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Delightful UI and experience, disappointed with the Markdown dialect."

What do you like best?

Ulysses interface and attention to typography helps me get in "the zone" really quickly. The full screen mode is exceptionally well done. Unlike a WYSIWYG editor, Ulysses uses a custom dialect of Markdown and gives you syntactical hints. This helps you to focus on content, rather than wasting time formatting text.

What do you dislike?

Still some bugs that need to be worked out: iCloud sync is insanely slow (possibly a Yosemite issue?), there's no way to hide the search bar (it resurrects on every restart), and the custom markdown dialect is awful. I really wish they had gone with a standard dialect, like MultiMarkdown, or at least support the CommonMark standards. I do a lot of tech blogging, so the funky dialects for code blocks, raw source, etc. mean I always have to do some post work in vim to tidy things up.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you're looking for a great writing experience (research, outline, and editing phases) and are tired of concentrating on formatting details, Ulysses is for you. The beautiful templates for output and markdown syntax make this a match made in heaven. Just wish the team would move away from non-standard dialects that cost me tedium.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use it for note taking, tech blogging, and outlining.

Ulysses review by Joshua M.
Joshua M.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Ulysses evangelist now"

What do you like best?

Ulysses is hands down the cleanest word processor I have ever used. I'm not a coder, but it took me just a couple minutes to get the hang of Markdown and start writing. The beauty of this program is that it is a word processor for the digital generation: there aren't ugly palettes blocking my view, nearly everything can be done on the keyboard (from italic to print preview), and it has a true distraction-free mode that is 110% better than Pages. Because only the essential format elements can be inputted (bullets or bold, i.e.), there are almost no formatting errors that will haunt me later, like having inconsistent font sizes or accidentally italicizing a space. All of the final touches happen when you're actually finished with the creative work, and it's as simple as choosing a style and exporting.

Ulysses is one of the more expensive programs, but it is seriously worth it. Get it and love it! Thanks Soulmen for one incredible app I use every day!

What do you dislike?

Nothing about the Mac app, though I was disappointed when Daedulus, a paid app, just stopped working soon after the full iPad version was launched.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This software seems like it's too simple to be a heavy writing tool, but it is packed with hidden features while letting you use the entire screen to write.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I create tons of resumes and publish documents for my professional website, and the clean factor of Ulysses gets rid of most of the mistakes I find when I finally publish.

Ulysses review by User
User
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great writing experience combined with awesome backup feature "

What do you like best?

Ulysses allows a tree like structure with multiple levels. It also automatically backs up to the icloud.

What do you dislike?

I didn't like that I paid upfront and they then changed it to a subscription model.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Best writing app for the Mac

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I do business writing in ulysses e.g. blog posts, developing training material.

I also use it to record lists like books to read and so on.

Ulysses review by G2 Crowd User in Higher Education
G2 Crowd User in Higher Education
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great Writing App"

What do you like best?

I like how minimalistic the whole thing is, really gives me room to write

What do you dislike?

Sometimes it feels a bit hard to navigate, but that feeling is rare.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It helps solve writers block by freeing up your brain from other things. Also lets your write on the go.

Kate from G2 Crowd

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