Ulysses 18 beta

Interesting beta coming.

“…version 18 will bring the ability to use Ulysses’ own file format in external folders. This is bigger than it sounds, as it removes almost all of the limitations when working with these folders. You’ll not only be able to use all of Ulysses’ Markdown XL tags, but also to add writing goals, images, keywords and notes. Dropbox will therefore become a serious alternative for anyone who can’t – or doesn’t want to – rely on iCloud for synchronization.”


Oh. my. God.

I’ve been waiting for this from day one. I love the markup language and interface, so I’ve been using Ulysses, but I really, really like keeping my docs as external text files that can also be edited by any other app. Can’t wait.

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Ulysses iCloud sync is practically the gold standard for me (with 1.2 million words in the app) - hard to see how it would be improved by being dependent on Dropbox…

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Intriguing. One of the reasons I walked away from Ulysses recently is I like to store article drafts in the same folders as source materials, which are generally rich text and PDFs.


Bowline - have you tried the beta? If so, how solid is it? I’d love to try and help out, but I really depend on it these days and wouldn’t want to take a risk.

No Rich, I try not to do betas now; in the past I’ve gotten burned with data loss in other apps, especially iOS apps in TestFlight. But this just looked really interesting and I thought I’d pass it along.

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Yup - sounds like it’s worth waiting - at least for a bit!

Calling this “Version 18” two weeks after Version 17 seems like whatever the software-version-number equivalent of “Grade Inflation” is.


It was just a little over two years ago that Ulysses went subscription-only, and I imagine a large minority of subscribers are up for renewal at this time, so perhaps the most recent update (and promises of more to come) right now are designed to bolster the yearly subscription renewals that are now up.

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I signed up for the beta now and got an approval in a second. I’m off to brush my teeth, put the dog to bed and give it a try.

I have had good luck with Ulysses betas. Never a problem with data loss. Though of course betas are by definition unstable, so there is always that risk of data loss.

Update: I gave it a whirl. Looks fine but I can’t figure out how to create a sheet in an external folder. I can create a Markdown document, but not a sheet. I’ve written to beta support.

And so to bed.

I gave up using Ulysses for writing Markdown to be used in a static site generator specifically because it lacked this capability. Will be very interested to see how it comes out in the production version of Ulysses 18.

This is great news, I’ll be really looking forward to this release.

My fear with this app, and this looks ominous, is not only ‘Grade Inflation’ but bells and whistles inflation. To justify the subscription model? Ulysses was optimum for me a year ago. The more stuff they put on the more to go wrong, learn, adjust settings for and deal with. I have just reached the point of being totally mouse free for most of my workflows in it too. That due to my recent spell check Keyboard Maestro Macro that Jim on Keyboard Maestro Discourse was kind enough to supercharge for me. I am delighted with it.

Ulysses is a fantastic Mark Up writing app up to the point of final formatting or LaTeX ing you might say. I don’t want it to be more than that. Already, though I am using them, images and other blah di blah are ‘extras’ really for me. The whole point for me was to have nearly all my writing in one place. Up to final formatting if I might it that way and to have a kind of unformatted rough copy of anything I do in one place.

As long as the new stuff doesn’t interfere or over ride, if you will, the older stuff I am ok though. I might try Brett Terpstra’s finally completed note taker again at this rate. Then again I have the problem of large amounts of notes and drafts in different places.

My admittedly limited understanding of this feature is that it will be completely optional. Many, I among them, have asked for the feature due to concerns about the “opacity” of the Ulysses doc storage in iCloud Drive and the resultant wish to have as an option the ability to interact more readily with files that are “visible” in Finder, much as apps like iA Writer do it. I don’t think having this as a choice will, in any way, impair the default all-in-one-bucket storage scheme which has long been a key Ulysses feature. It would be hard to imagine their breaking one of their best-known USPs.


I see, that is a relief.

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An workaround who want their documents on the Finder: Create a link to a sheet or group, and put the link in the Finder location.

Just got in the beta. Haven’t downloaded the macOS version yet but the iOS version’s testing instructions mention external folders only in Dropbox. I will hope the macOS version doesn’t share the same limitation or it won’t be what I’d earlier indicated I was seeking.


Updating my last… I took a quick look at the macOS beta, too, and it does allow the exact thing I’d wanted. However, no such luck on the iPad — it can “see” external files but won’t let me select them. Maybe that’s my misunderstanding; we’ll see.

(Edit: See my next comment for a correction.)

How do you create Ulysses sheets, as opposed to Markdown documents, in external Finder folders on the Mac?