A Test-drive of Ulysses

A writing program

Ulysses is a writing program that I putzed with for about 5 minutes during NaNoWriMo but didn’t look at again. Then it turned out they were offering a few free copies of the software to lucky contestants in a draw. I entered. I won. So now I have my own fully functional copy of Ulysses to play with.

It features iCloud syncing, sheets that can be merged etc, export styles, and attachments. Ulysses is designed to make writing easier. I have generally used IA Writer Classic in the past because I have old version that work on my old first gen iPad. I am not sure yet if I will switch but that’s what this exercise is for.


Ulysses uses Markdown XL for formatting functions. I have previously dabbled in Markdown on the blog but this has a few more bells and whistles. The full list of available definitions is accessible via ?9 or the toolbar’s A| button.

I am writing these all down again as a reminder to myself and to practice getting used to the language.

Heads (preceded by pound symbols — one for each level)

quote: preceded by greater than (>) symbol

emphasis is ?I or a bracketed by single asterisks (*)

Bold is ?B or a bracketed by double asterisks (**)

A divider is 4 dashes



  • unordered lists
  • are preceded
  • by a dash
  • and a space
  1. ordered lists
  2. are preceded by
  3. the numeral,
  4. a period
  5. and the space

Add highlighted text (bracketed by double colons ::) or deletions (bracketed by double vertical bars ||)

Comments are bracketed by double plus symbols ++you can see this comment only because I overrode the code++

…or are paragraphs preceded by double percent signs

%% This is a comment paragraph, again visible 
because I used code to override

Text Objects

A Footnote1 Type (fn), enter your footnote text and hit Cmd-return

To add a link, type square brackets [ ] around a word or phrase (or use the ?K shortcut).

To add an annotation type curly brackets { } around a phrase, It is basically a note added to that phrase. I don’t think it exports.

<a href="sample code> is done by bracketing with the tick mark (found under the tilde). Entire paragraphs can be done by preceding with double single quote marks

code code code code etc

Executable code that won’t show in a pdf but will in a html doc can be made by using Raw Source: bracketing with double tildes or paragraphs preceded by double tildes.

So this ~~<a href="http://www.neverforever.ca">A link to neverforever.ca done manually in html</a>~~ appears as this:

A link to neverforever.ca done manually in html
And finally, here’s a link to a pdf which seems to upload the file but not link properly to it when exported direct to WordPress. (Here’s the link since it did upload the pdf: A Test-drive of a Ulysses)

And that’s it for the Markdown portion of Ulysses. More to come…

  1. This is a footnote (it appears at the bottom with an automatic link) ?