The Main Features
One of the things that sets Ulysses apart from other text editors is how powerful it is. In this section, we’re going to look at some cool settings and features that you can use to really make Ulysses dance. First let’s take a look at themes and styles. You can tailor the look and feel of Ulysses to your specific taste, either by using a pre-made theme or by customizing each individual aspect of the program to your liking.
To change the theme or the style used in Ulysses, go to the Ulysses menu and select Preferences. Then select the Markup tab. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the installed themes, and you can select the one you want to use by simply clicking on it. You can also download more themes for Ulysses by clicking the Get More Themes link and then adding them to Ulysses.
Once you’ve selected the theme you’d like to use, you can customize each individual element individually. For example, you can select different colors to be used for level-one headers and for level-two headers, if you’d like. You can even select different colors for the light theme, which is used when in a window, and the dark theme, which is used when going full screen.
Many of the options have three colored boxes which indicate the three different states that are possible for each element. The first box is the tag color. This is the color of the markdown style code that you will use to style your text in Ulysses. The middle box is the text color. This will change the color of the text that appears between the tags. Last is the highlight color. This is the color of the text when it is highlighted. For example, if we wanted the tags to be green when we apply the strong or bold tag but the text to be red, we can change the tag color to green and the text color to red, and the resulting text in Ulysses would look something like this.
Next is sync. Ulysses uses iCloud to sync your documents, making them available on all your devices running Ulysses. Of course, you can also decide to store them locally or freely move your texts from the cloud to local storage only, and vice versa. You can select a number of different sources for your library by going to the File menu and selecting Preferences, then selecting the Library tab. From here you can choose whether to show the introductory sheets, whether you want your sheets stored in iCloud, sheets stored locally on your Mac, sheets from Daedalus Touch, and also sheets from external folders. Checking the box for iCloud makes sure that you are able to save and sync sheets using the iCloud service, important if you want to be able to access your sheets on any of your other devices. Obviously, everything stored in the On My Mac section will not be available on all your other devices that you own and use, since they are stored locally on your Mac.
In External Folders, you can edit classic texts and markdown files from anywhere on your Mac. As an example, you could point Ulysses to a folder on Dropbox and have its contents behave just like native groups and sheets. Make sure that External Folders are enabled in your preferences, and then add a folder by selecting the external folder that you want to add to your library. Now, keep in mind that some of Ulysses’ features will be limited using external folders. For example, you can’t actually add attachments to external folders. You’ll still be able to use all the text-based features of Ulysses, however.
Ulysses also offers connected accounts for direct publishing to the web. When you select Publishing from the Quick Export button, you can choose whether you want to publish this straight to WordPress or Medium straight from Ulysses. But before you can use this, you need to set it up in your preferences. To set this up, select Preferences, and then select the Accounts tab and click the Add Account button. Select the type of account that you want to add, Medium, WordPress.com, or a custom WordPress installation. In this example, I’ll use custom WordPress, type in the URL that I want to add, and then I’m going to type in my WordPress credentials, and finally click the Log In button to connect my account. Once you’ve done this, close the Preferences menu.
Now you can start publishing your content straight to your site. Click the Quick Export button, select Publishing from the dropdown list, select the account that you want to publish to, and click the Publish button. From here you can customize just about everything about the post before you actually publish it. You can type in a new title, choose whether you want to publish it immediately or schedule it for later, apply tags, apply categories, set the [excerpt 00:04:59] text, choose the featured image, even customize the slug for the URL.
Another cool feature of Ulysses is the password lock. You can set a password lock on Ulysses to protect the content of your text files. To turn this on, go to the Ulysses Menu, select Preferences, and select the Privacy tab. Then toggle on the Password Lock Enabled switch. Type in the password that you want to use and click Save. You’ll then see a couple of other options available, including Lock When Mac Is Put to Sleep, Lock After a Specified Number of Minutes of Inactivity, and Use Touch ID. If you want to use Touch ID to unlock Ulysses, make sure you have the Use Touch ID box checked. You can set the same setting on your iOS device, although the settings themselves won’t sync. You’ll need to create your password and enable Touch ID on all your devices if you want to use these privacy features.