If you are a long time reader of this blog you know that Ulysses is my favorite and arguably the best writing app that you can get for your Mac or iOS devices. Every piece of writing that is published on this website is conceived, written, edited, and formatted inside Ulysses. In fact, I have already published my in-depth review of Ulysses where I list out all the main features which make this app so powerful and writer-friendly. It’s also the first app on my top five Mac writing apps list.
The reason why I am telling you all this is because Ulysses has just released a big update and it is bringing a number of interesting features that I want to share with you guys. Although the latest version of Ulysses, the Ulysses 13, just came out a few days ago, I was fortunate enough to be a part of its beta program and have been using it for a few weeks now. I have had enough time to explore all its new features which I am going to share in this article. So, whether you are already a fan of Ulysses or are thinking of trying this app out, here are the best new features that are coming with Ulysses 13:
Ulysses 13 New Features: Deadline and Daily Goals
The ability to set goals was already a feature in previous versions of Ulysses but with the version 13 update, the Goals feature is being expanded and is becoming more powerful. In Ulysses 13, along with an overall goal, users can also set deadlines and daily goals. The best part about setting a deadline is that it automatically creates daily writing target for you.
So, for example, if I set an overall goal of 4000 words and set a deadline for four days, Ulysses will automatically calculate and show me that my daily goal is 1000 words/day. You can refine this even further by setting up your preferred writing days. For example, I normally don’t write on Monday, so I can tell Ulysses to not count Mondays to determine my daily goals and it will do that. This is a great help in determining the actual daily goal that you will need to meet to complete your work on time.
But wait, there’s more! You cannot only set deadlines for individual sheets but also a whole group. When you set a deadline for a group, apart from breaking down the overall goal into daily goals, Ulysses will also show the writing history. That means you will be able to see how many words you have been writing each day and get a healthy history of your writing performance. I must say, of all the features that have been introduced with Ulysses 13, this is by far my favorite feature. The deadline and daily goals system will certainly make me more accountable and I won’t be able to hide away from my unproductive days.
Another past feature that gets a huge update with Ulysses 13 is keywords. Now, not only you can attach keywords to your documents but you can also color code them. The color-coded keywords are really easy to discern and they do make my life a lot easier than before. One of my favorite ways to use colored keywords is to use them to mark the status of a writing project. Anything that’s a draft gets marked red while the ones that are awaiting editing and are ready to be published are marked yellow and green respectively. The best part is that I don’t have to change my keywords as I can color code my old keywords.
Full-colored Image Previews
With the version 12 update, the Ulysses editor got the ability to show image previews of attached images. It was a long requested feature and Ulysses users including me were very happy to see it finally come. However, the feature was not perfect as we could only see a black and white preview of the pictures in the editor. With version 13, that restriction is now gone as the editor displays the image previews in full color. It’s a very small but nifty update and I completely love it.
Improved Code Block and Syntax Highlighting
The final big improvement that is coming with Ulysses 13 is to its code block and syntax highlighting. With the new update, code blocks can now span as many paragraphs as needed. Also, the code is always set in the monospace font in the editor and during export which makes them easily identifiable. Another highlight is the ability to export and import code in GitHub-style fenced code blocks which can now be used in external folders as well.
The final improvement coming to the code block is the ability to recognize over 40 different programming languages and then color their syntax, both in the editor and during export. I will be honest with you here. I am no coder and these features have no impact on me what so ever. But, these features are worth mentioning as they will be useful for those who can benefit from them.
Ulysses 13 New Features: Final Conclusion
The users who have stuck with Ulysses even after it made the jump to the subscription-based pricing system are finally being rewarded. The folks at Ulysses are releasing new features on a regular basis and now users don’t have to wait for years just to see some new features. As mentioned above, my favorite update coming with the Ulysses 13 is the new deadlines and daily goals feature. Do let us know which is your favorite feature by writing in the comments section.