The Idea behind Ulysses

Why isn't Ulysses just like any other word processor? Why did we do it that way and not another? The answers are all in here. Take a plunge into the concepts and ideas behind Ulysses and explore something new!

Projects and Documents

First of all, we dismissed the concept of single documents in the classical sense. A book is not written in one single piece of document, but rather consists of many small documents with lots of notes to them. Therefore we take all the small documents and organise them in in a project, which becomes a container for everything related to your Great Novel. Think of a project as a big folder, which holds all the texts with all their little Post-its attached to them. The only difference is that in Ulysses everything is nicely structured and nothing is getting lost on the way.

Two Editing Levels

No writer ever writes a book simply out of his mind. He needs to build a structure, take lots of notes, re-arrange passages and so on. If you would have to add those notes somewhere in your actual Novel, you would probably lose them after a while and they would sit there forever.
Instead, we give you two independent text fields for every document: the Editor and the Notepad. You can use the Editor for writing your Great Novel and every time you have a sudden inspiration coming to your mind or just want to jot down some thoughts, you can put it in your Notepad. No more searching around for your digital Post-Its because they always right next to your text.

Plain Text Editing

As a writer, you want to concentrate on the most important thing: the text itself. Although you should be able to decide on the final look of your work, this should not interfere with the actual process of creative writing. A writer should – and most certainly wishes to – fully concentrate on the content without the need to think about the font of a heading, for example. The text application should facilitate his concentration, instead of providing him with tools that are obsolete and in the worst case only get in the way.

This is why one of the fundamental concepts of Ulysses is Plain Text Editing. It's like writing your text on a typewriter. No formatting like Bold, Italic or Left Alignment. No Images. No Footnotes. Just the text and you. Because we think a text should be written first and the layout should be done when the text is finished. Writing happens in the Editor, the Exporter is responsible for making the text look nifty.

Semantic Text Editing

On top of Plain Text Editing, we introduce the concept of Semantic Text Editing. As a writer, you want to give your text elements a meaning and not some formatting. So instead of increasing the font size for each heading to make it look like a heading, the heading should simply be marked as such. You should also be able to set how a heading should look like in the Editor or during export. Therefore you can not only have different looks in different views for the same semantic, but you can also change the look without changing anything in the text.

Export based on PlugIns

Since you want to publish your Great Novel some day and your local printer probably wants a copy of it in some format, we provide you with a range of exporters to the most used file formats and also give the opportunity to add exporters, since the export in Ulysses is a PlugIn based architecture.
We think that when it comes to exporting, aspects of "creative freedom" and "independence" are integral. What this means is that the export formats are built for scripts and/or books, and that the user has the freedom to use other exporters not included in the original installation.

Projects and Documents >