Ulysses 2.0.2 available as a MacUpdate Promo

Just spotted the Ulysses 2.0.2 word processor as a 44 per cent off promotion.

I haven’t tried it for a while, so I’m off to download and have a look.

(Always a sucker for word processor software. :slight_smile:)

I tried it a while ago and passed, partly because of the price. I’m taking a closer look now, and watching the screencasts.

I was an early Ulysses user (and enthusiast), but, after finding Scrivener, gradually let go of U. Now I’ve dropped it entirely; neither the old one I bought nor the new one I tried works for me nearly as well as Scr.

U seems to me highly idiosyncratic, but you might say the same about Scr. Perhaps the difference is that both programs work exactly as the developers claim, and I’m more comfortable with the way Scr works.

And can anyone explain to me exactly what a “semantic text editor” is, or does? Is there something in “semantisch” which does not translate into English?


There was an earlier topic a few months ago where we discussed Ulysses and the so-called advantages of semantic text editing. As Amber explained it, I could see how there would be some benefit after the writing process was completed, when it was time to package up my finished work and send it off to people. But in terms of the actual composition, it just seems to add a layer of inscrutible tags to the text… I mean, if a paragraph is grayed out and has two dollar signs at the start, is it a comment, quotation, or what?

Nevertheless, I’ve been looking for a good plain text editor for the Mac, one for writing not coding, and Ulysses at this price might do the trick.


Same here.

“Semantics” (English) and “Semantik” (German) describe exactly the same thing. I guess it’s pointing to the fact that Ulysses works with symbols (tags), that’s all.

It isn’t quite so clear as semantic vs. rich text because Scrivener is a semantic engine if the author so pleases. It has nearly full MMD support, and what it doesn’t support can be typed in by hand as text in the document. In my opinion, and I’ve worked extensively with both, MMD is superior to the Ulysses engine in two realms: flexibility and readability. I think MMD is more readable, and it supports more document formatting power out of the box. When it comes to out-of-the-box there is no comparison. You have the controls that Ulysses provides (and granted they are plenty), but with MMD and a little geek knowledge there is no limit to what can be done.

Where Ulysses does have a clear advantage is that its only a semantic editor and can thus do away with all rich text handling and do font replacement and highlighting to indicate where the special parts of a document are. You have to do all of that manually in Scrivener if you want to, using the font and ruler controls. Generally it’s more trouble than it is worth.

It’s purely a matter of taste. I look at rich text with the same level of inscrutability that you do when you see a code. To me the code is very clear; it does one thing. An indented block of text in a rich text editor means nothing to me; it could be anything. With titles I can see precisely whether it is a section title or a chapter title in one glance. There is no ambiguity between two and three hash marks in front of the title. So for an individual that prefers the semantic workflow, it isn’t just about the final phase. Yes there are some great arguments there, but the actual writing process itself is improved as well.

I don’t want to troll, but rather add yet another layer (oh my) to the discussion: Portability. Working with plain text, be it Markdown, MultiMarkdown or whatever, you can copy, paste, send, recieve from and to anything and everybody without ever having to worry about losing any information.

I can start a chapter in Mail.app or in SimpleText, even right here in this very text box, and then transfer it absolutely intact to a plain text editor. FWIW, I can already write in any iPhone text editor, even the Notes application (though it ain’t pretty), then send the text via email and continue in Ulysses or elsewhere.

Try this with richt text.

Of course, once you start using twenty-three different tags for this’n’that, you’ll be running into problems remembering the lesser used tags’ meanings, but then again… what was that “sub-section mini header helvetica 12pt all caps” for?

Sometimes I feel as if this was a genetic issue, he. And sometimes I feel as if it’s a bit like “being touched” by an idea, where it makes “click” and all of a sudden you’re watching the world from a different perspective and won’t ever be able to take that old perspective again.

Like when you finally learned how to ride a bike or so. You can’t go back to not being able to ride one (though alcohol might help, at least temporarily).

I don’t even know when it was the last time I hit a “bold” button.

No need to worry about trolling - you’re more than welcome round here any time, Marcus. :slight_smile: