As you may know from the Scrivener review that I have already written for Mac20Q, I am a big fan of the authors, writers application for the Mac. The app developer has now also written Scrivener for Windows. There are many of us that are waiting for Scrivener for iPad, although to be truthful, I’m not too bothered, as I already have Byword, Writeroom and a number of other writing tools for the iPad. So Scrivener iPad is not a big deal for me really. So with all of the tools that I have for writing, either on my Mac or on my iPad, why would I look at another one? I mean, I also have Pages that I can use to create my articles and one or two other text editors for iPad and Mac.
I have my nicely worked out workflow, which starts off in Dragon Dictate and goes via a markdown editor before I publish it through Marsedit. Despite having everything well sorted for writing both on the Mac and the iPad, I was tempted by a two dollar Tuesday offer. There is a website that has details of savings that can be made on a Tuesday on software for the Mac and I saw the offer for Ulysses Mac. The thing about the Ulysses text tool that made it interesting was the export option to ePub. Even though we now have iBooks Author and the ability to create ePub books through Pages, I decided this was well worth spending two dollars to check out.
Will there be a winner? Ulysses vs Scrivener
My first impressions of Ulysses, certainly made me think of how much it looked like Scrivener. There is the pane in the centre which is for the input of your writing and there are areas to the left and the right of that, for dealing with documents, previews, notes and information about the text you’re working on. There is also a full-screen view which you can use as a distraction free writing space. So you can see there are some quite significant similarities with Scrivener. Whatever task you are working on, on your computer, what you really need is for the software to get out of the way and let you do what you need to do. With Ulysses Mac it seems that it is possible to do this and get on with your writing.
Getting into the Ulysses text editor for writers and authors
The big idea with Ulysses Mac text editor is that, it is what they call a semantic text editor. This means that the actual content is separated from the presentation. When you are writing, you can actually define areas of text to be headlines as well as setting certain text to be displayed in bold or italics. But the actual assignment of fonts, colours is left to be dealt with in the export process. This can work out really well, because you might want to create an article which will go to a number of different types of file output. You might want to have a PDF, a Word document, a WordPress snippet, or perhaps even export it out as basic text or as Markdown.
The Ulysses Mac text editor does give you enough control of how your text will look, while you are writing it and tagging it. So when you are reading through your text you can easily see the context of different parts of your document. You can have multiple notepads that can be accessed, whether you are in standard mode or console mode. One nice feature is that you can erase text selections and that goes to a text trash area. Then you may decide that you want to reuse that text or perhaps delete it permanently.
Writing your book using Ulysses the Mac writers tool
Whatever it is that you are writing, whether it is a book, at poem or an article, it is not a linear process. You don’t just start at the beginning and keep on working your way through until you get to the end of your creation. You’ll be working a little bit here and a little bit there and what you need is software that will let you arrange it and rearrange it. So your project within Ulysses is the whole book and the documents are the chapters. What you can do also, is to put notes, comments and other markings, within the text area and mark them as comments or something other than words for the finished item. Then when it is time to export out, all you need to do is to set it within the export, that comments and stuff are left behind. You might even decide that you want to exclude whole documents at the same time as you deal with the style and formatting of everything in the project.
Overview of Ulysses for Mac – Ulysses review
I am bound to look at this in terms of Ulysses vs Scrivener, due to being such a fan of Scrivener. I don’t think that Ulysses is as fully functioned as is Scrivener, yet I would say that Ulysses does what it does, quite well. It is less expensive to buy, even when buying at the full price and I think it represents excellent value for Mac users that want to have good writers software for the Mac.
Ulysses vs Scrivener – Writers tools for the Mac a20q.info/PkY8PV
— David Allen (@Mac20Q) July 5, 2012
While doing some tests of the application Ulysses vs Scrivener, I did run into some difficulties while exporting documents out. Not a huge problem, but not particularly welcome either. It could have been that I didn’t have enough experience with using the Ulysses text editor and for the moment I am prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt. I plan to try using it some more for creating longer articles and exporting out to the electronic publishing format epub. I expect I will post an update at the end of his article in a few months time. So when you are asking how to be an author or a writer then at least which software to get and work with, will easy enough to work out.