In Ulysses 19, you do have the ability to indicate selected texts or notes as “material”. The term may be misleading as “material” can mean the opposite of what the folks at Ulysses have programmed into the app. They’re not referring to what matters most, as that is the sheet you want to publish. They’re referring to notes, research matter, information snippets that you want to use or write for your own use.
Material sheets as they’re now known are coloured with a light red vertical bar in the sheets bar and they can contain anything an ordinary sheet can. They’re just not included with the statistics and they won’t output as part of a multi-sheet piece.
It’s a huge improvement but still a bit rough around the edges. For example, you’ll find them in the sheets sidebar in-between the normal sheets and that could lead to some unwanted results. I tried selecting three sheets by just drag-selecting of which one was a material sheet and expected the material sheet not to be included; it was. If you merge sheets and thoughtlessly drag-select as I did, the material sheet will be merged in there as well and loses the reddish sidebar notation.
So, at the very least, I would expect the sorting feature to be updated with a new item that allows you to move all those material sheets to the bottom. Better yet, these sheets should be excluded from merging as well — just in case you forget to command-drag to select multiple sheets and end up with a mess.
A second important new feature is that Ulysses 19 supports keywords when you export a sheet as a markdown file. Keywords are listed at the end of the document, as tags in Bear or iA Writer and that makes it interesting if you also use one of those which use keywords as an organisational tool. This feature works both ways, i.e. when you export a Bear or iA Writer file to a folder on your system and let Ulysses access it, the tags at the end of the document will appear as keywords in the Keywords Inspector.
Here things work as you’d expect when exporting several sheets into one markdown file, so all keywords in all sheets are exported with them and listed at the bottom of the combined markdown document.
Things have improved on iPad and iPhone as well.
“We’re glad about Apple leveraging the iPad as a tool for professionals and aim to support this with our development,” said Marcus Fehn, who heads the creative department at Ulysses. “That was why the developers didn’t hesitate to implement mouse and trackpad support in Ulysses for iPad.”
On iPad and iPhone, Ulysses 19 gets on par functionality with the macOS version in its ability to embed external folders from locations in the Files app and edit the contained files with Ulysses. Furthermore, users now have the option to export single backups of their text libraries, and import them back into Ulysses, if necessary.
Ulysses 19 is set for a 28 April release date.
Beta Program for Ulysses 20
Coinciding with the release of Ulysses 19, the developers will open a beta program for Ulysses 20. “We’re working on a few awesome new features that need thorough testing, at best with a large number of participants,” said Fehn. Registration for the program will open on April 28, 2020 on ulysses.app/beta.