In the latest release of the Ulysses app, version 22 is focused on bloggers. They added support for publishing directly to Micro.blog websites, and now you can update WordPress posts you published right within the Ulysses app. They also released a new theme with larger headers and color customizable group icons that I will discuss later in this article. Pretty cool stuff!
Updated WordPress Posts in Ulysses App
This is a great feature that allows you to work in the Ulysses app environment to fix typo’s or add text to a blog post. Working in the native WordPress app or in the backend of WordPress is not as intuitive as writing in Ulysses. The other advantage of keeping all your writing inside the Ulysses app is you will always have a back-up of your work in case something was to ever happen to your website.
To update a WordPress post in the Ulysses app, you have to use the same platform the post was originally published on. For example, if you used your iOS device to publish a post, you will have to update that article inside of Ulysses using an iOS device.
Color-Customizable Group Icons
If you prefer to use color to help you organize your work, Ulysses now offers color-customizable group icons. A group in Ulysses is essentially a folder to hold sheets. Ulysses allows you to customize the icon for a group and now changing the color could help with your workflow. Personally, I don’t use colors regularly, but it could be useful for some.
Larger Headings with the D22 Theme
Ulysses does a fantastic job releasing new themes alongside software updates. With version 22, they released their new D22 theme that allows for custom heading sizes. Previously, when writing in Ulysses, your headings would be the same size as your body text. Now, if you own a Mac computer you can customize the heading sizes for your H1’s, H2’s, etc. This gives users the ability to quickly differentiate between various headings and bold text.
At the time of the release, customizing the header sizing on iOS was not available. To accomplish this, you would have to make changes on macOS, and then you can choose the D22 theme on your iOS device. The changes you made to the headers would be reflected on your iOS device.
Out of the gate in the original format, I found the larger headings on my 12.9” iPad Pro to be cartoonish. They were far too large and didn’t look as clean as the D21 theme I had been using. I had to go on my Mac computer and reduce the size of the headings to get them to look right.
The H1 headings are set to 3XL and the H2 headings are set to XL which is way too large. The app loses its calm, zen, elegant writing interface and starts to look amateur and cartoonish when the headings get to large. They stick out way too much and become a distraction.
I primarily write on my 12.9” iPad Pro because I find it to have much less distraction and the Apple magic keyboard is amazing. Here is the settings I have found to work best for sizing headings in the D22 theme. In order, the H1 set to Large, H2 set to Medium, and the H3 set to Small. I seldom use any headings smaller than H3 when writing so this will differentiate all my headings from the body text making for a pleasant writing experience.
For some reason, the new D22 theme looks better on my iPad Pro when compared to my 27” iMac. When sized correctly, having the H1’s and H2’s a little larger helps the eye differentiate body text from headings which is nice. The Ulysses team needs to allow adjustability of the headings on iOS for those who do not own a Mac computer.
If the new D22 theme is not right for you, the older D21 theme is still available along with many other themes they have had for years. You will have to play with the settings to determine if the new theme is right with you.
The Ulysses app is now offering the ability to publish directly to your Micro.blog website right within the Ulysses app. Now, I am not sure what Micro.blog is, but if you use it, you are now in luck. I currently publish directly to my WordPress website using Ulysses, and it has helped me publish faster than ever before. Being able to publish directly in the app that you write in reduces one or two steps in the writing workflow and helps you get your content online faster.
Functionality Needed for Bloggers
The Ulysses app allows you to publish directly to WordPress and the featured image and excerpt can be pulled from the attachments section. The first note with text inside of it is pulled as your blog post excerpt and the first image is pulled as your featured image. Sometimes this is not convenient when you have notes or image attachments that are used for reference only.
If Ulysses could have a dedicated area in the sidebar for a feature image and excerpt, this would provide a little more clarity when setting up your blog article. Adding a little more functionality to how it handles image attachments in a sheet would come in handy as well. When writing articles with images, keeping those images close by makes all the difference when you need to insert them into an article and in the future when you need access to them. Having the ability to attach multiple images to a sheet at once and title them would be a home run for bloggers.
The Ulysses app has matured into a robust, fully featured place to write for your blog or create your next masterpiece. The feature set has become robust enough to accommodate any type of writer and the organizational features allow you to keep all you’re writing in one place. Since becoming a happily paying customer last year, I have written over 125,000 words in the Ulysses app of which around 70,000 words have been published online. If this is not a testament to the app’s ability to get words out of your head and published online quickly, I don’t know what is.