Ulysses III 1.1

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The Soulmen have released Ulysses III version 1.1 with a ton of welcome features and enhancements. I previously reviewed Ulysses 3 when it was first released. I’ve been testing v1.1 for a couple of weeks and I’m pleased to report that many of my initial concerns have been addressed. It was a great editor to begin with, but now it’s a powerhouse.

First off, it’s optimized for Mavericks. If you’ve just upgraded, you’ll appreciate the interface and speed. It’s also been localized for French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Next, some of the editing features that I consider vital in a Markdown editor have been fully implemented, including auto-continuation of lists (bullet and numbered), and auto-continuation of code blocks and blockquotes with consistent indentation. It also adds auto-complete for tags. It even has a built-in Preview for seeing your Markdown as styled output (though I’m secretly pleased it’s not as powerful as Marked, to which you can still send Ulysses documents with a keystroke).

There’s a new “Sidebar Search” accessible with Command-Shift-F that will filter matches in full text as you type, highlighting pertinent terms. It can even search specific elements such as comments or links for quickly narrowing down the list.

Although it takes a little extra effort, there’s an entire system for customizing HTML and ePub (yes, it exports ePub now) with CSS, and a special syntax called ULSS for PDF creation. The Word export maintains style names, and is one of the best Markdown to Word conversions I’ve seen. You can even assign a specific code editor to call from within Style preferences for editing your custom stylesheets.

Typewriter scrolling is improved and includes a line highlight and allows scrolling and repositioning. This makes it truly usable and a pleasure to edit with.

When you’re editing in full screen, switching between files used to be a bit of a chore. Now there’s a Quick Open panel you can pop up with Command-O and see an Alfred-style file list with type-ahead filtering.

Smart Paste is pretty cool, too. You can switch modes quickly between pasting as Text, Code Block and Raw Source, and can even paste HTML as Markdown with instant conversion. There are a few things I’d like to change about the resulting Markdown, but it’s a very cool feature.

Check out Ulysses III on the Mac App Store. It’s $44.99 US, and if you’re looking for a full-tilt document management system with great features for long or short-form writing, it’s a great buy.