Ulysses 1.2.2

Ulysses 1.2.2

Unlike the novel of the same name, this Ulysses is straightforward.

 

Ulysses is a text pad for creative writers or slightly scatterbrained folks who want to record their thoughts on-the-fly. Think Microsoft Word without the formatting clutter, and with more work areas displayed at any given time.

 

The app's interface is its core strength. Two editing panels sit in the middle of the screen. To the right of the panels are the note-taking area and a browser showing different areas of your project (writing sessions are saved as projects), and to the left is an area that shows the subdivisions of that project with color tags. These might be different chapters of your book, or plot sketches. It's an effective way to quickly bring up previously saved notes.

 

When you've finished penning your masterpiece, you can export it as plain or formatted text. The formatting is done through templates; if you choose this as an option, the first line that you type will appear with a certain font type and size, and paragraphs will follow a set style. Ulysses also has a simple and helpful built-in code of its own that adds formatting to elements in the body text. For instance, typing { - text - } outputs the text insert as a footnote.

 

Ulysses isn't a unique application. Mariner Software's MacJournal ($39.95, www.marinersoftware.com) is a speedier note-taker and equally well designed; PaperToolsPro ($55, www.papertoolspro.com) goes further than Ulysses with its footnote and bibliography tools. Both MacJournal and PaperToolsPro are relative bargains considering that Ulysses costs almost $130.

 

The bottom line. Ulysses is a tidy, simple, Mac-friendly tool for creative writing, but we doubt that a struggling writer is going to pay this much when cheaper alternatives are just as good.

 

COMPANY: The Blue Technologies Group
CONTACT: www.blue-tec.com
PRICE: €100 ($128 at press time)
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later
Simple and effective layout. Tailored for creative writing. Universal binary.
Expensive. Better alternative applications exist.

 

 

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Eric B

As a writer I've found the new Scrivener-- just released as 1.0-- gives much more "bang for the buck" at US $35 than Ulysses. Personally, I find it more intuitive. I use it in conjunction with Michael Tsai's EagleFiler to manage my projects. Scrivener is well worth a look if you're considering Ulysses.

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M.Cox

Try CopyWrite from Bartas Technologies (http://www.bartastechnologies.com/products/) which is great for revisions as you can have multiple versions of a document or chapter of a document easily at hand with a single mouse click; it's also very good for being able to switch quickly between chapters. There is a full screen editor to eliminate clutter if you want, with a resizable window in the full screen mode, and custom background and print colors. Two things I don't like: if you number your chapters, you'll have to number them as 01, 02, 03 or else it will end up as 1, 10, 11. The other thing is because its not designed to format text (and it will export as rtf or plain text) there is no pagination, which is a pain particularly between chapters. Other than that, it's not bad at all for a reasonable $30.

I just discovered another product which is really bare bones in many respects but great for, again, full screen writing without all the distractions, although you cannot resize the full screen. It has a "typewriter" option which keeps the line you are typing in the centre of the screen, which you may like. It's called WriteRoom and its pretty new (http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/product/writeroom). Elegant presentation, clean interface, exports rtf or plain text. Again, you're going to want to format your work with something beefier like Word or Mariner Write or even the expensive product above, Ulysses, but for getting the words on the screen in the first place, I highly recommend either or both of these two applications, and their developers are very good at answering questions and keeping their products up to date.

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Anonymous

This is a shockingly misguided review. Yes, Ulysses is expensive. But the "cheaper alternatives" mentioned—PaperToolsPro and Mariner Software's MacJournal—aren't alternatives at all. PaperToolsPro is blogging software, and MacJournal is marketed for research management, using citations and such for research papers. Where did the author get the idea that these are comparable products to Ulysses? No mention is made of Bartas Technology's CopyWrite which *is* comparable to Ulysses, but in my experience, is not as good or full-featured. I'm sorry, but this review stinks to high heaven.

Don't believe everything you read. For what Ulysses tries to do, it is an excellent and stable application. I'm just a Ulysses user. I don't have any affiliation with the company that makes it.

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M.Cox

MacJournal is a diary application. It's not for researchers, particularly, although I suppose it could be used that way. I use it to keep a digital diary. It can record audio, it can hold pictures, and it can send your entries to a blog. It is not as feature rich as, say, Mori (by HogBay) but I have been very happy with it, both before it was taken on by the current Mariner company and Dan Schimpf (http://homepage.mac.com/dschimpf/).

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