It’s been a while now that Markdown-powered text editors were introduced to highly demanding market of Mac software. This type of entering and editing text has found its way into almost every professional-grade text editor, but there are also much affordable text editors which are built around this text entering method. Perhaps one of the most popular applications of kind is iA Writer, which is one of the best-selling Markdown writing applications on the Mac App Store.
Another interesting and also very popular Markdown-type text editor is Ulysses, which has been around for 10 years now. During that time, Ulysses was under constant development, and it became a prime example of Markdown text editing. As you would expect after two major versions and a decade of work, one application can handle so much of constant rewrites and additions, and it finally became too complex for an unexperienced user. The Soulman, a company which developed this amazing application, decided to completely rewrite Ulysses in order to make it up-to-date and to fully take advantage of some new OS X technologies, and finally published Ulysses III a few weeks ago.
Ulysses III brings a complete rewrite of this well-known application, and comes with freshly designed interface which holds many interesting features. I believe that this new interface made is much more suitable for a new user, or even for an average Markdown writer, while veterans will enjoy in its clean interface and the way things work in this new edition.
If you worked in Ulysses before, than you’re aware that this in not just another writing-type of application, but instead it serves as a depository of documents (a digital library) which is able of creating folders and smart lists which contain sheets (single documents), which than could be exported to any widely used text format.
While opening it for the first time, Ulysses III will ask you whether you’d like to use iCloud, and it will ask if you’d like to use Markdown or Textile formatting. Besides using iCloud as automated sync, you can also use Dropbox or any other cloud storage simply by adding that folder into Ulysses III. It will become clearer how things work if you take a look at its interface, which is divided into three parts. There’s a library of documents on the left side, a list of sheets in the middle, and finally, a writing area which takes approximately 60% of the interface in its default setting. Interface is very clean and comes with only a few buttons which hide some well-known features, typical for any Markdown-type of application. Library resembles OS X’s Finder, and you can organize it by adding new folders, cloud storages, and smart lists. Sheets are single documents which could be easily read by clicking on them, and you can also pick several of them in order to read them as one continuous sheet, for example.
Writing in Ulysses III is a pleasure. In case you’re experienced in Markdown, you will find yourself in a familiar territory. Besides writing codes and syntaxes, you can also use keyboard commands which will automatically enter an appropriate syntax around selected text. For example, in case you’d like to highlight a piece of text, simply select it and press CMD+B which will make it bold once you export it. Speaking of exporting, Ulysses III can save a file as RTF, TXT, PDF, or as HTML file. Developers promised more options coming soon like Tumblr support, which will be a nice addition.
Ulysses III is a very powerful Markdown-powered text editor, which comes with many hidden features which you’re going to love. It could be purchased using the Mac App Store, and is priced at $40.