Editor, Notepad, Document Info

Each document consists of three parts: Editor, Notepad and the Document Info Panel.


The Editor is where you put your text in. It's your main writing space, and you'll spend most of your time writing right there.

At its core, it pretty much acts like every other text editor on Mac OS X, including standards such as cut, copy, paste, undo, redo etc. and more advanced features like on-the-fly spell-checking and auto-completion.

It was developed to put emphasis on the actual content of your work, your text. Think of the Editor as kind of an enhanced typewriter. It is only used for typing your text and marking up your text (for more insight see the concepts of Plain Text Editing and Semantic Text Editing). This means the Editor also has several limitations in comparison to a conventional word processor:

All those kinds of formatting and laying out are done in the Exporter. This is because in Ulysses editing and formatting are kept separate because we think they are two different things that are usually done by different people and shouldn't be mixed up.

But there's a nice little feature that goes beyond the ordinary text editor: the Split-View. You can use it whenever you feel like you want to view two parts of a document which are a couple pages apart and don't want to scroll up and down all the time. It splits your editor in two and shows the document twice. Therefore you can edit the document in the upper view while another part of the document is displayed in the lower view. To enable or disable the Split-View, click with the grey square button on the top right of the Editor.

The Editor also includes two nice features which make navigating in your documents a lot easier: Style-Jumpers and Bookmarks. The first lets you "jump" to an arbitrary Paragraph Style in your Document. Simply hit the button above the Split-View button and select the paragraph you need. This is especially useful if you give your headings a Paragraph Style. The second feature, bookmarks, works in a similar fashion. Whenever you need to remember a paragraph of your document, double-click it in the Paragraph Bar or use the context menu.


The Notepad pretty much acts like a sticky notes application. It's a second writing space, or rather a storage facility for bits, snippets and pieces of text put aside for later use.

It features four modes, each of which holds different contents: Notes, Notes + Excerpt, Project Notes, Text Trash. The first two are attached to the currently active document, while the last two are project-wide. You switch modes via the pop-up menu at the top of the Notepad.

The Text Trash contains everything you deleted with Shift-Backspace instead of the usual Backspace. You cannot edit the contents of the Text Trash, only delete them or paste them into your text again.

Control Panel

The Document Info Panel holds various meta data for each document, e.g. its title and status. It also shows valuable information such as a word counter.

The numbers on the left show the current word/line/etc. counts for the document while the numbers on the right show the values for the current selection.

You can change the update interval in the Preferences under Document Info.

A lot of additional information on these three interface components can be found in various Hidden Gems and Screencasts: