The Soulmen Ulysses 2.0.6 £18
12th May 2011 | 10:00
Work on projects rather than single files
Most text editors have you work in linear fashion, using a single document. If you've related texts, you must manage individual files, possibly across multiple applications.
The Soulmen Ulysses instead has you create projects, which may comprise numerous individual documents, revisions and related notes, all in a single container.
The three-pane interface offers document storage and previews on the left, the primary workspace in the centre, and collapsible notes and document information to the right.
The app is largely intuitive, and well-written help files exist if you get stuck. Under the surface, extra depth includes document management by way of folders and dynamic sets based on filters, which work similarly to Apple's smart containers.
Plentiful export options are also available. However, flaws stop Ulysses reaching the dizzy heights it strives for.
The fullscreen modes are weak. A Lion-like one that removes the menu bar is okay, but doesn't deal with distractions from the app itself; the console-oriented text-only mode is too limited, lacking even a word count. We also disliked the emphasis on code-based semantics (such as using mark-up for emboldening text) and Ulysses only opening a single project at a time.
Scrivener is more feature-rich and does everything Ulysses can, for a little more outlay; and so while Ulysses does enough to warrant a guarded recommendation, Scrivener's better as a project-based writing tool.
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