I spend most of my working day writing blog posts, press releases, and other content — much of which is eventually published on a WordPress blog (like this one). I’ve experimented with any number of text editors — Byword, IA Writer, Editorial, 1Writer, Drafts, and even Vim and Emacs — but none has stuck like Ulysses.
Ulysses is an elegant Markdown(ish) text editor chock-full of thoughtful features that make it a pleasure to plan and write content with. I’m particularly fond of Ulysses because of its uncompromised iPad app. The Mac app — the original — is fantastic, and the iOS version is almost as complete. Aside from a few minor features, everything possible in the Mac app is possible on the iPad and iPhone — all with excellent sync so content is available on every devices.
Among Ulysses’ major strengths are its powerful export options. I can export content in HTML, PDF, DOCX, and several other formats, all with configurable formatting. But until now Ulysses has been missing one crucial feature — the ability to export and publish to WordPress. In the past, I’ve had to export HTML from Ulysses and paste that into WordPress, before manually entering titles, excerpts, categories, tags, and so on — something that’s tolerable on the Mac, but not much fun on an iPad.
With the release of Ulysses 2.6, that’s changed. And I’m happy to say that Ulysses’ WordPress publishing workflow is one of the most graceful I’ve used in any application.
The publishing workflow works with Ulysses’ existing interface and features. To take a simple example, the title of a post is taken from the top-level title of the text. Tags and categories are easily handled within Ulysses. If you want to specify a custom excerpt, you can embed a note within the text of the post and Ulysses will auto-populate the field in WordPress.
When you export to WordPress, you can choose publication status, publication dates, and post formats. If you want to preview before publishing to WordPress, you can integrate custom CSS from your site with Ulysses preview system, which will give you a good idea of what your post will look like when it’s live. And you can tell Ulysses what to do after you’ve published, including opening the post editing page in WordPress or viewing the post.
If you’re a WordPress user who prefers to write outside of the WordPress text editor, and you work within the Apple ecosystem — no Windows or Android versions unfortunately — Ulysses is definitely worth taking a look at.