| By Alexander der Große

When you’re writing a book with many characters or locations, it is convenient to be able to filter all scenes starring the same character or location. Or maybe you’re a blogger and want to keep track of which blog posts are rough drafts and which are ready for publishing. In these and many more cases you might want to take a look at keywords.

For starters, you can add keywords to a single sheet by opening the attachment pane via the paperclip icon in the upper right of the editor toolbar. Clicking the tag icon at the top of the attachment pane will let you add keywords.

Screenshot of the empty keywords attachment in the attachment bar in Ulysses for Mac

On Mac, this is also accessible as part of the Edit menu (“Edit › Attach › Keywords…”). On iPad or iPhone, you can alternatively go to the sheet list, swipe left on the sheet in question, and tap the yellow tag icon.

Note: A keyword can consist of more than one word, and you can attach an unlimited number of keywords. If you start typing, Ulysses will make suggestions for keywords you have previously used.

Would you like to add keywords to multiple sheets at once? You can do that, too.

On Mac, hold  (shift) and select the sheets in question in the sheet list, then right-click to open the context menu and select “Keywords…”. On iPad or iPhone, tap “Select” at the top of the sheet list and mark the sheets in question. Tap “More..." , then "Keywords...”.

If the selected sheets have different keywords, the keyword editor will feature two parts. The field at the top contains all keywords that are attached to all sheets you’ve selected. To add more keywords simply enter them here. The lower field is a collection of keywords that are only present in a subset of the selection. Clicking or tapping on one of the keywords in the lower half will add it to all selected sheets.

While all keywords you add are initially grey, their color can be changed afterwards. This is particularly handy if you want to keep track of your characters’ points of view or mark the stages of your writing. In order to change the color, simply right-click (macOS) or tap on the keyword and select “Color…“ (iOS).  The upcoming window lets you choose between the seven colors of the rainbow and a light grey.

The new color will be applied to all occurrences of that very keyword in your library.

This post was last updated on June 5, 2018.


Categorize your texts with (colored) keywords of your choice