In Ulysses, all writing is done in sheets, and all sheets are stored in groups. Select a group in the library, and its content will show up in the sheet list. Select a sheet in the sheet list and it will show up in the editor.
Sheets are equivalent to classic documents, though they don’t require a “title” or a “file name” or such. Groups not only serve as save location, they are also one of the main tools to keep your library organized.
Sheets & Material Sheets
Let’s start with creating a new sheet:
On Mac, add a sheet via the new sheet button in the toolbar or with the shortcut ⌘N.
On iPhone or iPad, simply tap the + icon in the sheet list.
That’s it, now you can start writing, be it a blog post, an essay, or the next chapter of your novel. Sheets can hold any amount of text.
Sometimes, however, you might want to use a sheet to collect information, take simple notes, or write down rough ideas. This is where material sheets come in handy. You can use them for supporting “material” that is not meant to become part of your final text. During export and when calculating statistics or the progress of a writing goal, material sheets will automatically be excluded. They’re easy to recognize thanks to a visual marker in the sheet list.
On Mac, you can create a new material sheet, or convert an existing regular sheet into one (“Use as Material Sheet”) via the File menu.
On iPad or iPhone, go to the library and create a new material sheet via the + icon. To convert a regular sheet, open the sheet list, swipe the sheet to the left, tap … and select “Use as Material Sheet”.
Split, Merge & Glue Sheets
When working on large projects, you might want to split your text into handy chunks. This way it’s a lot easier to oversee the whole of your work, and rearrange the order of its various parts if necessary. In Ulysses, you can also merge several sheets into one, or glue sheets to make them behave as if they were one, e.g., during export.
On Mac, right-click the sheet right where you want to split it, and select “Split Here…” from the context menu. This will automatically create two glued sheets.
On iPhone or iPad, go to the editor, long-tap the position where you’d like to split the sheet, select “Action...”, and then “Split Here”.
Glued sheets are highlighted with a colored line in the sheet list. When selecting one of them, all are shown in the editor. They will also be exported together. However, it’s important to know that glued sheets are actually two separate sheets, they only behave as if they were one. That’s why gluing is only available when the group’s sorting is set to manual. If you sort the sheets of a group by title or date, glued sheets will arrange in order, so you can’t see if they’re glued.
You can merge or manually glue sheets as well.
On Mac, go to the sheet list and hold ⇧ (shift). Then, select the sheets in question, right-click them, and choose “Merge Sheets…” or “Glue Sheets…” from the context menu. To unglue sheets, right-click one of the glued sheets, and select “Unglue Sheets”.
On iPhone or iPad, go to the sheet list, tap “Select”, and mark the sheets you’d like to glue or merge. Then choose “More… ”, and select the action from the context menu.
To unglue sheets, select one of the glued sheets, open the context menu, and choose “Unglue Sheets”.
Organize Your Sheets Into Groups
Groups allow you to organize your projects and texts. Each group can contain an unlimited number of sheets, and you can have an unlimited number of groups. You can also nest your groups as deep as you want. Here is how to create a new one:
On Mac, hover your mouse over iCloud (or “On My Mac”, respectively) , click the + button, and select “New Group…”. Alternatively, you can select this option in the “File” menu.
To add a subgroup, right-click the parent group, and select “New Group…” from the context menu. You can also move and nest groups via Drag & Drop.
On iPhone or iPad, tap the + icon in the library, and select “New Group…”. If you want it to be a subgroup, you can now choose a parent group in the menu.
When adding a group, you can enter a name for it, but you can also choose an icon. In Ulysses, there are around 200 group icons at your disposal. Feel free to use them as visual labels for a better orientation in your library.
Rearrange Your Groups and Sheets
Sometimes, you’ll want to rearrange your groups, subgroups or sheets. Here is how to do that:
On Mac, simply drag and drop the group, subgroup or sheet from the current position to the desired position.
To move a group or subgroup on iPhone and iPad, go to the library, tap “Edit”, hold the three lines next to the group or subgroup, then drag and drop it to the target position. You can move a sheet by long-tapping it, select “Move…” from the context menu, and choose the target group in the sheet list. Alternatively, tap and hold the sheet and move it to the desired position.
Please note that you can only rearrange the sheets within a group if the sort setting is set to “Manually”. You can find more information in the following paragraph.
Depending on the text type, you might want to order the sheets inside a group in a certain way. In Ulysses, you can set the sorting for each group individually. If you work in the iCloud section, the sorting will be synced seamlessly across all your devices.
On Mac, hover your mouse over the group in the sheet list, and click “Sort Manually” to change its sorting.
You’ll then see the options for this group. You can sort the sheets of a group as follows:
- By Title
- By Modification Date
- By Creation Date
You can also reverse the order for all sorting options, except for manual sorting.
Please note that this approach only changes the sorting of the selected group. If you want to change the sorting of a group and its subgroups, right-click the group in the library, and select an option from the menu item “Sort” instead.
On iPhone or iPad, open the sheet list, tap “Sorted” at the bottom, and select the appropriate sorting.
This will affect all groups shown in the sheet list. Alternatively, you can open the library column, swipe left on a group, open its settings and set the sorting from there.
Now you know the basics about working with sheets and groups, but that’s of course not everything you can do. You can also embed images into your texts and add comments, annotations and notes. To find specific sheets easily, you can tag them with keywords or mark them as favorites.
Filters let you sort your sheets according to certain criteria, such as text occurrences, or creation/modification dates. Ulysses’ text statistics give you an overview of how much you've actually written in a sheet or group. And on top of that, you can set specific writing goals to keep track of your writing progress.
Once you’re done writing, you can export either single sheets or entire groups as PDF documents or DOCX files. If you are a blogger, you can also directly publish the texts to your blog.
This article was last updated on June 19, 2020.