Split View

| By Philip

Sometimes, when you write, you need to have an eye at two texts at the same time – or at one text, but two times: research on the left, actual writing on the right. Original on the left, translation on the right. Luckily, Ulysses lets you open two texts next to each other in a split editor. Split view even allows for a live preview of the text you are currently working on.

In addition to Ulysses’ native editor split view, there’s also the option to view two apps at a time with Apple’s system split view, provided by macOS and iOS. You’ll find explanations on how to use these features further down below.

Ulysses’ Editor Split View

On Mac

To enter split view, you may either right-click a sheet and select “Open in Second Editor” from the context menu, or click a sheet while holding (option). Ulysses will open a second editor right next to the one you’re currently writing in.

You can easily recognize the text you are currently editing by its highlight. However, you can also switch off this feature by unchecking “Highlight Active Editor” in the Second Editor menu, accessible via the rings icon. Here, Ulysses also allows you to swap both editors, and to revert to the one editor view by closing the second editor.

Do you prefer a horizontal split view over a vertical one? No problem, select the option “Second Editor on Bottom” in this menu.

Do you want to compare two texts? Hold (option) during scrolling to move both editors simultaneously.

You can switch between the two editors without lifting your fingers from the keyboard: Use the shortcuts ⌘⌥→ and  ⌘⌥← (command-option-right/left arrow).

It's up to you how much space you give each of the editors on your screen: just drag the split view divider to left or right as you see fit. To split the available space evenly between both editors again, double-click the divider.

On iPad

To use editor split view on your iPad, please bring your device into landscape mode first. You can toggle the second editor via the Editor settings, accessible via the Aa button in the toolbar:

Alternatively, you can also drag a sheet from the sheet list to either edge of the screen to open it next to your current view:

The “split view divider” in the center allows you to change the ratio between the two editors to your liking. Would you like to swap the editors? You can! Long-tap the center of the divider and select the respective menu option. Here, you can also close each of the editors. Alternatively, drag the divider to the left or right edge of the screen:

If you are using an external keyboard, you can open and close the second editor by using ⌥ ⌘3 (command-option-3). Of course, you can also conveniently jump between both editors via ⌃ ⌥ ⌘←/ (control-option-command-←/→). In order to scroll both views simultaneously, simply drag both editors up or down with two fingers.

Since both views are “the full app”, you can navigate around your library to your heart’s content, i.e., to switch to another sheet. You can even display the (live) export preview: Simply long-tap the Export icon and select “Export in Second Editor” or press ⌘⌥6 (command-alt-6), alternatively:


Apple’s System Split View

On Mac

If you want to have a side-by-side preview on your Mac, you should give macOS full-screen split view a try.

To set up for split view, it’s best to open first the windows you want to use later in full-screen. Let’s give it a try with the editor and Export Preview. To move Ulysses into full-screen split View, you need to click-and-hold the green button in the toolbar until you see a left-and-right view. Drag the editor window to either the left or the right and let go of the mouse. You will then see all applications which can be moved to the other half of the screen:

Screenshot of a Mac desktop, after Ulysses has been put into split view mode. The left side of the screen shows Ulysses, the right side shows all other windows that support split view. Ulysses’ Export Preview is one of them.

Just click the export preview window:

Screenshot of Ulysses running in fullscreen mode, the editor taking up the right space and the export preview taking up the right space.

If you need less space for the preview, simply drag the black divider in the middle to the right.

On iPad

Having two apps next to each other on iOS is possible as well. You’re able to, say, research with Safari and jot down your findings in Ulysses at the same time. Or go through a PDF document in Ulysses’ preview, and double-check the referenced links. Or watch a Shakespeare play while writing an essay about it.

Let’s assume you’re writing in Ulysses and want to open Safari in addition. Just swipe from the bottom of the screen to open the Dock. Now touch and hold the Safari icon, and drag it to the left or right edge of the screen. 

An iPad laying on a tablem with Ulysses on the left side of the split view and Safari on the right side. Safari is showing a Wikipedia article.

 To give Ulysses and Safari equal space, drag the app divider to the center of the screen. To close Safari again, drag the app divider over the app, towards the edge of the screen.

This article was last updated on June 7, 2019.

Split View

Display two Ulysses editors next to or on top of each other