Ulysses gets an update to Version 12, adds iOS 11 drag and drop, image previews and more

Ulysses has been a popular cross-platform text editing app for years, and today the developers announced Ulysses 12, with a majority of new features pointed toward the iOS version of the app.

For all platforms -- Mac, iPhone and iPad -- Ulysses 12 has a new image preview capability. This has been a long-desired feature for Ulysses, and they've added it with some restrictions. First, images that reside in their own paragraph are rendered as black and white thumbnails while those included in text passages show up as the "IMG-bubble" familiar to Ulysses users. 

Image thumbnails. Image via Ulysses

Image thumbnails. Image via Ulysses

The developers say that they found that the monochrome thumbnails weren't as jarring as color ones, and since the main concept behind Ulysses is to keep you in the text and writing, they decided to avoid clashing with themes and distracting writers. Good enough. 

The rest of the updates are only for iOS, and of course the app now supports drag and drop in iOS 11. Sheets can be dragged around for reordering or grouping, text can be dragged from one sheet to another, and text can be dropped into the sheet list to create a new sheet. Drag text to the attachment bar to create a note attachment or drop an image there to create an image attachment.

It's even better with multitasking on iPad. It's possible to drag text and images from Safari or other apps into Ulysses or from Ulysses into Mail. If you have text files stored in the cloud, you can now drag them directly from the Files app into Ulysses. 

There are a lot more swipe options in Ulysses now, which is a welcome addition to the app. Swipe to the left or right on a sheet in the sheet list, and you can set keywords or mark as a favorite (see example above). Other swipe gestures are available for groups and filters.

The last big feature change in iOS is what's called Library Focus (see example below). This allows writers to collapse down the Library groups to see only what they are currently working on rather than seeing every single little group and subgroup. 


Some other changes came about thanks to iOS 11's new style, which Ulysses co-founder Marcus Fehn says "prefers typographic hierarchy over graphic sectioning, and which encourages dropping redundant actions and information."

As before, Ulysses is a $39.99 annual subscription for all iOS and macOS devices you may own.