B E T A for The Psalms

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Jupyter client for iPad – Alex Staravoitau’s Blog

Jupyter client for iPad

I have been a huge fan of Jupyter for a while now, and most importantly of the flexibility it is offering: I strongly believe that the fact that you only need a screen and network connection to get access to pretty much unlimited computational resources has enormous potential.

February 10, 2018

That’s why I thought that Jupyter is really missing a proper client iPad application with a native iOS interface, that would let you connect to a remote backend and work with Jupyter on your iPad — and finally, after months of making and beta testing my app Juno Connect has made it to the AppStore!

Juno Connect is a Jupyter Notebook client for iPad, which allows you to connect to an arbitrary remote Jupyter Notebook server, and do pretty much everything you do in desktop Jupyter on your iPad. It supports hardware keyboard, code completion driven by your server’s kernel and has a beautiful touch friendly interface, that feels much more natural than trying to access Jupyter through your iPad’s Safari browser. Actually, some reviews suggest it’s easier to work with Jupyter in Juno Connect rather than on desktop! 😉


I did cover Jupyter in my posts already, it’s an interactive cloud computing environment, where you can combine code execution, Markdown, LaTeX, plots and rich media. It supports over 40 programming languages (including Python, R, Julia and Scala) and most big data and machine learning tools.

Now, the most beautiful part is that code execution is separated from the development environment, which means that whenever you hit “Run” the hardware that actually executes your code and delivers the output can be anywhere where it can be reachable with a networking interface. Essentially, this means that with Juno Connect you can use your iPad to run code on a superpower computing cluster somewhere on another continent, and still receive output and feedback (including code completion suggestions!) in realtime. How awesome is that?


I did realise, however, that Jupyter may not be the most user-friendly tool to work with, so I tried to make sure that Juno Connect provides the easiest entry point to using Jupyter with two things: backend integrations and bundled introductory notebooks.


Jupyter can sometimes be tricky to setup for remote access. There are plenty of tutorials out there (including mine about configuring SSL), but some of them require additional knowledge of networking, command line interfaces and Unix systems. Luckily, there are cloud computing services that eliminate this by providing you a remote Jupyter Notebook environment out of the box, such as Azure Notebooks and CoCalc. Both have free tiers, although CoCalc also offers paid plans with less restricted access and better hardware.

What you get is a virtual server running Jupyter Notebook that you can access from anywhere in browser — or in Juno Connect as well! You can simply log in with your Microsoft or CoCalc account and access all your projects/libraries, and work with all your notebooks using Juno’s interface. It’s easier to think of it as a special preconfigured server that simply provides a computational backend for Juno Connect.


Bundled Notebooks

Even setting up an account with cloud computing service and trying to understand how Jupyter works can be a significant time investment for users not familiar with it. That’s why I have included a set of introductory notebooks that are available and runnable as soon as you download the app. They have plenty of sample code snippets and generated output (including stunning retina graphics), showing some of the amazing things you can do with Jupyter. Those notebooks are launched on temporary servers individually for each user, so any changes you make in these introductory notebooks will only appear for you, and will only persist until your server is restarted due to inactivity.

Under the hood Juno Connect uses Binder to launch these notebooks, Binder is a service that turns any GitHub repo into a collection of interactive notebooks by launching a temporary server for it. It works amazingly well, and I am planning to introduce a better integration with it in Juno Connect, essentially allowing users to launch any GitHub repo as a server right in the app.



I have spent quite some time trying to make the user interface touch- and iPad-friendly. I believe users have certain expectations in terms of UI when working with an iPad app, and writing code is something that hasn’t been tackled too often in other apps up until this point. So this has been quite a challenge, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out eventually. It did take a couple of iterations (and a lot of feedback), but at least when it comes to notebook editing, the experience is much better now! What in my opinion makes Juno’s interface stand out is how it managed to declutter navigation panel using context actions and menus.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank all beta testers (more than 1200 of them!) who helped testing it and shared their feedback. Thank you once again, and I hope you will enjoy all the new things planned for Juno Connect in the coming year! Stay tuned. 😉


𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲

Name: List hidden directories in the current path by size, descending.

du -sh — .[^.]* | sort -rh

(Duplicate of my last submission except it acts only on hidden directories.)

𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲

Ulysses Help

Updated 10302022-234429

Ulysses Help


Nice to have you here! If you want to learn more about Ulysses’ philosophy and features, you’ve come to the right place.

If you have used the app on a Mac or iPhone before, you can probably skip this introduction and head straight to the Details and Tips section. This is Ulysses after all, you should get around easily.

If you’re entirely new to this, welcome aboard! Let’s cover some basic concepts to get you started.

  1. We believe that writing is about content, about what you want to say – not about fancy formatting. This is why writing in Ulysses means writing plain text, but at the same time more than plain text. We call it “plain text enhanced”. We will come back to this later.

  2. Ulysses is a single-library app, and all your texts live in this single library. There is no “Open”, no “Save” – it all happens right here, in this app only.

  3. Ulysses utilizes iCloud to store your texts, if you allow it to do so. This is especially nice if you also use Ulysses on your iPhone or on your Mac, in case you want to proceed writing on a larger screen. Your texts will sync automatically, as soon (or as long) as you’re connected to the web.

  4. Ulysses does not offer WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) styles and formats. Instead, your text will be formatted once you export it as a PDF, a web page, or an eBook.

Most importantly, Ulysses is built to grow and adapt. You can use it as a sophisticated notepad, you can create the next Great American Novel. You can feed your blog, keep everything neatly organized, or mess around at will.

There is no “right” way to do things here, so make yourself comfortable, and make it your own.


Here’s a general overview of Ulysses’ interface from left to right:


The library lets you access all your texts and is divided into sections. Depending on whether you’ve got iCloud enabled, you will see different sections here.

The sheet list is where all your texts reside.

And this here is the editor.

Basic Navigation

To switch between three pane (library, sheet list and editor), two pane (sheet list and editor) and editor only view, simply swipe from left to right on the editor, and back. To switch between sheets, you can use the sheet list.

You should try all of this now to get the hang of it. Just come back here, as we’re about to look at the cool stuff.

Back? Good!

Now select the next sheet in the list. You’ll learn a bit about… sheets there.


All writing is done on Ulysses’ sheets. Sheets are somewhat equivalent to classic documents, though they don’t require a “title” or a “file name” or such. Sheets can hold any amount of text.

You create sheets via the “New Sheet” button in the editor or the + button in the sheet list.

You can move sheets around and sort them at will: quite simply via drag and drop. When you touch and hold any given sheet, you can quickly mark it as favorite, or add keywords, duplicate it, delete it, you name it.

You can even select a couple of sheets, and then glue them together, merge them into one, or turn them into a PDF, for example. But to make that look good, you’ll need some formatting, right?

Well, read on…

Editor: Plain Text Enhanced

By now you should have noticed “all these funny characters” before headlines and within the text. You should also have noticed “these colored bubbles”, and wondered how they found their way into this otherwise format-free introduction.

You may even have marveled at how nice everything looks, how beautiful the text is set, how headlines are bold and lists indented, and how all this is possible without using fancy formatting palettes, rulers and font panels. And, ultimately, what it all means, what it’s good for, and why you should care.

We believe that writers should not be bothered with layout tasks. At the very least, layout tasks should never interfere with the writing process itself. Call it what you will – distraction-free, zen-like, purely semantic, mini minimal, neo retro –, fact is that content creation is best kept separate from presentation, or else the latter will get in the way. Eventually. By design (pun, sorry).

Ulysses uses so-called minimal markup to define, not format or style, text passages. From headlines to lists, to images and footnotes, you simply assign meaning with a couple of memorable characters.

Need a title? Create a title.

Need a quote? Create a quote.

On a physical keyboard, these characters are easily accessible, and you can just type away. For the iPad’s virtual keyboard, we created a couple of shortcut buttons to make them easily accessible as well.

Ulysses’ Shortcut Buttons

Ulysses’ shortcut buttons sit directly above the iPad’s virtual keyboard, right next to the system’s text predictions. Let’s look at them one by one :

The arrows far left let you move the cursor back and forth.

Then there are shortcuts for Undo, Redo and Copy to Clipboard. These are provided by the system and can look slightly different depending on the available space.

On the right-hand side of the text predictions (in case you have turned them on) are two buttons that hold Ulysses’ markup, sorted into somewhat logical groups: headings, lists and paragraph blocks, then inline formats like strong and emphasis plus links, footnotes and so on... it’s all there!

If there’s enough space, a button will appear next, offering quick access to special characters. Most of these are available on sub-layers of the keyboard only, so we figured it could be nice to have them within reach.

Finally, there’s the magnifying glass far right, which – you guessed it – opens editor search. It should work as expected (it’s just search, after all).


See the gauge icon in the editor? Tap it to open your “dashboard”. It allows you to instantly check your text’s statistics and monitor your progress. You can also add keywords to better organize your library, and attach images or notes for further reference.

Try this now: Tap the paperclip in the dashboard to open this sheet’s attachments. Save the note!

The dashboard also offers an outline navigator which displays all your headlines in a hierarchical order. That way, you can not only quickly oversee your document’s structure, but also jump between its various parts. Even better, Ulysses does not stop at headlines – you can also navigate directly to embedded images, links, footnotes and even annotations and marked text passages.

Revision Mode

Ulysses is more than a writing tool — its dedicated revision mode aims to support you to improve your texts. Access revision mode via the editor menu (circled ellipsis).


In addition to the general markup that you apply to headings and emphasized passages, Ulysses lets you use a number of tags for editing purposes, e.g., comment, marked and annotation.

The revision mode lists them all in the right sidebar. Tap an entry to jump to the respective spot in text. Tap in the text to start editing instantly. Try it out!

Grammar and Style Check

Great writing requires more than a compelling story; you’ll want your text to be articulate and free of mistyped words. Ulysses’ built-in advanced grammar and style check, which is available in over 20 languages, can help. In revision mode, select “Check Text” in the sidebar to receive informed suggestions in categories such as capitalization, punctuation, semantics, redundancy, typography and style. Tapping a suggestion will give you background information, the suggested change plus an ignore option.

Export: 360 Degree Semantics

Now for the fun part: Ulysses can output your writing to a host of standard formats, such as Plain and Rich Text, HTML, ePub, PDF and DOCX. It does so by translating your plain text input based on the definition of the minimal markup. If your brain starts to hurt, here’s a simple example…

Let’s assume you want to emphasize a text passage. You select the word “emphasize” (do so), and mark it up as emphasis (tap the A| button and select Emphasis). Notice the extra characters that were entered around the word.

You have just told Ulysses, in its own “plain text language”, that this passage should be an emphasized passage. Now Ulysses knows and will never forget. So, when you export your text to, say, a PDF, Ulysses will translate this emphasized passage into what a PDF will understand and display – in this case, it will format your emphasized passage as italicized text.

Give it a try:

  • Dismiss the keyboard (bottom right of keyboard)
  • Open the editor menu (circled ellipsis) and select Export.
  • In the view that just slid up, select PDF.
  • The “emphasize” above should be set in italics.

Headlines Such as This Will Get a Larger Font

If you export to HTML instead, Ulysses will translate the emphasized passage to semantically correct <em>, and the headline will be tagged with <h2>.

And so on.

The beauty of this should be obvious by now: Instead of worrying about how your output looks, you can concentrate on what your content is supposed to mean. This may be frightening at first, but trust us, it’s not.

It’s awesome.

Share Your Work

You can send a PDF via email or save it to iCloud. You can open a DOCX file in Microsoft Word or Pages. You can publish your text as blog post to WordPress, Ghost, or Medium.

In the exporter, tap the Share icon to list all available options. They will differ depending on the chosen output and the apps installed on your iPad.

Export: Styles

Depending on the format you choose during export, you can specify settings and switch between various export styles. Each style offers a predefined set of conversion rules.

Take “Business”, a style available for both PDF and DOCX, as an example:

Heading 1: Helvetica Neue, 45pt. Body text: Baskerville, 12pt. Emphasis: Italic. Comments: Delete.

And so on.

Ulysses features a couple of built-in styles for each exporter, and you can just switch between them on-the-fly. If you’re longing for a different look, try and visit our Styles & Themes website, where you’ll find a great variety of styles created by the Ulysses community.

Export: Multiple Sheets

By now you should be fairly familiar with how to write stuff, edit things, and how to spam-mail your friends with your newest creations.

But remember, Ulysses aims to let you write whole books. And for these, you’ll probably need more than just a single sheet of content. So, how do you export multiple sheets at once, and as a single file to boot?

Sheet List: Select

You can switch the sheet list to a special view where you can select as many sheets as you want, and then perform different actions – one of them being export.

Upon export, all selected sheets will be “stitched together”, as if they were just one large piece of content. And Ulysses is powerful enough to allow for really long content.

You should try this now with the introduction: Reveal the sheet list, open the sheet list menu (circled ellipsis) and choose “Select Sheets…”. Now, tap (aka select, see) as many sheets as you like, tap the More menu (circled ellipsis) and then select Export. Create an ePub, for example, and send it to Books.

Just remember to eventually get back here and learn about groups, filters, and how to sync everything and anything between all of your devices.

Feed Your Blogs

Are you a blogger? With Ulysses, you can publish your texts directly to various platforms, complete with images, links, tags and other metadata.

For example, Ulysses can interpret keywords as blog categories or tags; it will turn a note attachment into an excerpt; you can attach a photograph to a sheet to make it your blogpost’s featured image. Tiresome copy-pasting to your blogging platform’s CMS is a thing of the past.

Before publishing, you can, of course, review your metadata and make adjustments if needed. Published texts will receive a tiny paper plane in the sheet list as an indicator, and you can check their status in the dashboard.

The publishing feature works with WordPress, Ghost, and Medium. To get started, all you’ve got to do is select Publishing as an export option, and connect your blogging accounts with Ulysses.

Groups & Filters

If you write a lot (and we bet you do), then you will need some means of organization. In Ulysses, groups and filters are your main tools to keep you organized. If you own a Mac, you’ll find that they’re very similar to Finder’s folders and smart folders.

You add groups and filters via the + menu in the library. You can place groups and filters inside other groups, and if you select a group, its contents will show up in the sheet list. Select a sheet, and it shows up in the editor – but you know that already.

Filters are a special kind of group. Once set up, they will look at the group they’re in, and they will then list all sheets that match the set criteria. For example, you can set up a filter that only lists sheets with a certain keyword. If you place it deep within a nested group, say, six levels down, the filter will only show matching sheets within that very group.

You can also sort and move groups, or give them another title or a new icon. Just switch to the library, touch and hold a group, select Edit, and make your changes. It really is that obvious.

Collapse & Expand

If your groups have a lot of sub-groups or even sub-sub-groups, things can get a little complex. For a less cluttered list, you can hide a groups’ sub-groups by tapping the arrow next to the group’s title. To show the sub-groups again, do the same.

Library Focus

Do you want to focus on a specific project without concerning yourself with the other groups in your library? Just touch and hold any group, then select Focus, to have the library collapse down to focus on just that particular group.

iCloud and Ulysses on iPhone or Mac

By default, your texts, along with all your groups and filters, will get stored in iCloud. This is great, because you can seamlessly switch between iPad, iPhone and Mac, since Ulysses works on all of them. Just visit the App Store or the Mac App Store, install Ulysses on your devices, and you’re good to go: Outline a short story on the subway, and work out the details at home on your Mac. So cool.

As soon as you’re connected to the internet, sync will automatically start and keep your library up-to-date on all your devices. There’s nothing to do, no setup necessary, no button to press, nothing. Nothing.

iCloud vs. On My iPad

Of course, you can also decide to store locally, or freely move your texts from the cloud to local storage only and vice versa.

So much for the moment. You should now know enough to get around – so start out, write something, settle in.

Head back to the introduction for a primer on Markdown XL, how to make use of Ulysses’ advanced features, as well as tips, tricks and handy shortcuts.

A Super-Quick Markup Primer

As in “First Steps”, Ulysses uses special characters around text passages to let you define the meaning of these passages. This is called “markup”, and each character set, such as underscores for emphasis, is called a “markup definition”. Any collection of definitions is then called a “markup language”. There are many markup languages in the wild, and you may have come across one or the other on message boards or blogging platforms: Textile, Setext, or the increasingly popular Markdown by John Gruber.

By default, Ulysses uses its native markup language, dubbed “Markdown XL”.

Do You Speak Markdown XL?

If not, don’t worry – it is dead-easy to learn. Markdown XL consists of 25 definitions, and it will only take you little time to get the hang of it. All available definitions are accessible via Ulysses’ shortcut buttons atop the standard keyboard.

The definitions work in three different ways: They either mark up an entire paragraph (e.g., Heading, Comment Block), or they mark up a word or a phrase (e.g., Strong, Marked), or they add a so-called text object (e.g., Link, Footnote).

Let’s have a quick run through all available definitions and their respective uses.

The Writing Phase

To mark up a title, start a line with one hash (#), for a heading, with two hashes (##). For a subheading, type three or more hashes – the number of hashes corresponds to the subheading’s hierarchical level.

If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, or mark it up as strong, you can do so with single underscores, or double asterisks, respectively.

Dashed and numbered lists can be created by simply typing dashes or numbers at the beginning of a line. And they will automatically continue, if “Smart Lists” are enabled (“Editor Settings › Substitutions”):

  • This is
  • An example
  • Of an unordered list

If you want to create quotes, e.g. to provide a motto, or to highlight famous quotes from even more famous people, simply start a line with a > character:

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. (Neil Armstrong)

And with a divider you can, well, divide. Text sections, for example.

The Editing Phase

The following definitions are helpful for editing purposes: They let you mark text, as you would with a classic highlighter, or mark text for deletion.

While these definitions serve important purposes on screen, their true power will only become apparent during export. As an example, when creating a PDF with the “Swiss Knife” style applied, comments and deletions will be absent from the output file, since this is a style meant to deliver a finalized PDF. But when using the “Rough Cut” style, comments will be included, since that style is meant to be used for printed drafts.

Text Objects

Headings, emphasis and comments may be all that’s needed for general prose, but some texts require images or footnotes, and online publications may require the insertion of links.

Enter what we call text objects – “these colored bubbles” you have already come across in this introduction. They are a bit different from standard text markup, as you can tap a text object and add additional content (a photo, a URL). Their creation, however, is just as simple:

To add a link, type square brackets around a word or phrase. This will open a dedicated view which lets you add, well, a link to a webpage. If you type curly brackets around a phrase instead, you will create an annotation, which is basically a note added to that phrase.

You can also add images or footnotes, again by typing only a few characters. [^1] Enter (img) and you’ll be asked to provide either an image file or a URL. Of course, you can also just drag an image into your text, but where’s the fun in that?

Image Preview

Ulysses will, per default, display small image previews in the editor. You can tweak the size of this preview in the editor settings (accessible via the Editor menu) under “View Options”, or turn it off completely: Images will then be indicated by a little bubble dubbed IMG.

The Geek’s Corner

Finally, there’s markup to either add sample code or raw source code. The former is indispensable for writing technical documentation, and the latter is really advanced stuff, with which you can add code that will be executed during export.

You can also insert whole paragraphs of both code variants. Here is a truly advanced Swift code example – released under GPL:

let myString = "You are beautiful."
print("Hello World. " + myString)

Note: If you indicate a programming language, the syntax of your code will be highlighted in the editor and relevant export formats.

And here is an example of a Raw Source block, which inserts a table when exported as HTML (and just vanishes when exported as PDF):


Editor Settings

Let’s start with some customization, shall we? Open the editor menu and select “Editor Settings” to open the settings overlay:

The first section lets you determine how your editor looks. You can choose from a variety of editor Themes. Appearance lets you determine if you want to work in dark mode, light mode, or match the system’s setting. Under View Options you can toggle the display of the text counter as well as image previews – the latter can be set to anything between 3 and 8 lines. Also, you can (de-)activate syntax color coding and hide the shortcut bar from here.

In the next section, you find the editor Typography settings: You can choose your editor font and modify text zoom, line length and height, as well as paragraph spacing and first line indent. Substitutions lets you modify the settings for automatic list continuation, smart tags, auto-capitalization, auto-correction, and spell check. It’s also where the dedicated switch for TextExpander can be found. Under Revision Mode you can turn Ulysses’ advanced text check on and off.

The next section lets you enable Typewriter Mode and modify its various options, such as line highlight and fixed scrolling etc.

Finally, you can switch the Markup of the current sheet. But let’s get back to this later.

Typewriter Mode

Typewriter Mode is aimed to help you direct your attention to the very words you’re currently writing. You can fine-tune its settings for the best results:

  • Fixed Scrolling (also known as typewriter scrolling) keeps the line you’re currently typing in vertically fixed on your screen.
  • Mark Current Line highlights the line you’re currently typing in.
  • Highlight fades out everything but the current line, sentence or paragraph, respectively.

You can enable Typewriter Mode in the editor settings (accessible via the editor menu).

Smart Tags

If enabled, every time you type in a start tag and continue typing, an end tag placeholder will automatically be inserted. So, you don’t need to type the end tag, see? To accept the end tag, just tap Return on the keyboard.

Smart Lists

If enabled, every time you start a list, tapping Return will automatically add another list item. So you don’t have to keep typing these dashes or numbers. Hit the Return key at the end of a list to, well, end the list.

  • You can try it right here. Place the cursor somewhere inside this list item (or at its end) and hit Return.

You can disable smart tags and lists in the editor settings under Substitutions.

Sheet List Settings

In the sheet list menu – the circled ellipsis icon in the sheet list – you find a couple of options for customization. Tap Sort By to determine if you want to see your sheets ordered manually, by date or by title. Preview allows you to personalize your sheet list, i.e. set the amount of lines shown in the sheet preview, and set if you want modification/creation dates shown or not.

General Settings

The general settings are located in the library (gear icon).

Here, you can edit your groups and filters, define the sections you want to display in the library, and access your backups.

Also, head there to consult our FAQ and contact support, protect access to Ulysses with a password, and check the status of your subscription.

Privacy Protection

Writing can be a rather personal affair. If you want to protect your texts from the eyes of your co-workers (or your mom) while you’re away, you can have Ulysses lock itself after a set period of time and require a password to get back to work. If your iPad supports Touch ID, you can even enable – wait for it – Ulysses at your fingertips. Ha.

You can set password lock via the general settings – you’ll find them top right in the library.

Split View

Do you want to display two texts next to each other? Write a paper while chatting with your friends? Research Wikipedia while writing an essay? As Ulysses supports the system’s multitasking features, you can!

Split View allows you to open Ulysses next to Safari, Ulysses next to Ulysses or a Ulysses sheet next to its export preview.

To set up for Split View, keep Ulysses open, and slide upwards from the bottom of the screen to show the dock. Touch and hold the Ulysses icon or that of another app, and drag it to the left or right edge of the screen. You can also drag a sheet from the sheet list to left or right to invoke Split View.

Once in Split View, you can drag the divider to change the proportions of both app windows. To scroll through both windows at a time, use two fingers – one for each – and move them simultaneously.

Extra: If you want to open the export preview in Split View, use the Multitasking button (...) at the top of the export preview window.

Drag and Drop

Ulysses supports drag and drop, both inside the app, and in conjunction with other apps: You can rearrange sheets by simply picking them up and moving them around. And you can just drop images from Safari (or wherever) into the editor, and drag text passages from here to there, for example.


To export the current editor, simply open the editor menu and tap Export. To export multiple sheets at once, switch to the sheet list, open the sheet list menu, tap “Select Sheets…”, and select the sheets you want. You can also export an entire group: Switch to the library, touch and hold a group, then select Export.

In the header bar of the export preview, you can then select the output format you desire.

HTML Export

  • Tap the brush to choose an export style to be applied during export.
  • Also, choose between Snippet and Full Page output:
    • “Snippet” will just convert all tags to HTML and then export the text.
    • “Full Page” will create a complete HTML document, including header, body, CSS links and so on.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

ePub Export

  • Tap the sliders icon to choose an export style to be applied during export.
  • You can also set title and author metadata.
  • You can add an image to be used as cover image for your ebook.
    • Tap Share for further processing.

PDF Export

  • Tap the brush to choose an export style to be applied during export.
  • You can also choose a paper format.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

DOCX Export

  • Tap the brush to choose an export style to be applied during export.
  • You can also choose a paper format.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

Plain Text Export

  • “Plain Text” will strip out all tags, comments, annotations, images etc., and only export the text itself.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

Rich Text Export

  • “Rich Text” will produce a simple RTF file.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

Markdown Export

  • “Markdown” will keep (or convert) all tags and export the text in Markdown syntax.
  • Tap Share for further processing.

TextPack Export

  • “TextPack” is a file format which supports sending plain text including images to other apps.
    • Tap Share for further processing.


  • Choose “Add Account” and select a publishing platform.
  • WordPress: Provide your username and password, and, for a self-hosted WordPress installation (“Custom WordPress”), the URL.
  • Ghost: Provide your username, password and URL.
  • Medium: You’ll need to provide an integration token for activation.
  • You’ll need to provide an app token — when logged in to your account, you can create it here.
  • Depending on the chosen blogging platform, you can revise a post’s settings (tags, schedule, publishing status and so on) before publishing it.
  • WordPress, Ghost and You can also update previously published posts from within Ulysses.

Tip: Do you work in Dark Mode and want to prevent the export preview from blinding you with its brightness? Make sure to select Reading Mode for the export preview. 😎

Tracking Progress

Would you like to know how much you’ve written so far? Open the dashboard’s Progress view; here you can set writing goals and check your text statistics.

Writing Goals & Deadlines

Writing goals allow you to track your progress in relation to a certain word or character limit. You can even target a specific reading time and assign a deadline. For example, this sheet’s goal is set to “at most 1,620 characters”.

The status of a goal is indicated by an icon in the top right corner of a sheet, as well as next to a sheet’s preview in the sheet list. Try the following: Tap to toggle the keyboard. Now type some words. Do you see the goal icon turn red because you’ve overreached?

Text Statistics

Further down you find detailed text statistics, such as the number of characters, words and pages, even average reading time.

Statistics are also available for groups and filters. In the library, touch and hold a group to open its context menu, then select Edit. In the Progress section you can check the group’s combined statistics.

You can also check statistics for one or more sheets via the sheet list. Open the sheet list menu, tap “Select Sheets…” and mark the sheets in question. Tap on “X Selected” at the top of the sheet list to display combined statistics.

Daily Goals & Session History

Goals are also available for entire groups, via Edit in their context menu.

Group goals let you review your writing session history, as they display daily statistics based on the activity in that group. They also can help build a writing habit: Set a goal’s type to “Every day”, and it will be reset every morning.

Search – and Find

So many texts, so many words? In case you lose track, you can use Quick Open to search for a sheet or a group in your entire library. Try this:

  • Tap the circled search icon top left in the editor.
  • Enter a search term to scan your library, e.g. “Quick”.
  • Tap to get back here.

You can also limit your search to a certain section of your library.

Search & Replace

Editor search is also available. It allows you to search for (and even replace) text within the currently opened sheet: Just tap the search icon in the shortcut bar above your keyboard. Tap the gear icon to switch between search modes.


Keywords may help you organize your writing according to your needs: label a text as Urgent, mark a blog post as Draft or Published, you name it. You can add keywords via the dashboard or a sheet’s context menu, i.e. when you touch and hold the sheet in the sheet list.

There’s a global keyword manager to let you rename, delete and merge the keywords in use, or change their colors. You can even mark your most-used keywords as favorites, and enjoy quick access to them throughout the app.

You may also create a filter and set a keyword match as condition. As an example, create a filter Stuff that needs to be done for sheets dubbed Urgent.


You can mark frequently used sheets as favorites. They will appear in the respective group in the topmost section of the library. This is especially useful if you find yourself switching a lot between different groups or filters. Just go to the sheet list, touch and hold a sheet, and select Favorite from its context menu.

Share Extension

When browsing the web, you may find information you would like to use as a starting point for your writing in Ulysses. You can use Safari’s share button to send the URL of a web page directly to Ulysses’ inbox or any other group. You can also add additional text right inside the share sheet.

To make this work, you’ll first need to activate Ulysses in the list of available apps when you share with it for the first time, though. iOS, security…

Sharing also works with other apps and content types, such as photos and text snippets, as long as the respective app offers a share button.

Editing Groups and Filters

To change the title or icon of a group, switch to the library, open the library menu, and tap “Edit Library…”. Then select the group or filter and… change its title or icon. We have included a ton of different icons to choose from, so take your time, choose wisely.

This is also the place to set a group-specific sorting for your sheets – per default, it is set to “manually”, but you can also sort by title or creation/modification date.

You can also add a group- or filter-specific writing goal, i.e. a certain word or character count you aim to achieve.

If you’re editing a filter, you can change its criteria in the same view. Try setting up a filter that looks for “filter” and call it “Meta”.

External Folders

In Ulysses, all your texts live in a library, and the only way to access your texts is via this very library. However, you can also point Ulysses to folders that live outside of the standard library, e.g. on Dropbox or iCloud Drive, and have their contents behave just like native groups and sheets.

To do so, switch to the library, tap the + icon, and select “From Dropbox…” or “From Files…”. You can then specify how Ulysses should handle your files. With your sheets saved as Ulysses files, you have the app’s full functionality at your disposal. If you prefer to use Markdown files, e.g., to ensure compatibility with other apps, you can do so as well.

You can add as many external folders as you want.

External Files

If you need to edit text files stored on other cloud services (such as iCloud Drive, or OneDrive), you can. Open the files in Ulysses, e.g., from the Files app. They will appear in a special library section called “External Files”, where you can edit them in place — changes made to these files will get saved back immediately, and the files can still be accessed from other apps.

Once “External Files” are enabled, you can open single documents by opening the sheet list menu and selecting “Open File”.

Please note that both opening external files and embedding external folders are system features, which each cloud service needs to explicitly support. If you can’t access files or folders stored with a certain provider here, it is because that particular provider does not yet support these features on iOS.

Import Files

Of course, you can also import text documents into Ulysses for further editing. Importing will copy the document into the library, keeping the original file untouched. This even works with DOCX files.

To import a document into Ulysses, go to the library and touch and hold the group you wish to import into. Select Import, and browse the folders of supported storage providers. Another option is to make use of the Share command available in third-party apps — e.g. when you receive a text file via email. Once “opened” in Ulysses, the file will also be available in your inbox.

Hardware Support

You can, of course, use a mouse, trackpad, or external keyboard with Ulysses on iPad.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ulysses not only supports typing on an external keyboard (why wouldn’t it) – it even offers advanced functionality through keyboard shortcuts (again, why wouldn’t it).

On your hardware keyboard, hold at any time to display a list of available shortcuts.

Here’s a list of functional shortcuts for when a hardware keyboard is attached. If you’re familiar with Ulysses for Mac, you should feel right at home.

  • ⌘1 to toggle the library
  • ⌘2 to toggle the sheet list
  • ⌘3 to toggle the editor
  • ⌘4 to toggle the dashboard
  • ⌘6 to toggle the export preview
  • ⌘7 to toggle the dashboard’s Progress view
  • ⌘8 to toggle the outline navigator

  • ^⌘1 to ^⌘4 to switch between the dashboard’s various views

  • ⌘O to look for a sheet in the whole library (Quick Open)

  • and to navigate results

  • ↩︎ to open a selected result

  • ⌘↩︎ to reveal a result in its parent group

  • esc or ⌘O to close Quick Open

  • ⌘F to open editor search (Find)

  • ⌘G to step to the next search match

  • ⇧⌘G to step to the previous search match

  • esc or ⌘F to close search

  • ⌘⌥↓ to move to the next sheet

  • ⌘⌥↑ to move to the previous sheet

  • ⌘⌥→ and ⌘⌥← to switch between views

  • ↩︎ to switch from library to sheet list

  • ↩︎ or ⌘↩︎ to select a sheet and begin editing

  • in the library/sheet list: and to navigate between groups and sheets

  • in the exporter: Space, ⇧Space, and to navigate

  • ⌘N to create a new sheet

  • ^⌥⌘N to create a new material sheet

  • ^⌘Mto use a sheet as material/regular sheet:

  • ⌘↩︎ to begin/end editing

  • ⇧⌘N to create a new group

  • ^⌘N to create a new filter

  • ⌘D to duplicate a sheet or group

  • ⌃⌘U to mark/unmark a sheet as favorite

  • ⇧⌘U to go to the favorites group

  • ⇧⌘K to edit keywords

  • ⌘Z for Undo

  • ⇧⌘Z for Redo

  • ⌘⧵ or ⌘# to increase heading levels

  • ⇧⌘⧵ or ⇧⌘# to decrease heading levels

  • ⌘K to create a link

  • ⌘I for emphasis

  • ⌘B for strong

  • ⌘L to clear all markup

  • to indent

  • ⇧⇥ to outdent

  • ⇧⌘B to split a sheet at the current cursor location

  • ⇧⌘C to open the smart copy options menu

  • ⌥⌘C to copy selected text with last used smart copy option

  • ⇧⌘V to open the smart paste options menu

  • ⌥⌘V to paste text with last used smart paste option

  • ⌥⌘6 to open the export preview in the second editor

  • ⌃⌘F to toggle Full-Screen Mode

  • ⌥⌘T to toggle Typewriter Mode

  • ⌘+ to increase font size

  • ⌘- to decrease font size

  • ⌘0 to reset font size to default value

Instead of esc, the shortcut ⌘. can always be used.


Themes define the colors of your editor. These include background, text and markup colors, as well as the colors of the various text objects. Themes also define the size of your headings in the editor. Ulysses ships with a couple of built-in themes, each of which features a dedicated light and dark variant.

If you want more choice, you should visit our Styles & Themes website, where you can find and download a whole range of themes, all created by fellow Ulysses users.

Creating Your Own Themes

If you own Ulysses for Mac, you can create your own themes or modify existing ones. They will automatically sync across all of your devices. Hurrah!

Escape Character

If you need to type a lot of square brackets (because you’re that kind of person [the one, you know…]), you might wonder how to keep Ulysses from automatically treating phrases in square brackets as links. Same for any other character you might *really* want to type.

Well, to keep Ulysses from treating just about any character as markup, simply add a backslash in front of it. So if you really want a square bracket instead of a link, type it like this: [like this].


You may also wonder, how and where these characters are defined, e.g. why this means strong and not something else. Or maybe you’re already familiar with a different markup language (Textile, for example), and would rather use that.

By default, Ulysses uses its native markup language, dubbed “Markdown XL”. It’s an extension of John Gruber’s Markdown and allows for annotations and footnotes and whatnot. It forms the basis of Ulysses’ advanced text editing capabilities.

However, Ulysses comes with three other variants built-in – “Markdown“, “Textile’d” and “Minimark” –, which offer somewhat different tags and features. You can convert any sheet into a different markup via the editor settings (accessible via the editor menu).

If you own Ulysses for Mac, you can even create your own markup. And as with themes, markups created on Mac will automatically sync across all your devices.

Siri Shortcuts

Do you find yourself heading to the same group over and again? Or constantly adding content to a specific sheet? If the answer is yes and you think it's a bit tiresome, you may let Siri do the work for you.

Ulysses allows you to assign Siri Shortcuts to a number of actions. Just touch and hold a particular group or sheet and select Share. Now choose one of the following actions, respectively: – “View Group from Siri” to open this very group, – “New Sheet from Siri” to create a new sheet in this group, – “View Sheet from Siri” to open this very sheet.

Now you’ll be able to add a voice command and have Siri execute this very action whenever you say so.

Backup & Restore

If everything goes as planned, you should not have to care about this. If – for whatever reason – it does not go as planned, and if you believe you’ve lost content, keep your cool: Your entire library gets backed up on a regular basis.

You can access these backups in the library (where else): Just open the general settings (the gear icon in the library) and select “Backup…” (see what we did there?). To restore a single sheet or a group, touch and hold it and select “Restore to iCloud/On My iPad/Inbox”.

We Support…

Should you have a question not covered by this introduction, please don’t hesitate to contact us at We’re here to help.

You Support…

If you’re happy with Ulysses for iPad, please rate the app or even leave a review on the App Store. This is how you can support indie developers with very little effort. It really makes a huge difference. Thanks.

Resources, Connect

Want to learn even more? Check out the Ulysses Help Center for an extensive FAQ, as well as tips and tutorials. Or visit our blog for news and inspiration. VoiceOver users may refer to our dedicated page for suggestions.

You should also browse our website for user-generated Styles & Themes.

If you’re feeling social, don’t hesitate to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo or VK. Also, consider signing up for our newsletter to stay in the loop. No spam, promised.

And now… happy writing!

[^1]: Type (fn), type some text, close the view, continue.


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best Thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty gain, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

x-callback-url Specification

Updated 10222022-062301

x-callback-url 1.0 DRAFT Spec

The x-callback-url specification is intended to standardize the use of URLs and registered URL schemes for inter-app communication and messaging on Apple’s iOS platforms.


R3: Added “Security Concerns” section.

R2: Added optional “x-cancel” parameter. When supported, this parameter would include a URL to open when the user indicated they want to cancel the action. The action did not succeed, nor generate an error, but the user just wishes to return to the source app.

R1: Removed the “version” from the URL path. The current recommendation if versioning of an x-callback-url API is required would be to register separate URL schemes for each version. This method allows the calling app to determine which versions are available via calls to “canOpenURL”.


iOS runs apps in sandboxes which providing limited means of communication between apps directly on the device. Shared files, messaging systems and other similar solutions used on desktop and server operating systems are not present in iOS.

iOS does provide the ability for apps to register URL schemes. Many apps already use the feature to launch other apps and pass basic data in the URL parameters, but there is no standard for structure of these URLs and no current standard for allowing callbacks to be pass in the URL if the originating app wishes to receive some result based on the action.

The goal of the x-callback-url specification is to provide a standardized means for iOS developers to expose and document the methods they make available to other apps. Using x-callback-url’s source apps can launch other apps passing data and context information, and also provide parameters instructing the target app to return data and control back to the source app after executing an action. Specific supported actions will be dependent on the individual apps and will not be discussed in the specification.

Apps using x-callback-url should provide support for receiving action URLs in the format described below. Details on implementation and sample code will also be available on the x-callback-url website.

Note that starting with iOS 8, Apple has introduced App Extensions which address some of the requirements for inter-app communication in a vendor supported way. There are still areas where URL schemes make more sense, but we recommend using the extension opportunities first.

URL Structure

[scheme]://[host]/[action]?[x-callback parameters]&[action parameters]


The scheme should be a unique string identifier the target app. URL schemes are registered with iOS via an app’s Info.plist file. To support receiving x-callback-url message, an app must register a protocol with iOS. If your app uses x-callback-url, it is recommend you register a url scheme specifically for x-callback-url support, so that a source app can test for the registration of the scheme and ensure support is present.


URLs will be identified by the use of “x-callback-url” as the host portion of the URL.


The remaining portion of the URL path after the version make up the name of the action to be executed in the target app. These actions will vary by app and should be documented by the developer of the app supporting x-callback-url.

x-callback Parameters

x-callback-url defines several parameters with specific purposes, all of which are optional. These parameters should be passed as query args in the URL, in the format “key1=value1&key2=value2”. All values should be URL encoded strings.

  • x-source :– The friendly name of the source app calling the action. If the action in the target app requires user interface elements, it may be necessary to identify to the user the app requesting the action.
  • x-success :– If the action in the target method is intended to return a result to the source app, the x-callback parameter should be included and provide a URL to open to return to the source app. On completion of the action, the target app will open this URL, possibly with additional parameters tacked on to return a result to the source app. If x-success is not provided, it is assumed that the user will stay in the target app on successful completion of the action.
  • x-error :– URL to open if the requested action generates an error in the target app. This URL will be open with at least the parameters “errorCode=code&errorMessage=message”. If x-error is not present, and a error occurs, it is assumed the target app will report the failure to the user and remain in the target app.
  • x-cancel :– URL to open if the requested action is cancelled by the user. In the case where the target app offer the user the option to “cancel” the requested action, without a success or error result, this the the URL that should be opened to return the user to the source app.

Action Parameters

In addition to any of the optional parameters defined by x-callback-url, the query arguments can contain action parameters specific to target app’s supported actions. These parameters will be defined by the developer of the app supporting x-callback-url. The “x-” prefix should not be used on action parameters, but be reserved for additional parameters that may be defined by the x-callback-url specification.

Security Concerns

Because URL schemes open pathways to the data stored in your app, it is recommended that you carefully consider security when implementing URL schemes–whether they conform to the x-callback-url specification or not.

How to implement security is not covered by the specification, as the requirements vary greatly for different app, but, in general, URL schemes actions which perform destructive operations, post to services outside the app, or similar “dangerous” actions should require user-confirmation in-app to be sure the user has not unintentionally tapped on a malicious URL. Other mechanisms such as password keys, or similar may make sense for specific use cases.

Learn More

To learn more, check out the Examples and Implementation pages.

Re: X-Callback-URL Support in Tusker

Updated 10112022-110052


what an eloquent response!

though the news is quite unfortunate for me at least.

From: Shadowfacts To: David Blue Date: Oct 11, 2022 Subject: Re: X-Callback-URL Support in Tusker


Thanks for reaching out. I can only speak to my reasons—but I suspect they’re similar across the industry.

XCB support was a significant extra maintenance burden that was both fragile and largely unused (I don’t have the analytics to be certain, but I strongly suspect Tusker’s had literally zero usage because it had been broken for quite some time and no one reported it.).

Tusker’s XCB support predates parameterized shortcuts (indeed, that inability was the impetus for building it) and it has not kept up well over the past years of architectural changes to the app. Combined with the fact that the iOS automation/power-user scene has almost entirely moved to, the cost of maintaining a parallel and unused set of functionality isn’t worth it.

As I push toward an App Store release after over 4 years of development, I’m trying to make sure everything is in a good, long-term stable place—and the XCB implementation was not.

Tusker’s Shortcuts support is currently lacking, but I intend to add functionality comparable to what was previously possible with XCB URLs, so you won’t be without automation forever.


On Oct 10, 2022, at 2:41 PM, David Blue wrote:

I realize it's honestly a bit incredulous that I'm choosing this of all Tusker topics to actually reach out to you about for the first time but...
I happened to catch this at the bottom of the release notes for today's Testflight build:
> X-Callback-URL support has been removed.
...and dang... frankly, I was just very very saddened and upset with myself for having managed to miss its implementation in the first place!
This, however, is not a complaint email, nor even a suggestion email, actually. As someone who has only just recently found TREMENDOUS value in X-Callback-URLs and URL schemes in my own day to day computing life, this is actually a recurring experience of mine. I've more or less stopped reaching out to proprietary organizations about it, though. (I'm sure you can imagine why.)
I don't know anything about you except what I've seen in Tusker, and it is more than enough to compel me to ask you, specifically...
Is there some overarching reason why folks have now begun actively removing their X-Callback-URL support instead of (frankly) just forgetting about it?
Obviously, I consider any time of yours spent answering this to be purely a favor, so it does not come with anything like obligation or time-sensitivity.
I am kinda starting to worry about the issue tho lol.
Thanks for your time!
𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲

{ “actions” : [ { “type” : “”, “parameters” : { “location” : 2, “openInEditor” : true, “filename” : { “value” : “$.md”, “tokens” : [ { “location” : 0, “value” : “@date.format(MMddYYYY-HHmmss)” } ] }, “text” : { “value” : “$”, “tokens” : [ { “location” : 0, “value” : “@clipboard.text” } ] }, “overwriteIfExists” : false } } ], “buildVersion” : 1, “name” : “New With Clipboard”, “clientMinVersion” : 1, “summary” : “Creates and opens a new .md document titled by DavodTime with the contents of the system clipboard at the root of the iCloud Drive folder.”, “icon” : { “glyph” : “doc.on.clipboard”, “color” : “#60C172” }, “clientVersion” : 1082 }

Fairview Fever Fest 2022

  • GitHub Issue/var/mobile/Containers/Shared/AppGroup/9ACEF966-7F25-43FE-8615-600DE9E82151/File Provider Storage/Repositories/fairview/anecdotes/

Today is the fever fest thing – an event with tickets and games and barbecue and a goddamned bounce house. I have literally never seen such unfortunate disfunction in the communication between a group of actual adults trying to co-accomplish something lmfao. I always have a blast in chaos like this though. it's almost unfair.

something to be said for manifesting something like the good shepherd slaves. we were like all tactical and shit (come to think of it, I'm almost certain we were forbid to talk to each other because there were just too many commands from adults.)

GitHub Issue ⇨ Draft Shortcut

Updated 10062022-140612



well folks...

I finally did it. it took me a whole day (lol,) but I have finally created a reliable way to retrieve all contents of @GitHub Issues in a single markdown document for @drafts app.

pretty happy with this one! it's certainly going to make me very happy lol. I hope some of y'all might find it useful.

Setup Steps

  1. Provide a GitHub Personal Access Token. (Required)
  2. Set any additional Drafts tags you'd like included beyond the issue's current labels. (Optional.)

Retrieve and concatenate GitHub Issue contents and comments into a single draft.

See: The Full Documentation

GitHubImage-Draft Source Render

This shortcut is yet another near-direct publication of one I made specifically for my own use cases. It uses GitHub's REST API to gather an Issue's content – of the original post as well as all of the comments – into a single markdown document, formatted very specifically for my own use. Out of the box, it's designed to store said document in Drafts, but even the most novice Shortcuts users should find pointing it to any other destination with markdown/plain text support very simple. (If you need help, please don't hesitate to contact me via any of the sources at the bottom of this page.)


Upon installation, you'll be asked to provide:

  1. A GitHub Personal Access Token (create one directly with this link.) This is absolutely required.
  2. Any additional tags you'd like attached to the resulting draft beyond the Issue's labels (which are attached as tags by default.) These are optional.

The shortcut is configured by default to receive Issue URLs from the Share Sheet and/or the system clipboard. Theoretically, it should remain unaffected if one should accidentally pass an Issue Comment URL (ex: instead of the Issue URL (ex:,) as the Get Item from List actions which parse out the specifying information seek by index from the root.


With Shortcuts variables wrapped in }{:

# "{title}" - {owner}/{repo}
Updated `{updated}`
Created `{created}`

- [**Issue**]({link})
- @[{username}]({username})
- [Repository]({owner}/{repo})
- [Maintainer/Org]({owner})







Below is actual demonstrative shortcut output from this Issue as input. You might also inspect the color-encoded markdown via this Gist and/or see how the result looks when rendered as a web page using my custom Drafts HTML template.

# "Screen Time for Family Members" - FifiTheBulldog/ios-settings-urls
Updated `03302021-144840`
Created `03302021-085525`

- [**Issue**](
- @[bcmitri](
- [Repository](
- [Maintainer/Org](


Is there any way to get to the "Screen Time → See All Activity" screen for family members?  I see them listed on the screen below, but haven't been able to guess a path value that works.
What’s the exact path to get to a family member’s See All Activity screen manually? I know how to get to See All Activity for my own device, but I don’t have an iCloud family that I can test with.

That's the part I'm struggling with.  I had assumed / hoped that the See All Activity part would be easy once I could get to the Family Member view.

I meant, what’s the series of taps to get there? Ignoring the search for a URL for a moment.

Oh...  It’s just the name of my family member from the main Screen Time view.



What if you URL encode the family member’s name exactly as it appears on screen there, and then use that as the path?

To encode the name as a url, I assume I just replace the space with a %20.  Is that right?  If so, I've tried that, and it just brings me to the main Screen Time view.

Sounds about right, assuming there’s no other characters that would need to be percent encoded.

Are there any other identifiers that could possibly be used as paths? I’m at a loss.

Really, there's just the screen that you see above.  Clicking my family member's name brings me to the main Screen Time view for that family member.

No worries if you don't know the answer.  I just thought I'd ask.

Hmm, all right. I’ll leave this issue open and hope that it gets an answer someday, since this would be a particularly useful one.


And... for the sake of thoroughness... Here's how the same example looks in the Drafts app:

iPhone 12 Pro Max Example Frame

iPad Pro Example Frame