Home iPad Revisiting Blogging Offline for Markdown Writers: Ulysses III

Revisiting Blogging Offline for Markdown Writers: Ulysses III

by Kerry Dawson

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I thought I’d briefly revisit the whole area of Blogging Offline for Mardown Writers. In this article I discussed the use of two excellent tools to do this. The editor I was using was Byword and remains an exceptional product. It natively supports offline blogging now in that you can publish directly within the app to a site. At the time I wrote the above article, this was not the case and to blog offline I used Marsedit to publish my work.

For a while, I retired Marsedit as I would just write and publish using Byword. Recently though, I looked at Ulysses III and although I was uncertain about the product, I’ve switched from Byword to Ulysses III. I’ve become quite enamoured with it’s capabilities as an excellent editor but more so with it’s database approach to the management of documents.

I thought it appropriate to update my previous article. Not that anything I was indicating in that article does not stand. Byword is and remains an exceptional product. If you do use Byword, you would not need Marsedit. However, I’ve come full circle in that my use of Ulysses III has taken Marsedit out of retirement.

Solutions with Benefits

In the writing of this update, I want to immediately state that I’m not suggesting that this is the approach for you. This is a fairly costly solution that might not be justifiable. Choosing Byword, you do not need Marsedit but can publish directly within it. Choosing Ulysses III though, as long as you want to Blog Offline, which I do, it is substantially more costly as you require both Marsedit and Ulysses III. For myself, I feel the cost is all worth it. Additionally, I already had Marsedit from the days when I blogged offline and Byword didn’t have it’s own built in publishing system.

Each solution has benefits. I won’t repeat those benefits relative to using Byword as I have spent a fair bit of time on the product in the above mentioned article and on Byword’s upgrade that incorporated the publishing capability. Suffice it to say that Byword is an excellent product however, I’m going to turn my attention to Ulysses III now.

Using Ulysses III

Ulysses III has just been recently released and is basically a full rewrite of the original Ulysses product. This is a powerful editor. It is a full fledged Mardown editor but it handles Markdown in a rather unconventional way. If you’re a Markdown writer it will take you a bit to get onto it. Once you do though it is wonderul.

Beautiful in design it has very nice touches to round it out and finish it off. All Markdown writing has a somewhat automated approach. As an example, when you’re creating a link you highlight the text that is to be your link, hit command-l and a popup appears for the URL link. This is substantially different than writing a standard inline link in Markdown. All aspects of Ulysses are somewhat like this. There are commands to bold or italicize items, to indent and on it goes.

The editor itself is very polished. Although Ulysses uses Marked for the preview of the document I find it easy enough to read and edit directly in Ulysses III due to the way the app displays text. Markdown symbols fade into the background making for a very readable document.

What I particularly like about Ulysses III is it takes a database approach to document management. All documents are stored in Ulysses III. There is no searching around the disk for what you’ve written. I always know now where everything is as my writing doesn’t consist of a pile of files on the disk. Rather, they are documents stored in the database for easy retrieval and reference.

Finally, if you like the flexibility of working with an iPad counterpart, Ulysses III syncs and works with Daedalus Touch another very nice and unique editor. I won’t address this editor as this deserves a whole document about it alone other than to say it is a wonderful writing tool in and of itself.

Back to Marsedit


To finish things off, I put Marsedit to work. Since I’ve discussed Marsedit extensively before I won’t go into detail on this other than to say I use it more extensively with Ulysses III than I did with Byword. As I previously mentioned, it is the offline blogging tool to beat. It is top notch.

Once I finish my proof of my document in Ulysses III I copy the text in Ulysses to the clipboard as standard Markdown and then paste it into Marsedit. There I add my images, take one more view of the document in Marsedit’s document viewer then publish my finished work.

For me, this system works ideally. Just to mention, you could, if you wanted, do everything in Marsedit. It is an excellent system all around including a great document editor and previewing system. However, using Ulysses III and Marsedit combined is my preferred approach.

Offline Blogging is Enjoyable

It’s very enjoyable Blogging offline and is far less work than blogging online. It feels freer also with less encumbrances. No matter which technique you employ to offine blog in Markdown, it is richly rewarding. Choose the system your comfortable with and that works for you the best. For me, it is currently Ulysses III combined with Marsedit.

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