Questions & Answers

Using Ulysses with VoiceOver on Mac and iOS

| By Philip

Ulysses is fully accessible using the standard system VoiceOver commands. For these gestures and commands, Apple provides resources for both Mac and iOS. Ulysses relies for the most part on these standard commands and gestures, reducing the learning curve for VoiceOver users. Some application-specific behavior can be found below. Note that the VO key combination referred to below is either ⌃⌥ (ctrl-alt) or  (capslock). 

How can I quickly navigate between the library, sheets, and edit area on Mac?

You can use VO-J to navigate between the Library, the Sheet List, and the Editor. Ulysses also offers several standard keyboard shortcuts (command-1 - command-4) for navigation.

How does VoiceOver indicate links, annotations, footnotes and other text objects?

Links, annotations or footnotes are surrounded by colored bubbles. VoiceOver will verbally indicate when such a text object begins and ends. For example, “begin link end link”. 

While inside the bubble you can edit the link (or annotation) by pressing return or VO-space on Mac. On iOS, the text object can be edited by selecting the object (or moving the insertion point inside the object) and using the custom “Edit” action.

To end editing a text object, simply press esc on Mac. On iOS, you can use the two-finger scrub gesture or the custom action “End editing”.

Can I insert images?

Definitely. On Mac, the easiest is to first copy the image to the clipboard and then paste it from there. Alternatively, you can drag in an image using the VoiceOver drag gesture (VO-command-shift-space).

On iOS, add an image tag in the editor by typing (img). In the element editor that opens afterwards, navigate to the “Add image” button using swipe gestures and add an image from your library, an external storage provider, the clipboard or by taking a photo.

Are there shortcuts available for markup tags or frequently-used characters?

Ulysses comes with a Shortcut Bar which is located above the keyboard. You can swipe through the Shortcut Bar buttons and activate them using the two-finger double-tap gestures. A popup menu will open then up. You can swipe through all available tags/characters and use the two-finger double-tag gesture again to insert them. To close the popup menu, use the two-finger scrub gesture.

How can I split a sheet on iOS?

Use the VoiceOver rotor to access custom actions and activate “Split Here”. 

How can I access sorting options on Mac?

The sort options can be either accessed in the context menu of the group in the Library section or via alternate UI in the Sheet List. For the latter, move the focus into the header cell, press VO-command-space to open the actions menu and activate “Show alternate items”.

Is goal information easily accessible?

Yes. When you attach a goal to a sheet or group, you can obtain status about the goal by doing the following on Mac:

  • Pressing command-4 to reveal the Attachments where you can add or review goals.
  • Interact with the Sheet List, interact with the sheet, and locate the goal button. Press VO-shift-H (or wait a moment) to hear the percentage of the completed goal.
  • Locate the goal button adjacent to the Editor. Press VO-shift-H to hear a report of goal completion.

What about Markup in the Ulysses Preferences?

Ulysses provides a number of themes and color options to help a sighted user view the markup tags used in the document. These themes and colors have no influence over how the document will be seen. Currently, it’s not possible to change these colors using VoiceOver.

Using Ulysses with VoiceOver on Mac and iOS