External Folders

Sometimes you need to process texts you wrote in Ulysses in other apps – or you want to sync your work, but cannot resort to iCloud. Here is where our external folders feature comes in handy. The following article shows when to use this feature, which file format to choose and how to convert between the formats.

Use Cases for External Folders

The “External Folders” section allows you to edit text files which do not reside within Ulysses for several possible reasons. The following (incomplete) list should give you an impression how versatile this section can be used:

  • Synchronize your work with Dropbox or other cloud storage providers
  • Create beautiful presentations with Deckset
  • Store your files inside a Git repository
  • Generate additional backups of your texts
  • Share your work with other users

Markdown vs Ulysses files

When working in external folders, Ulysses lets you choose between two file formats – Markdown and our own file format. By default, Markdown is selected to ensure the highest-possible cross-app compatibility. However, if you store your sheets as Markdown files there are a few constraints you should know about:

  • Local images cannot be embedded. You can, of course, always use external image URLs to link to images on the web. This way they are included in the export.
  • Attachments are not available. That means no attached notes, images or sheet-specific goals. On Mac, keywords are attached as file system tags, but they cannot be synced to iOS.
  • Markdown XL tags (Comments, Annotations, Delete) are not part of the original Markdown syntax specification and therefore not available.

These restrictions are gone when you decide to opt for Ulysses’ own file format: All you have to do is disable “Read and Write Markdown files” in the folder settings and the app will start using Ulysses files for any newly created sheets. Existing Markdown files will not be converted automatically and will not show up in the external folder anymore.

Convert existing external folders to Ulysses’ own format

If you already have lots of Markdown files in external folders and you want to benefit from the advantages of our Ulysses files, simply create a new folder, change the file format and drag your existing text files into the new folder.

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