Ulysses is a popular writing application for macOS and iOS devices. Lauded by journalists and reviewers, Ulysses provides lots of useful features and nice touches for people who write professionally. The theming and export options are second to none.

Unfortunately, using Ulysses to write in Markdown is an exercise in frustration. The application supports a subset of the Markdown syntax, but support for many syntax elements is notably absent. Even worse, support for some elements is provided using non-standard notation. Ulysses might not be your first choice if you’re wanting to write exclusively in Markdown.

Ulysses application with a Markdown file

Ulysses Markdown Support

Ulysses provides support for the following Markdown elements.

Element Support Notes
Headings Yes Alternative syntax is not supported.
Paragraphs Yes
Line Breaks No
Bold Yes
Italic Yes
Blockquotes Yes
Ordered Lists Yes
Unrdered Lists Yes
Code Partial Code blocks are not supported.
Horizontal Rules Partial Must use four dashes (----).
Links No The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can add links by using the Markup menu.
Images No The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can add images by using the Markup menu.
Tables No
Fenced Code Blocks No The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can add code blocks by using the Markup menu.
Syntax Highlighting Unknown
Footnotes No The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can add footnotes by using the Markup menu.
Heading IDs No
Definition Lists No
Strikethrough Partial The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can use two pipes on either end of a word or phrase (||cross this out||).
Task Lists Yes You don’t have to use dashes. Just use brackets (e.g., [ ]).
Emoji (copy and paste) Unknown
Emoji (shortcodes) Unknown
Automatic URL Linking No
Disabling Automatic URL Linking Yes You don’t need to use this since URLs aren’t automatically linked.
HTML No

Support for Additional Syntax Elements

As an added bonus, Ulysses provides support for several obscure elements.

Element Markdown Rendered Output
Highlight ::word or phrase:: word or phrase
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