Post to WordPress from Ulysses

Note: I’ve updated this app, and you can find out more info in the updated article. Plus it’s even easier to install and set up. Or go directly to the GitHub repository for this project.

Ulysses does a lot of things right as a writing tool. But it’s not designed to be a HTML or Markdown editor. It’s also not able to post directly to a blog.

But its export friendly nature makes it easy to build helper apps. So I wrote a Ruby script that will post to a WordPress blog. It’s also fast. It usually takes less than 5 seconds. That’s faster than the WordPress post editor loading time.

The Code

Being able to quickly write scripts like this is one of the reasons I’m convinced that Ruby was the language I was waiting for. It works in the same way I think.

NOTE: I’ve updated a few things, check this post for more information.

One other thing this script does is add target="_blank" to each external link.

Ulysses Setup

The script expects a sheet to be formatted a certain way. Make sure to remember the following:

  • The first line must be a first level heading #.
  • The second line is for tags, make sure to mark them as raw source (~~)with a blank line1 following. This prevents them from being wrapped in <p></p> tags. Plus it makes it clear that this is metadata.
  • Always export as HTML Snippet. This prevents Ulysses from adding the full set of HTML tags. They’re not needed for a post body.

Here’s how the top of this document looks.

Ulysses sheet setup.
Ulysses sheet setup.

Copy your sheet to HTML either with ⌥⌘C or use the export sheet. Then pipe it to the script with pbpaste | wp-post.rb. The result will either be the the new post number or an error message.

Mac OS X Automator App

This script will also work in an Automator action. The output is notification center friendly. Here’s the steps:

Create a new application.

Automator: choosing application type.
Automator: choosing application type.

Add a shell script item. Change the “Shell” to /usr/bin/ruby, and the “Pass Input:” to as arguments.

Automator: add shell script action.
Automator: add shell script action.

Paste in the following code. This is modified from the main script to work with the Automator file handling.

NOTE: I’ve updated a few things, check this post for more information.

Add a Set Value of Variable action. This will capture the output of the script.

Automator: Adding variable.
Automator: Adding variable.

Click New Variable... and accept the default.

Automator: Creating the variable.
Automator: Creating the variable.

Add a notfier action, and set the title.

Automator: Adding title.
Automator: Adding title.

Drag the variable from the bottom area up to the Message: field.

Automator: Add variable to message.
Automator: Add variable to message.

Save it to the Desktop as Post to WordPress, then open from the Ulysses export menu.

Ulysses export as HTML.
Ulysses export as HTML.

Conclusion

This was the a utility that I’ve wanted for a while. So I finally wrote one. Comments about the code are best posted to GitHub, and contribuitions are welcome.


  1. Without that blank like, the tags will get squished against the following paragraph. This will break everything if they’re not separate.

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