Customize a theme to shift header hashes the left, Ulysses-style?

Nick Splendorr's Avatar

Nick Splendorr

04 May, 2014 04:08 AM

Hello there. I was just looking at the writing app Ulysses in the App Store. While it looks sharp, it doesn't meet my plain-text needs. I shall continue to use MMC + nvALT + Nebulous.

One thing that's appealing to me about Ulysses, though, is the way it shifts the Header hashes to the left of the main column, as shown in the attached image.

This is far from important, but it's a nice way of more quickly telling heading levels apart. Is it possible to configure an MMC stylesheet to do this for Headings, while editing?

If not, that's okay. Thanks again for the great software!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fletcher on 04 May, 2014 02:44 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar


    Thanks for writing in!

    I'm glad you find Composer so useful. I agree that it's the easiest way to write Markdown/MultiMarkdown, but I'm obviously biased. ;)

    As for the outdented header hashes, this would require entirely rewriting all of Composer's styling/tab alignment code. Apple apparently doesn't allow a negative indent, which means you have to fake it by reducing the left side margin, and then indenting everything else by that amount, *except* the headers. This is obviously not an impossible task, just tedious and prone to causing other bugs that would then have to be sorted out.

    Most importantly, however, I'm not really a fan of that approach -- it just doesn't visually work for me, and I prefer something like a shaded background to draw attention to headers. I've certainly put in my share of tedious effort when it's a feature I like, but it's a bit harder when it's not something I anticipate ever using. ;)

    Never say never, but it's unlikely I'll add this unless I have to rewrite the margin/indenting code for some other reason.

    Again, thanks for writing!


    Fletcher T. Penney
    Manager, Founder
    MultiMarkdown Software, LLC
    [email blocked]

  2. 2 Posted by Nicholas Splend... on 04 May, 2014 07:04 PM

    Nicholas Splendorr's Avatar

    Hi Fletcher,

    It’s something I was interested in trying out, but upon further reflection, I don’t think I love the style, either.

    I might like text-size differentiation within the editor, so H1 is bigger than H2. Is that possible? :)

    Either way, I have noticed that it takes me a moment sometimes to calculate “how many Hashes am I looking at?” when scrolling around a large document. That’s the main reason to use headers of different degree in the first place: in the finished document, you visually organize the document. I know from using Pages and Google Docs occasionally that having that differentiation while editing can be very helpful.

    I know I’m stepping outside the realm of “plain text,” but we’re already in the Shadow Realm as it is.

    — Nick Splendorr

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Fletcher on 04 May, 2014 08:04 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    Different sizes are certainly possible -- that's what the Style Sheets are for.

    You can make things as ridiculously big, ugly, colored, etc. as you like… ;)

    Also, check out the Table of Contents HUD, if you haven't already.


    Fletcher T. Penney
    Manager, Founder
    MultiMarkdown Software, LLC
    [email blocked]

  4. Fletcher closed this discussion on 05 Nov, 2017 07:53 PM.

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