Suppose you’re researching a topic online — it could be gathering quotes for a school paper or report, gleaning inspiring ideas to compose a song, or building your prize-worthy recipe collection.
Before the creative work even begins, you’re stuck with a lot of arduous copy-pasting from your browser to a text document.
Who needs it? We decided to make life a little easier and avoid this repetitive task. Here’s a two-minute method that saves time (and possibly your finger joints), given you’re using a Mac computer.
We’ve created Fetchin Text©, a free tool that enables you to grab text and quickly save it to a file on your Mac, without developing that annoying copy-switch-program-paste-save-switch-back tick while you work.
Here’s our simple method:
1. Download our file: fetchin_text and unzip it (double click the zip file).
2. Double click the file fetchin_text.workflow. It opens in Automator on your Mac
3. In Automator, select Save As under the File menu (File > Save As).
Imagine this scenario: You’re browsing in Safari and you find good stuff on a website. You highlight the text you want to save, right click (or press control+left-click) and select the fetchin_text option in the list. That’s it.
The text you selected is now saved to a text file called weescribbled.txt on your computer desktop. Each new text snippet will be appended (added at the end) to this text file.
Tip: If the text file is open at the same time that you add new text, you may have to re-open the file to view the new snippet.
If you delete or rename the text file, a new text file called weescribbled.txt will be created the next time you use the Fetchin Text tool.
If you are using another browser like Firefox, view the Services menu in the Firefox menu (click Firefox > Services > fetchin_text).
Advanced users may want to add a keyboard shortcut for additional time savings. To create one, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts. Select Services in the list to the left (your selected choice will appear in the list to the right).
Scroll down to find the fetchin_text service. On the fetchin_text service line, double click the right side of the line (Figure 1).
When you see the blinking cursor, press the key combination on your keyboard that you want to assign to the service. For example, you might use Command+Shift+3.
Later, when you highlight browser text, just press your chosen keyboard shortcut and the text is added to the weescribbled.txt file on your desktop.
We hope you enjoy Fetchin Text during your next info-seeking session!