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Easy HTML markup for blogs and more

Replace selected text with preview field item (clickable link)


I currently use the trial version of BlogAssist. This does what i was looking for.

It solves a problem for me:
Almost all apps that have rich text editors which can display links (TextEdit, Caboodle, MacJournal, Together) do only recognize automatically links that begin with the protocol prefix ("http://"). Text that begins with "www." is not automatically turned into a clickable link. All of these apps provide some kind "link to.." dialog to do this, but thats tedious work.

This is how i solve that problem with BlogAssist:
- I modified the default "Web-Link" Operation to this: {value}
- This Operation wraps around any selected text with the proper href html statement.
- When i call the BlogAssist window on a selected text i do not want to overwrite that text with the html statement that BlogAssist creates. I want to overwrite it with the link item in the BlogAssist preview field.
- Therefore i have to right click on that item in the preview field, select "Copy link", click on the "cancel" button to close the BlogAssist window, delete the before selected text (that is now not selected) and finally paste the clipboard content.
- The result is an fully functional link, just as i would define it in the every app specific "Link to.." dialog.

That are far too many single steps for such a often needed task. Therefore BlogAssist offers no advantage to the regular "Link to.." dialog of that apps as it is now.

I would be nice if this could be added:
- Allow the user to choose in the preferences which default action will be executed when the user clicks on the Ok button in the BlogAssist window: "Overwrite selected text with the content of the result field" or "Overwrite selected text with the content of the preview field"
or as an alternative solution:
- Simply replace the Ok button in the BlogAssist window with 2 new buttons: "Paste result" and "Paste preview".
- Allow the user to choose in the preferences what should be done when he clicks on an Operation item in the BlogAssist System Menu: "Copy result of the operation to the clipboard" or "Copy the preview (the clickable link) of the operation to the clipboard" or "Paste the result of the operation to the cursor position of the current active app" or "Paste the preview (the clickable link) of the operation to the cursor positon of the current active app"

Also very handy would be to have BlogAssist menu items in the global context menu (For example Circus Ponies Notebook installs such an item so when i right click on any selected text in any other application i can comfortably "Clip to Notebook...").
- When the user right clicks on any selected text he can choose between these items:
- Show BlogAssist Window
- Execute Operation... pop up menu that shows all operations that are defined in the preferences
- Execute Operation "My Favorite Opp 1" automatically shortcuts (for this the user should be able to "set as favorites" particular operations in an additional column in the Operations preferences)
I would like to have something like this:
1. select a text
2. right clicking it
3. click on the context menu item "BlogAssist-> Replace with a clickable link"
4. Boom its there magic!

Finally the ability to define global key shortcuts in order to execute a particular operation defined in the preferences automatically (without the BlogAssist window) and to toggle "show/hide floating BlogAssist window" would be nice.

Not having the possibility to replace the selected text with the item in the preview field with a button click is a deal breaker for me (global context menus and key shortcuts are nice to have but no that important). Implement this and i buy BlogAssist instantly.

This added BlogAssist features would be an acceptable workaround for the currently missing auto link recognition of the great dejal app Caboodle (for which i own a license).


I also noticed that hitting

I also noticed that hitting the enter/return key in the BlogAssist window only creates new lines. It would speed this app up if the the user could at least have the option to set

"Hitting enter/return confirms the window" = enter is like clicking on the ok button

in the preferences. The esc key already dismisses the window (= like clicking on the cancel button) which is good gui behaviour.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Replace selected text with preview field item

Thanks for the excellent feedback. Lots of great ideas.

Outputting the preview (i.e. rich text) instead of HTML-marked-up plain text is definitely an interesting idea. A little beyond the original intent of BlogAssist, but with the growth of rich text editors, it could be very useful.

A contextual menu item to perform BlogAssist operations is something I've thought about, and might add in a future version. (I'm also thinking about adding it for Caboodle, though as mentioned elsewhere that is a bit hacky).

Global shortcuts to perform operations and actions is also something I'm considering for a future version.

Thanks for reminding me about the Enter key issue — that is a bug that I keep meaning to investigate. The Return key should insert a new line, but the Enter key should be a shortcut for the OK button.

Thanks again for the feedback!