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Power Text Pasting with JumpCut and pbcopy

I saw a Twitter Tweet recommending TextExpander. That's a nice little OS X app that "saves you countless keystrokes with customized abbreviations for your frequently-used text strings and images." I tried the free demo and it certainly does that. Nice piece of software, just $29.95.

However, I don't use that. While perhaps not quite as convenient or powerful, I find most of my needs are met by JumpCut, a free utility that lets you select from up to 99 cut and paste buffers. That's great by itself, but I soon realized that there are certain pastes I want frequently. The OS X "pbcopy" command lets me load or reload JumpCut with specific text any time I want.

I simply created a "jc" directory and in it I put text files containing text that I might want to paste during the day. A "loadjc" command is a simple shell script that uses "pbcopy" to load these snippets into JumpCut.

I use alphabetic file names: a, b, c etc. Put your most frequently used text in later (alphabetical) files as these will be the first in JumpCut.

cd ~/jc
for i in *
 cat $i 
 sleep 1
 cat $i | pbcopy

I can run that at startup to pre-load JumpCut or I can run it at any time during the day to reload it. This is a simple and effective way for me to keep data ready to paste as needed.

(I found that I needed the sleep for "pbcopy" to work correctly)

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© Anthony Lawrence

Tue Dec 30 00:32:54 2008: 5005   TonyLawrence

I suppose you could run it every ten minutes or so from cron to keep stuff fresh..

Tue Jun 29 08:33:21 2010: 8755   donalWhooley


A great additional feature of jumpcut, once you know it's there, is that Jumpcut either by design or limited-feature-set does not take with it any formatting and only copies text.
So if you are pasting from a doc with formatting, which you don't want and pasting into some form of formatted doc where you want the new paste to comply with the current formatting then paste from jumpcut and not the default OSx clipboard.
I've seen people pasting from pdfs into a text file and then onwards into .pages file... Just use jumpcut to paste.

Tue Jun 29 09:50:41 2010: 8756   TonyLawrence


Yes. While there are times when you may want the formatting, more often I just want the text. One more reason to love Jumpcut!

Actually - it does retain formatting IF YOU PASTE RIGHT AWAY. If you select something else, that previous cut loses formatting.

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