Wednesday, 16 April 2014

How I use Easy Copy

I use Easy Copy a lot, especially for blogging, investigating coding issues, researching, sharing and more. Here's a quick rundown of some of the ways I use it and also some of the customisations I've made.

Blogging - creating links to other posts

I have a site called Eclipse On E that gives tips and tricks on using the Eclipse IDE more effectively. It actually served as initial inspiration for Easy Copy.

While blogging, I need to copy a lot of external links to Eclipse news and issues and internal links to other tips on the blog. For that, I often use Title Link.

I can then paste the links into Wordpress's rich text editor. But the great thing about it is, when I switch over to HTML editing mode I can paste the actual HTML text because Easy Copy copies the link both in HTML and text formats.

Sharing articles with friends

I share most stuff via email and I like to include the link and a short summary of what the article is about so people can easily decide whether they want to read it or not.

To do this, I use Title Link & Selection that produces something like this:
Mark Zuckerberg: Our Biggest Mistake Was Betting Too Much On HTML5 - Today, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook’s mobile strategy relied too much on HTML5, rather than native applications.
When I don't worry about adding more detail, I tend to use Prompt Link, a custom template I added that prompts me for the title so I can make the title a bit more sensible. Here's what the template looks like:

Name Prompt Link
Template <a href="%url%">%prompt%</a>
Type html
Format For HTML true

This pops up a dialog that defaults to the article's title so I can edit it and paste the link into the email:

I've also set a keyboard shortcut to invoke the Copy Prompt Link (Ctrl+Shift+3) - makes things go a lot faster.

Researching - saving a list of tabs

When I research something (eg. holidays, flights, cars, gadgets and even software issues) I tend to have a tons of tabs open. Once I've got a shortlist of candidates or I just want to take a break, I normally copy the open links over to Evernote or Google Docs to go over them later.

So what I do is use Copy All Tabs > Title Link and only choose the tabs I'm interested in. BTW, to let Easy Copy prompt you for the tabs to copy, select the option Copy All Tabs > Choose Tabs from Active Window on the Options dialog. See the Copy All Tabs options for more details.

Grab a URL - the fast way

I also use the Copy URL shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+U) to copy URLs just about every day, whether I'm at home or work. This saves me from having to reach for the mouse, select the URL in the address bar, right-click and click Copy.

As a software developer, this is extremely handy but it also helps for things like sharing links quickly on Skype or Google Hangout.

And more...

Although I've covered some of the ways I use Easy Copy, there are other features I use now and again that I really like, eg. BBCode links on forums and links for Wiki pages when at work.

It's become such a big part of my browsing experience that it's difficult to imagine Firefox without it - and it's not just because I wrote it myself :)

I'm glad I got it to that stage and I'm excited about what else it will do in future.

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