How many times have you finally managed to successfully type a comment into one of those dumb little text boxes on someone’s blog (or the composition box on your own blog), or in any one of the variety of dumb little text boxes scattered around cyberspace, only to have something go wrong and lose the text? Sometimes it’s forgetting to fill in the CAPTCHA letters, sometimes it’s a flash glitch, sometimes it’s a simple mental hiccup that results in a closed tab or page. Whatever it is, chances are good that text has gone to the big text folder in the sky. Sure, you can open a text editor, compose, then copy and paste, but who bothers?
If you use Firefox, you need to be using It’s All Text!, like yours truly. This little lifesaver puts an unobtrusive tab near the text box of just about any text box you’re involved with. Clicking the tab brings up the text editor of your choice. You type in the editor, where you can actually see more than three lines of what you’re typing, make corrections that you can see more easily and, when finished, hit Ctrl+S and It’s All Text! saves your text to the text box, highlighting it in yellow for a few seconds so that you know the change has been made.
You can leave the editor open for last minute changes, etc. and the system will work as long as the editor is not closed. Even then, if you use Metapad (as I do) or another editor that saves its own backups, you can open the backup if you need it for later. The automatic saving to the box won’t work, that’s all. This feature alone saves me a lot of work, since I often find that something I’ve saved to one blog is pertinent to something someplace else and I may have forgotten to copy it to the clipboard manager.
Text editors, of course, don’t have rich text. You can either code in the editor, like us old-timers, or use the rich text (if available) after you paste in the box. I mean, it’s not a presentation for the annual meeting, after all.
Give It’s All Text! a try. Don’t use Firefox? Well, maybe there’s something similar for IE and its offspring, but I feel no need to look for it.