World's Smallest Office Suite
November 20, 2020 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Did you know you can use a browser window as a basic scratch pad/text editor with one simple command? Wait, you didn't? In that case, Serge Zaitsev shows you how.
posted by carter (28 comments total) 128 users marked this as a favorite
 
I only went as far as the text editor. Terrific. It is bookmarked and I foresee using it constantly. Great post!
posted by charlesminus at 11:47 AM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Snazzy! A similar trick that I do a zillion times a day is to use my browser's "Search" box as a way to quickly strip things to plaintext or remove line breaks. Copy a messy block of web page content, paste into box, reselect it and copy it again, and it's ready to paste as plaintext! And of course this works with basically any input box.

Another endlessly helpful thing is to select something, right-click it, and select "Search Google for...". I do this in Firefox, but I think it works in most browsers. It makes it so easy to look up things when you're reading.
posted by oulipian at 12:00 PM on November 20 [12 favorites]


This is the coolest thing I have seen in ages. The spreadsheet feels like magic.
posted by dbx at 12:04 PM on November 20


This is super frickin' awesome, let's me keep everything in my (492Gb) browser so I don't have to open another 47Kb app. Ok, that's facetious, but this is super cool and handy!!!
posted by riverlife at 12:07 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


This is a very nifty trick and set of browser hacks, but it definitely makes me want to run some dumb two-second races. Like, can I type
Cmd+Space
te
Cmd+N
vi
i
faster than he can open his bookmark?

Office task speedrunning, baby. It’s gonna be huge.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:14 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


i usually markup my FPPs in mefi's comment editor :P
posted by kliuless at 12:24 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


i usually markup my FPPs in mefi's comment editor :P

Hmm, I should do all my coding in mefi's comment editor. If only I could compile it...
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:49 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


SORCERY!

Also best of the web. Thank you.
posted by Kabanos at 12:54 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


rss via
posted by aniola at 12:56 PM on November 20


This is great. I use the search box as a format stripper and clipboard buffer but of course it has limitations and I'm always afraid I'll accidentally search it with a inconvenient enter key press.

Reminds me of the single line games we'd memorize for the TRS-80 Model I so we could play games on a system with no I/O besides the keyboard and screen.
posted by Mitheral at 1:00 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


I often just use the input box of whatever FPP is at the top of MeFi and try to make sure I don't reflexively hit post.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:24 PM on November 20


Copy a messy block of web page content, paste into box, reselect it and copy it again, and it's ready to paste as plaintext!

In some programs, you can paste something without rich formatting by pressing CTRL+SHIFT V.
posted by JHarris at 1:36 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


next week use your tokamak to make coffee

(this is super cool)
posted by lalochezia at 1:39 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Love it!

Here's my pro tip ... When I need a text directory listing for a Windows file system, I copy-and-paste the directory path into a browser window, select all the browser window text, then copy-and-paste that into my document.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:46 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


These are so good. I really appreciate how much functionality has become commodity (including things like unicode rendering). I further enjoy having a spreadsheet that will happily execute familiar javascript instead of the semi-script of sheets or excel.
posted by abulafa at 2:23 PM on November 20


In some programs, you can paste something without rich formatting by pressing CTRL+SHIFT V.

For sure... it's just that sometimes I'm pasting into Scrivener, sometimes Word, sometimes Apple's Notes app, and I can never remember all the shortcut keys.
posted by oulipian at 2:28 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


I loled repeatedly at the innovative audacity. Now do Doom!
posted by XMLicious at 2:48 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


No no, much more important would be a native online psychotherapist.
posted by sammyo at 3:57 PM on November 20


This feels like a re-implementation of TiddlyWiki which I used for a few NaNoWriMos back in the day
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:15 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]




This is cute but I’m not going back to a world where closing a tab causes me to lose data. All the extra infrastructure is worth it just for that.
posted by mhoye at 5:17 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Huh. Works on my IPhone. Neat. (Text editor. The canvas and spreadsheet don’t work.)
posted by caution live frogs at 5:45 PM on November 20


Love this, reminds me of the old web when it was just us.
posted by Iteki at 3:49 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


ONE WEIRD TRICK BILL GATES DOESN"T WANT YOU TO KNOW!
posted by TedW at 6:31 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


This is very cool!

For firefox users, to make this work go to "about:config" and set "security.mixed_content.block_active_content" to false. I have no idea what the implications of that are, so I'll be setting it back to true after playing with it.

One might take issues with "smallest," since the web browser is usually the biggest memory hog on any of my personal devices aside from things involving video or data analysis. I guess it means something different here than what I was expecting.

I'm having a hard time imagining where this could be useful, given that I have a text editor on every computer and a note-taking device in my pocket. And pen and paper. Maybe a locked-down e-reader on an airplane with a browser when you forgot to bring anything to write with? A piece of non-networked lab hardware where you want to assemble multiple copy-and-paste fragments and then. . . photograph the screen? But, it's sure neat.
posted by eotvos at 12:38 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


If you're a Mac user, here's a shoutout to Stickies...a program with almost zero friction between "I need to write this down" and actually writing it down. Even better, it autosaves even if the program quits.

When I'm not using a Mac, I use the text editor code from the FPP. In fact, it's the first bookmark on my bookmark bar. After tweaking it a bit, here's the code I use. (Pastebin link because the code won't display properly in a comment.) It's a large monospaced yellow font on a black background.

(I'm a Firefox user, and for the text editor at least I've never had to edit my about:config. YMMV with the others.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:47 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I'm having a hard time imagining where this could be useful

I don't use it all the time, but when I do it's because I want to jot something down quickly without messing with a new document (or even document window) somewhere. Or I've just copied a bunch of text from the browser that I know I'll need to edit or clean up before pasting it somewhere.

Since I'm already in my browser like 80% of my day it's easier to just ctrl-click the bookmarklet and do it in a new tab rather than open up a text editor, etc.

So..not mandatory but a nice little way to streamline the process. I definitely never use it for any purpose where it needs to stick around more than a few minutes. I've closed way too many tabs by accident in my life.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:51 PM on November 21


As a Mac user, I prefer Notes to Stickies. It syncs across all my devices, and even syncs my grocery shopping list with my husband's phone, so there's a chance that he'll grab what I want when he's out shopping. Admittedly, that last feature doesn't always work, but it's not really the technology's problem in that case.
posted by grae at 9:04 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


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