Monday, 25 November 2019

Plain Text Stickies

How often do you want to retain the styles when you copy text from one place to another? Almost never? Me neither. It frustrates me that the simple copy and paste, which has been with us for a very long time, includes styles by default*.

But that's not why we're here, This new app isn't some kind of clipboard manager or system extension that gives you system-wide plain text pasting.

I keep a lot of notes. My memory was never good and it's worse now that I'm old. Stickies is still with us and has seemingly always been in Mac OS (actually since system 7 - that's 1991's OS 7, not OSX 10.7) and I have always loved it. It's almost perfect. You can have as many as you like showing, choose different colours for different topics and they just show up as they were when you quit and restart the system. There's no need to get bogged down in saving them as files, just keep them open as long as you need them and then close them when done.

The newer Notes syncs your notes across Apple devices but doesn't allow you to scatter various-coloured notes across your desktop.

This is *NOT* how I like
my notes to end up looking
In both of these cases, and with the myriad third-party 'sticky note' apps**, rich text is the default and there is no option for a note to be plain text. Some even let you choose the type of note (list, rtf, image, etc) but without 'plain text' as an option.

It doesn't have to mean that your notes are all in a boring default monospace or sans-serif font. You can choose a font, font size and font colour for each note, while the text itself remains plain-text.

The closest match I've found for my strange plain-text craving is good old TextEdit, which allows you to set a document to be plain text (and even set the default for new documents to be plain text). For some time I have kept a number of these plain-text TextEdit documents open, resized and positioned where I like. If only it would allow you to set the background colour differently for each window (it does) and then remember that background-colour setting when you quit and re-start TextEdit (it doesn't)  then that would almost do.

Am I alone in this strange obsession?

Time will tell.

The new app is available as a free download. See here.

Update 12 Dec 2019: A newer version which adds some features including optional iCloud syncing (keeps notes in sync across Macs) is in beta and also available for free download.



*You have to take further actions to get rid of that styling, such as  using 'paste as plain text'. To make matters worse, a 'paste as plain text' isn't a standard OS feature and may have a different keyboard shortcut depending on the app you're pasting into and there may not even be a shortcut for it or a 'paste as plain text' at all.

** Forgive me if you have written a third-party app which does do sticky notes with plain text by default. I didn't find it, or if I did, there were other reasons why I didn't continue using it.

No comments:

Post a Comment