Mac App Notes: QuickCursor; How Did I Live Without This Before?

I write for a living, and I write a lot. I do most of my writing in Bare Bones’ Software’s BBEdit, the best text editor for Mac, but I also do a lot of writing on web pages. When I write for my blog, I compose articles in BBEdit, but when I want to make changes to articles I’ve already posted, I get stuck in WordPress’s limited editing pane. I could copy text into BBEdit, correct it, then paste it back, but it’s a hassle, and I’ve never bothered.

Hog Bay Software’s $5 QuickCursor steps in to simplify that task. I select all the text, then press a keyboard shortcut. BBEdit opens a new document with the selected text. When I’m finished, I press Command-S to save my changes, then Command-W to close the window. At this point, QuickCursor pastes the text back into the WordPress editing pane, and I’m ready to go. I use this with BBEdit, but also with iA Writer, a simple text editor that I like especially for its iCloud syncing between my Mac and iOS devices. QuickCursor supports other text editors as well, notably the company’s own WriteRoom, another nice, simple text editor. You can see the QuickCursor menu to the left; I have several supported text editors installed, and have set keyboard shortcuts for BBEdit and iA Writer.

It’s true that I could do the same thing with a handful of keystrokes, but having a single keyboard shortcut to perform this operation has led me to use this regularly and not write texts in web forms. Not only for my blog, but also for forums when I write comments, or other web forms where I write more than a couple of lines of text.

You can also use this with e-mail, but there are some issues with quotes, and I find that Mail is good enough for composing the type of texts I write to send by e-mail.

If you write a lot, and especially write a lot in web forms or blog interfaces, QuickCursor is a great tool that can make your work easier.

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4 thoughts on “Mac App Notes: QuickCursor; How Did I Live Without This Before?

  1. You can do exactly same with Mac OS X services menu. Just enable the keyboard shortcut in Preferences->Keyboard->Keyboard Shortcuts for ‘New BBEdit Document with selection’ and set it to whatever you like. Most native Mac Apps support this kind of things. I’m mainly using it for BBedit and Vim though, but also for Apple Mail and Skype.

  2. Kirk, take your point about editing in Mac Mail directly. However, to solve other problems Joe Kissell recommends using only plain text with Mail, which cuts out lists, bold, underline, etc. (Take control of OS Lion Mail). Presumably if you format in iA Writer the formatting is lost once you paste into Mail? Thanks, Robert

    • I do only use plain text, but the problem with Mail is that quoting doesn’t get carried over when you copy and paste.

  3. Czarek, you can approximate the first part with services, but not the second—automatically pasting the edited text into the source app.

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