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BBEdit 10 Clippings

I'm a long-time user and fan of Bare Bones Software's BBEdit. It's a text editor, with very fast and simple to use searching, support for GREP, syntax coloring and support for a number of programming and scripting languages. I mostly use BBEdit for HTML and CSS, and it's extremely powerful for both those uses.

Most of the HTML tags are easily accessd via paletes; you can click a palette to insert a tag, and select from various attributes. In the recently released BBEdit 10, re-written to take advantage of a number of Lion's features, several of the HTML palettes were dropped. Principally, for my purposes, the loss of the Phrase palette, which included the strong and em tags, and most of all, the very useful cite tag, is a somewhat annoying issue. Now, those tags (and their attributes) are still available from BBEdit's Markup menu, but being able to select text and then click cite on the phrase palette to have the cite tags properly enclose a title is awfully convenient.

But BBEdit has provided a very clever workaround for long-term users like me. One of BBEdit's most useful features are Clippings. Clippings are small bits of text, almost any text, including ASCII or plain text, HTML tags, or small segments of programming code in a variety of languages. Clippings can even be running scripts.

In my case, I created a cite tag clipping, which can be accessed by selecting cite from the Clippings menu, or via the Clippings palette. Here's how I created my clipping.

How to Create a Cite Tag Clipping

Open a new BBEdit document.

  1. Type the following text, exactly:
  2. <cite>#select#</cite>
  3. Choose Save As Clipping ... from the Clippings menu. (The Clippings mene is the last menu on the right in BBEdit; it's marked with an icon of a C in a dark oval.)
  4. In the Save Clipping dialog, you can add your new Cite tag clipping to the pre-built HTML Clippings group.

When you're ready to use your Cite tag Clipping, you can choose it from the Clippings menu, or from the Clippings Palette. To display the Clippings Pallette, click the Clippings button on the CSS Palette. You'll see a clickable list like the one in the image above.

If you're not currently using BBEdit for HTML or other text-editing tasks, you can try it for thirty days for free. BBEdit is currently on sale for $39.99 until October 19, 2011 from either Bare Bones Software or the App store. The normal price is $49.99. BBEdit 10 requires Lion to run, but you can still purchase the previous version 9.63; the differences between 9 and 10 are largely related to Mac OS X Lion features.

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