Cut and Paste as part of the blogging process


One of my standard frustrations about blogging stems not from the various platforms I’ve used in the past and currently but rather arises out of the process of entering the post. If all I wanted was raw text that’s no problem. If all I wanted was some basic markup – that’s not a problem either. I’ve helped augment quicktags which drops nice little bits of code into the editing box.

But sometimes often I need to enter links to other pages or reference another post elsewhere. That’s when too many steps get in the way of finishing my train of thought. Every step is like a little barrier I have to get over in order to finish a post without stumbling and trying to remember where I was going with something.

There are two major hurdles I need to jump in order for this to work for me.

1. I need to be able to copy and paste something from another page with as few steps as possible and have it properly marked up as a link.
2. I need to be able to copy and paste from my own word processor and have it drop in reliable code which doesn’t need a ton of editing to make it look the way I want.

For the first problem, I found and used two handy little Firefox extensions before finding a third one which does the work of both of them.

The first is simply called Copy as HTML Link. Wow that’s nifty. All you do is select the text on a page, right click and select Copy as HTML Link; then just paste it and you’re done. Thanks Justin for that one!

The second utility Is similar but it lets you define how you’re going to copy an existing link and then paste it in the appropriate format. It’s name is simply CoLT

“CoLT makes it easy to copy either a hyperlink’s text or both the link and the link’s text (in a format you specify). Two handy context-menu items make this possible, and don’t add clutter; the items are only visible when right-clicking a link!
Make Link.
From the author’s page said:

“Make Link is an extension for Mozilla Firefox which adds a context menu item (Make Link) which allows the user to easily copy links to the clipboard in HTML, forum-code or simple “text (URL)” format. It also allows the user to create his or her own link types to use with the extension, and to modify or remove the default three.

Now all I need to do is select what I want to quote and make an instant blockquote! Any blogger reading this will recognize the benefit instantly.

Ah, I needed that!

The next major hurdle for me still remains. Basically I’ve been on the lookout for a utility that does the opposite of what PureText does. PureText let’s me copy anything and then paste it as plain text. That’s right handy. But I need to go the other way.

It’s a little known fact among the geekless that when you copy something to the clipboard in MS Windows you copy a lot more than the text; all kinds of formatting data goes with it. What I want is a utility that would enable me to preserve and then use that data by pasting something from my word processor (OpenOffice.org) right into a text editor like the one in Drupal and have it be properly formed (x)html.

Right now I’m still hunting.
Does anyone know of such a “Paste as HTML” creature?