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April 10, 2007

Quote Capturing

In recent weeks, my discovery of ClipMarks has completely changed how I read online. ClipMarks is a free service that lets you save, tag, and archive particular quotes of articles. It's creating, for me, a categorized, easily searchable catalogue of not only the pieces that seem interesting, but the most salient, useable facts within them. For the first time, I'm actually preferring to read magazine articles online, because this adds so much value to the process, and makes the information so much more useable than were I to encounter it in a physical magazine.

So this post has two purposes. First, if you're not using ClipMarks, you should be. Second, I'm curious if there's any sort of offline, quote-capturing program for the mac. I end up reading a lot of pdfs, and I'd love to be able to save quotes and tag them and categorize them and all the rest. Anyone know of an application that does that?

Update: While I'm asking these sorts of questions, is there a screen capture program for the Mac that can photograph selection in JPG format? The computer's built-in "Grab" utility would be great, but it captures everything in TIFF format and forces me to convert through Preview.

April 10, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

I know nothing of quote capturing, but you can download a program from Ambrosia called Snapz that will capture in JPEG, as well as Quicktime and all sorts of other fun stuff.

Posted by: Asa | Apr 10, 2007 12:58:47 PM

cmd-shift-4 will let you take a screen cap of a region, saves it to the desktop as a PNG file. You can use a program called Cocktail to change the default format for both this and Grab (I believe jpg is an option). Alternatively, there's Capture Me, which should do the trick too.

Posted by: faux facsimile | Apr 10, 2007 1:03:27 PM

You might check out Yojimbo, by Bare Bones Software. It's more of a general information organizer, where you can stuff text clippings, images, bookmarks, PDFs, and what not together into one place where you can search through it and organize it.

http://www.barebones.com/products/yojimbo/

Posted by: Brian | Apr 10, 2007 1:10:42 PM

enter this in Terminal on one line: "defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg"

then go get a copy of yojimbo.

you can even set up a folder action to move your screenshots into yojimbo automatically, and you can "print" documents into yojimbo, and so forth.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 10, 2007 1:41:02 PM

There's a piece of Mac freeware called Imagewell you might want to try for screen caps.

Posted by: fiat lux | Apr 10, 2007 1:42:31 PM

oh, and cmd-ctrl-shift-4 takes a screenshot of a region and puts it on the clipboard for pasting rather than making a file.

if you hit cmd-ctrl-shift-4 and then spacebar you can click a window to take a full shot of that window only, and put that on the clipboard.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 10, 2007 1:44:11 PM

For screenshots on Mac, try Instantshot:

http://projects.digitalwaters.net/index.php?q=instantshot

If you're using Firefox, you can download this extension that will screenshot the entire web page you're browsing, rather than just the information you can see on the screen.

http://www.screengrab.org/

Also, not sure what you do for organizing/writing, but have you tried Scrivener?

http://www.livefromsilvercity.com/?p=832

Posted by: Avelino | Apr 10, 2007 1:46:48 PM

Ezra,

This is interesting, and has obvious blogging implications. How easy is it to transfer your "clips" to the blog?

Posted by: James Joyner | Apr 10, 2007 3:20:07 PM

Previous commenters have nicely covered most of the bases here. Two notes:

- If you're allergic to using the Terminal to change the screenshot preference, the freeware Tinkertool will allow you to change that, and other system preferences using a GUI.

- I'll also endorse Yojimbo for your identified needs. It's quite nice software. And definitely store your stuff locally. If ClipMarks goes out of business, all your work is gone.

(I've actually abandoned Yojimbo for a combination of the unheralded EagleFiler and the even more unheralded Journler, but if this is your first time using software like this, I'd definitely recommend Yojimbo to you due to its very mild learning curve.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 10, 2007 10:04:36 PM

Yojimbo looks great, but is there similar program out there for the PC?

Posted by: mike | Apr 10, 2007 11:21:05 PM

Stumbled across Mori just now, which seems to have added note tagging in its latest release.

Their site suggests that NoteLens is the nearest windows competitor. But really, Yojimbo is one of those apps like Netflix Freak or, well, BBEdit that just doesn't have a real Windows equivalent even if there is an app that nominally does the same thing.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 11, 2007 6:39:19 AM

"Stumbled across Mori just now, which seems to have added note tagging in its latest release."

It's a messy app. High on promise, but low on usability.

Like I said above, I'd recommend Yojimbo to Ezra because of its mellow learning curve, but for the power user, I'm a big fan of EagleFiler. Nested folders and multiple documents were enough to get me to switch.

I'm kinda amazed that none of the major iText apps have true smart folders implemented yet, though. It's so obvious, and it's why I use the otherwise uninspired Journler for a few specific tasks.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 11, 2007 8:28:30 AM

James Joyner--I am not a blogger, but I do use Clipmarks. My understanding is that the service can post your clips to your blog, but only if the clips are public (which means they have to be under 1000 characters long). They have a Clip-to-Blog FAQ if you're interested.

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Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 5:21:11 AM

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