Thursday, February 11, 2010

Little software idea: Paste-then-Copy

I'm a Windows user.  I often have several apps open at once, and copy-paste data from one app to another all the time.  I had this little idea that would save me lots of clicks each day.

I want to copy and paste in the opposite order.  As I'm typing, I want to mark a location where I want to paste. Then I want to go find some data and copy it.  As soon as I have copied the data, I want it to get pasted to the location I previously marked--without my having to go back to that location to paste it in.

It would be nice if I could paste-mark multiple locations, and then have the copied data get pasted into each location automatically.

It would also be nice if the pasting of the data triggered a save of the document, so long as the save did not clear the undo buffer.

So, for instance, let's say I'm editing a blog post.  I want to link to an article, but I don't have the URL for the article in my clipboard right now.  I type the frame for the link, the "a href=....." in the angle brackets.  I leave the URL blank.  I mark the location of the URL in that hyperlink as my paste-mark.  Then I finish writing my blog post.  When I'm done I open up a new browser window and go look for the article I was going to link to.  When I find it I highlight the URL in the address bar and copy it.  The URL gets pasted into the location I marked in my blog post.

The big time savings here is that I don't have to go back and find the exact location where I wanted to paste that information.  I spend lots of time having to go back and find those locations, and they are not often clearly marked, like an empty hyperlink.

Somebody call Microsoft and make that happen.  Thanks.

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