Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNotes

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Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNotes

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:13 am

Hi everyone,

Due to CN's current lack of ability to include URL's with clipped text, I am finding that I have to do a lot of manual cleanup of clipped text before I commit it to CN. I know this feature is on the roadmap (http://roadmap.cintanotes.com/topic/315 ... -in-notes/), but I daresay it is a long time off, if it is ever added at all. So, as the extra amount of work I am having to do when clipping is pushing me away from CN and back to simply saving the webpage using my browser (I prefer MHT format personally), I was wondering if anyone knows of a third party clipboard utility that may be able to do what I want. Basically, let's say I have this text on a webpage:
Testing URL copying

I highlight it, and in CN, I get this:
Testing URL copying

What I want is this:
Testing URL http://www.google.com copying

Even better would be the actual URL as part of the word 'URL' as in the original text above, but CN can't do this and I doubt this is on the wishlist anywhere as I don't think too many people would even be interest in it. Putting that aside, the 'what I want is this' is perfectly suitable for me - if I can find a utility to achieve it. The basic idea would be this:
Highlight text on webpage->Copy to third party utility (normal Ctrl+C)->Utility formats it as per the 'what I want is this'->Open CN->Create new note->Paste text into CN (Ctrl+V)

So, does anyone know of such a utility? It is a long shot - I really doubt anything like it exists - but there is no harm in asking.

Chris
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:48 am

Chris,
I feel your pain, sorry that this issue is moving so slowly.
Unfortunately I don't know of such an utility, and searching the web didn't help.
If anyone knows, please speak up!:)
Alex
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:16 am

I haven't managed to find anything suitable as yet. I thought I may have done so when I stumbled across a 'copy as HTML' add-on for Firefox. If I install it, and then highlight a bit of text such as that in my original post, I do in fact get the URL separated from the text. I was all excited until I realised that the problem with this approach is that it copies all the HTML tags as well (such as <p> etc), meaning I have to do more tidying up than if I just copy normally (as I then have to remove all the tags)! What I would need in that case is another utility to strip all the HTML tags, leaving just the text (well, hopefully anyway). I don't know of such a utility, and I'm not sure it is a good idea even if I did know of one - it is starting to get really complicated, maybe too complicated.

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:17 am

Well let's hope someone will throw in a good alternative. I think there should be.
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:46 am

Indeed, I hope so :) Don't get me wrong - not all of my clipping has this problem. With clipping that does not include an inline* URL as part of the clipped text, there is no problem - it is just the clipping I do when those particular URL's are involved (and in large numbers) that is problematic!

*By 'Inline URL' I mean that the website places the URL as part of the linked text. eg:
Google
Some websites would do the same URL this way, which is fine:
Google http://www.google.com
That is, they explicitly separate the URL from the text and type it out. In these case, CN just copies the URL like normal text.

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:49 am

If the URL is typed explicitly like in your second example, CN should recognize it and convert to a link. Doesn't it work for you?
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:23 am

Sorry, I should have been clearer. Yes, the second situation is fine - it is the first situation that is the problem (and sadly, the first is by far the most common way websites use URL's). Here is a good example:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/arc ... 61978.aspx

Every time there is a link on that page, I have to manually right click, copy the URL and paste it into the right spot in CN's clipped text. Painful.
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby gunars » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:06 am

Alex, I agree completely with usbpoweredfridge. This is becoming a large impediment to my using CN for web clipping. It's bad enough when copying a short paragraph, but when I want to include a longer selection, I don't look forward to having to scroll through two passages in parallel just to copy links across. I understand the problem with script generated URLs, but just handling the simple case of <A> tags would go a long way.

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:43 am

Hi Gunars,
I know, I know.
But it requires parsing HTML which is not trivial even when using a specialized library.
I wonder if simple parsing of the <a href="..."> tags would be sufficient. Nowadays more and more links
are becoming Javascript-based.
What do you think?
Alex
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby Thomas Lohrum » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:00 am

CintaNotes Developer wrote:Nowadays more and more links are becoming Javascript-based.

Out of curiosity - what kind of links are you talking about? Do you have some example? I know that it is common to hide some links by using Javascript, for example to hide a mail-to link.

Probably parsing <a...> links would be a good start - a lot better, than not having any links :)

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:29 am

Thomas Lohrum wrote:Out of curiosity - what kind of links are you talking about? Do you have some example? I know that it is common to hide some links by using Javascript, for example to hide a mail-to link.


Well mostly these links are used in menus and such.
I've tried to find such a quirky link in a body of text and couldn't. That's good. I guess indeed parsing for <A> tags could do the trick.
It will be trickier with other text formatting, such as italics or bold, which now rely on CSS.
I woudn't like to have to parse CSS...
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:05 am

Thomas Lohrum wrote:Probably parsing <a...> links would be a good start - a lot better, than not having any links :)


Completely agree :) You can never stop websites from trying to obfuscate links via JS or whatever, but all the links that I need to manually copy are basically in body text, and I would think they are mostly simple <a href> links.

Chris
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby gunars » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:53 pm

I checked a few web pages where I've recently clipped text with links. All of the links I looked at were simple <A> tags. The sort of information I usually want to keep in text-based CN doesn't have anything too fancy. If CN eventually handled full graphics and rich text, and I'm not saying it should, that would be another matter.

So, while there are certainly many convoluted ways of expressing links, I suspect most of CN's user base would be satisfied with the simple case. Of course, once you implement this next week ( :o ), we may find counter examples all over :-).

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:53 pm

Not exactly next week of course ;) but I'll see what I can do
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby gunars » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:25 pm

Thanks, Alex! I didn't mean to trivialize the issue by talking about 'next week'. I know how complex a task it is to parse the 'simple' case out from the middle of a forest, not to mention testing it against many non-simple scenarios to maintain CN's stability. Good luck!

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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:35 pm

Thanks, Gunars)
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Re: Clipboard Utility to Format URL's for use with CintaNote

Postby usbpoweredfridge » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:08 pm

Thanks Alex :) Like gunars, I am aware as well that 'simple' in this case is not going to be a 30 second job, but is going to take you some time. I'm going to be patient and see what develops :)

Chris

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