Firefox Extension I’m Loving: It’s All Text!

Article Source Dissociated Press
January 8, 2010, 5:31 am

Want to use your favorite text editor to write text for online applications? Check out It’s All Text!

This add-on allows you to edit text from any “textarea” on a Web page in an external editor. Once it’s installed, you can configure the extension to use whatever your favorite editor happens to be. In my case Vim (GVIM, in this case), but you could also use Gedit, Kate, or any other editor that you prefer.

When you’re browsing, you’ll see a tiny blue button on the corner of textareas on any Web page. Doesn’t matter how large or small. Just click that and it’ll launch the external editor and you can type away. Whenever you save or close the document, it’ll be pasted directly into the text area on the Web page.

As an added bonus, if Firefox crashes (which never happens, of course) the text is saved in the external editor. All you have to do is restart Firefox and paste the text in.

Unfortunately, it only works with textareas on a page. So if you’re using Google Docs or a JavaScript-based WYSIWYG editor (like you’ll find in WordPress) then the add-on doesn’t work with that area. In the case of WordPress, though, if you switch to the HTML editor you’ll be able to use It’s All Text! just fine.

I firmly believe that all applications should use vi-like keybindings. Until that happens, though, I have to content myself with writing most of my text in Vim and then pasting into other applications when appropriate. At least with “It’s All Text!” I can get around that when using Firefox!