A fix for the browser crashing blues

December 11, 2008 Technical, General

Ever been constructing a verbose and complex reply to an email on a webmail site, only to have the browser crash when you were about to hit send? Or perhaps putting the finishing touches on your Wikipedia edits to the particle physics article (I know I have) and have all of your hard work lost in the blink of eye?

Fear not, salvation is at hand! Although many Web 2.0 sites providing text-editing will save drafts and provide a reasonable text editor, nothing beats your favourite text editor of all time, Vim. Or Emacs. Or whatever you would prefer to use. Why shouldn’t you be able to use any text editor you like? It’s your computer and your time after all!

If you are using Firefox, your problems are over. Introducing It’s All Text. Install this handy plug-in to your Firefox, set the default editor to your liking and you are off and running! Now any text box on any webpage will show a small edit button on the bottom right corner allowing you to launch the editor of your choice. Edit to your heart’s content using the tools you are most familiar with, then save and exit the editor and have all your work sent back to the browser text box.

Even if the browser crashes mid-edit, your editor program will be unaffected and your work will be safe. You can save your work in the editor in addition to any swap or draft files it creates for even more safeguards.

It’sAllText works in Firefox 3.0. If you have older versions of Firefox you may wish to check out MozEX which is a similar plug-in.