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Issue 20.6 ('Nashville 2022')
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COLUMN

Clippings

Recreating a handy utility

Issue: 20.6 (November/December 2022)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 14,679
Starting Page Number: 54
Article Number: 20606
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project 20606.zip Updated: 2022-10-31 22:45:07

Related Web Link(s):

http://www.mailsmith.org

Excerpt of article text...

You've heard the line "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?" That's a motto I follow, sometimes to my detriment. Over 20 years ago I set up many aspects of this magazine business and since those things still work, I haven't bothered to change them. That has meant running some software on an ancient Mac and an older OS, simply because upgrading would break things and force me to redo processes.

Unfortunately, the world often forces us to change even if we don't want to do so. This happened to me this week, when my ISP suddenly decided to stop supporting TLS 1.0, an ancient security technology used by email. Sadly, MailSmith (http://www.mailsmith.org), the email client that I've used for decades and is no longer updated, won't work with the modern TLS 1.2. My only solution is to switch to new email software.

The problem there is I've got years of habits and shortcuts built-into that old client. In particular, my favorite and most-used feature of MailSmith is its "Clippings" window, which allows me to have hundreds of text templates that I can instantly insert into emails. This is great for replying to customers with support questions, as I don't have to write the same responses over and over.

I haven't found a new email client with that same feature, so I decided to write my own "Clippings" app with Xojo. It doesn't work quite as well, though perhaps I can improve it over time. For now, it's a lifesaver.

What Is Clippings?

I wanted my app to work just like the feature in MailSmith. It uses a floating palette window to display all the clippings files I've created. Double-clicking on any of these lines inserts the text associated with that item into the current email at the cursor point.

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