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Drag Text Onto Your Desktop and, Presto!, You Have a New Text Note [Mac]

Drag text to create note

OS X is full of little shortcuts that can save you time. Some examples of that include adding folders to your sidebar,  revealing the dock and menu bar when using full screen apps, and determining at a glance whether your current document has any unsaved changes. That doesn’t include all of the trackpad gestures that can really speed you up. Now it’s time for another one. How would you like to automatically create a new text note, without doing any copying and pasting?

This functionality is built right into OS X, and it couldn’t be easier. In any app, drag and highlight the text you want to copy, and simply drag it to the desktop. A moment later, and you’ll see a text file on your desktop, containing the text in question. If you open the file, you can edit the text like any other note.

What could this be useful for? I used it when doing some research on a quick and dirty topic, when I knew that I’d never need the information again. I didn’t want to send it to Evernote, so I just dragged a few text notes to my desktop, and kept them there until I was done researching the product. This would also be a good way to quickly copy a phone number from an email message.

Can you think of any other uses for this?


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About Evan Kline

Evan started 40Tech to write about tech from his perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. When not writing about tech, you might find him with his beautiful wife and baby girl, out on the ski slopes, at his real-life job as a lawyer, over on Google+, or scrounging for followers on his personal Twitter account after years of focusing on the 40Tech account.

2 Responses to Drag Text Onto Your Desktop and, Presto!, You Have a New Text Note [Mac]

  1. Brilliant. I never knew that. Some times it’s the simple things in life….


  1. How to Change the Default Email Client and Web Browser on Your Mac | 40Tech - January 15, 2012

    [...] as a Mac user, I’ve blogged about a few tips that I’ve stumbled upon, such as how to drag text onto your desktop and change it into a text note, how to reveal the dock and menu bar when using full screen apps in Lion, and how to add folders to [...]

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