Much like every application I review on MacStories I discovered Snippets on Twitter: as soon as I opened the application’s website I was intrigued by the words the devs choose to introduce their app: “Stop Reiventing the Code“. Snippets is a desktop application for Mac OS X which stores all your pieces of code (snippets) in one place and helps you easily retrieving them for future usage. That’s it. The interface is very simple, very Mac OS style, so you won’t be scared by weird menus or buttons: everything is straightforward, with the focus on organising snippets in folders and groups.
I don’t think there’s something to argue about the snippets management itself: it just works and the support for various code languages is great. I’d like to focus on the Groups feature, which is really interesting and could come in handy to bloggers as well.
With Groups, you can create folders which can contain groups of related snippets. For example, I’ve created a Blog folder which includes Advertising and Review groups. Inside these groups there are different plain text snippets. Pretty simple and useful. The great thing is that Snippets also come with a menubar item (nice icon too) which displays the folders, the groups inside them and the snippets: clicking on the snippet automatically pastes it in the text field you’re in.
Now, a few considerations about Snippets. First, Snippets is free and Snow Leopard only: this means you’ll have to upgrade if you want to try it out, though some people told me they’ve managed to get it working on 10.5, but I’m not so sure about it. Anyway, what Snippets really misses is keyboard shortcuts integration and clipboard history. It would be great to assign a shortcut to a snippet to easily paste it everytime you want without having to open the application or heading over the menubar icon. Then, if your cursor isn’t inside a text filed and you click on a snippet in the menubar the app won’t remember the snippet in the clipboard history (Clipmenu does). Again, it would be awesome to hide the dock icon and leave the app running only in the menubar, much like Delibar and LittleSnapper do. But anyway, Snippets it’s still at the 0.7 release, so many things are likely to change in the future updates.
That said, Snippets is a very good app by now, maybe not as complete as CodeCollector but if you don’t like to spend money and the problems I described above aren’t important to you then you should definitely give it a try.
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