SnipAssist an Independent Snippet Program

I have used many different programs over the years. I wanted a text snippet manager usable for many things that use text, not just for programming or word processing. The snip library had to be independent of any editor, IDE, word processor or any other program. This means that the clipboard is used for input and output. It also meant that the SnipAssist needed to be a separate program.

There are a few important design features. The first is the use of plain ASCII text for all the files involved. This means that in a pinch they can be converted to something else. Today disk storage is very cheap so efficiency is not as import as it was in the past. By using plain text files it is possible to use a program like WinMerge to compare snippet libraries. Also folders of snippets can be zipped up and sent as email attachments.

The SnipAssist program was not intended for a hot key kind of typing help. SnipAssist was intended for large pieces of text and large libraries of text pieces. This means that hot keys won’t work because they are limited to a few dozen snippets max and not thousands of them. With larger libraries these is a need for a big description as well as the body of the text part. The folders also get a description. A text snip can be 1000 lines if it needs to be. The description can be just as big. For larger pieces of text it is important to be able to review what is in a snippet before it is pasted in a file. If you are doing document assembly it is more important to be able to review the content. In some cases you need to choose between different snippets that are similar.

The snippets had to be easy to create. The harder it is to make a snippet the less likely it is to be done. With SnipAssist all you need to do is copy the text to the clipboard and click “New Snip” and give it a name. You should enter a description because you are likely to forget why it is there. There is also a header that can be used for administrative uses but it is not required.

Because SnipAssist was intended for larger libraries. This means that there needed to be a way to organize the snips. All snips are in folders that have a file describing what the folder is for. A folder can have a folder in it just like disk directories. Larger libraries also mean that a search feature is needed. A search can be done on the name, description, body, or any combination of these. A list of found snips is displayed. The snips can be easily examined to determine the correct one.

The free version is available now. In the future a premium version with extra features will be available.

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