It's all text to us

Edit text areas in Firefox using the editor of your choice with this free add-on.

Personal Web sites, blogs, and wikis have dramatically increased even casual surfers' opportunities to edit text, but the site-based editors often fall short. If you've ever wanted to edit text in a Web site using your own text editor, you need Doctor What's It's All Text. We like this free Firefox add-on; once you set it up, It's All Text will open a selected page's text content in the text editor of your choice, in the format of your choice, and post your changes to the site.

We downloaded and installed It's All Text, and restarted Firefox. We browsed to a Wikipedia page. There are two main ways of opening the add-on: by right-clicking a text area and selecting It's All Text, or by clicking the button the program places in the lower-right corner of any edit box. Clicking the add-on's menu entry called up its own menu, which offered the choice to edit the text with the default extension or a new one; as TXT, HTML, CSS, XML, XSL, or JS files; and to open the program's preferences, which also let you configure a text editor the first time you use It's All Text. This mostly involves browsing to your chosen editor's executable, though you can also set a few options like position, delay time, hot keys, and a debugging tool. When It's All Text is active, selecting text refreshes the page and briefly highlights the selected area in a yellow glow. We were then able to edit the selected text, save it, and post it to the site. We opened the Preferences from the Firefox add-ons page, selected a different program as default text editor, and saved our choices. The next time we selected text to edit, it opened in the new text editor.

Bloggers, Wikipedians, and anyone who regularly edits text areas in Firefox will want It's All Text. It's easy to set up, easy to use, and best of all, it does something useful and cool.

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