Millions of textbooks, library books, and documents are covered with yellow, pink, and blue streaks, the legacy of highlighter pens and their enthusiasts. Text highlighting is a proven memory aid, and multiple highlighter colors can help you organize the information you want to retain. Simon Shareef's TextMarker is a free Firefox add-on that enables text highlighting via the keyboard or context menu. You can customize the colors, and copy and save highlighted text.
We ran the download and restarted Firefox to activate the add-on, opened the add-ons manager, and clicked TextMarker's options button. The default color for all three highlighters is yellow, so the first thing we did was change the second and third colors, a very simple process. We could check a box to cycle colors for the Mouse and M key highlighter. We clicked the check box to enable keyboard shortcuts and clicked OK. The keyboard shortcuts are the M, B, and N keys, respectively. We opened a random Web site in Firefox and highlighted some text. Right-clicking the selected area brought up a context menu that let us copy the selected area or all highlighted areas as well as erase the selection or all highlights. Next we tried the keyboard shortcuts. Pressing M highlighted the text in yellow; pressing B or N highlighted text in our chosen colors. Selecting Copy This Highlight copied it to the Clipboard. We pasted the saved text into a Word file. TextMarker not only saved the text but also its URL.
TextMarker is a great idea and a great little tool for Firefox users who love to save snippets of text to e-mail to friends, though students, researchers, and others will find it useful, too. It comes with a bunch of colors, doesn't run out of ink, and (best of all) doesn't deface any books or documents.