There’s a lot of great content on the Internet, and sometimes you want to save it. But you don’t always want to save an entire web page; sometimes just a little snippet of text is all you want. Sure, it’s easy enough to copy down the quote you want, then open a word processor or text editor, paste it in and then save the document, but that’s also a lot of steps. It also gives you one more thing you have to keep track of. Services like Evernote make the act of web clipping easy, and so does this next extension. Called Snippy, it allows Google Chrome users to “snip” pieces of websites to a collection of snippets, and can even save those snippets online, to either SnipBin or Google Docs.
At least that’s the idea.
In my use, Snippy left a little to be desired. It’s easy enough to use: when you find yourself on a website that has content you want to save, click the little pencil icon in the toolbar and a menu appears. From here you can create a new snippet, view your snippet collection, or clear your previously saved snippets.
When you click to create a snippet, a little window appears in the upper right corner of your browser window, with the following text (and a big blue “Done” button):
“Move your mouse, and click on interesting elements to save them as snippets.”
What’s nice about Snippy is that you can save multiple snippets all at once. Everything you click on is saved separately. This is good and bad. It’s nice because sometimes you’ll want different parts of a website, but not the entire thing. So being able to snip multiple parts of a website is nice. But maybe you wanted both snippets to be saved as one snippet, and not two? Snippy can’t do that.
When you’re done, click the blue Done button and the number badge on the Snippy icon will increase by however many snippets you just created. To view your snippets, click the icon again; this time choose the Show Snippets option. A new tab will appear, showing you every snippet you’ve created. Snippy not only grabs text, but keeps the formatting that appeared on the website, including links, pictures and videos. The videos aren’t downloaded to your hard drive, but the link is live, so you can click on it and view the media from inside the snippet.
Also advertised is the ability to save your snippets to the Web, using either SnipBin or Google Docs. I’d never used SnipBin before, but after going there to see what was needed for an account, saw I could use my Google credentials to login, so I did. After that, uploading my Snippy snippets (okay, that was fun to type!), was simple. Uploading to Google Docs wasn’t as simple, and in fact I was never able to get it to work (and neither was anyone who posted on the extension’s page, apparently). The process should be to click the Google Docs button, verify with Google that you want Snippy to have upload access to your Google Docs account, then hit Verify. Everything worked until I hit Verify, and then I repeatedly received a page not available error (seen in the third screenshot). My experiences aren’t isolated, and hopefully it’s something that gets fixed, because I use Google Docs, and having the ability to save snippets of text to my account directly from Snippy would be a nice addition.
Regardless, Snippy works as advertised, except for the Google Docs integration. It’s nice to be able to save portions of a page instead of an entire page, although it would be nice to have a little more control over exactly what is snipped. For instance, in trying to snip a blog post, I ended up with the original post… plus all the comments; there was no way to get the post by itself. So I consider Snippy to be a little bit of a work in progress. It’s nice as it is, but has some things that need fixing, and has the potential to be really useful in the future.