October 8, 2021

BBEdit Clippings

BBEdit Clipping allows users to add their own pre-defined bits of text into any document. There's no size limit and you can add special substitutions.

Creating Clipping

It's easy to create a snippet, in BBEdit simply select a text and right-click and then choose Save Selection As Clipping. It really is that easy.

Activate Clipping

You can activate a clipping by typing a shortcut or by assigning a key combination. The key combination is more powerful as you can apply the clipping to the selected text.

Example

This clipping snippet will apply a specific paragraph class to the selected text.

#SELECT#

Popular Clipping Substitution Placeholders

These are the five placeholders that are most useful to know. You can find all the placeholders in the official BBEdit Manual.

#INSERTION#

Marks the place where BBEdit will place the insertion point after inserting the item; if multiple #INSERTION# placeholders are used, the second and subsequent occurrences are replaced with a placeholder "<##>", which can be used with Go to Next/Previous Placeholder in the Go menu. Useful when you apply a snippet via typing and you want the cursor to appear within the snippet.

#SELECTIONORINSERTION#

If there was a selection when the clipping was expanded, it will be put at this position; otherwise, the insertion point will remain here. It is useful when you want to use a clipping as a keyboard shortcut or activate it when typing.

#CLIPBOARD#

Contents of the current clipboard. Useful when you want to use the clipboard as part of the clipboard substitution. For example, if you want to use a GitHub branch name.

#SELECT#

The selected Text. Useful when you want to wrap the selected text around tags.

#SYSTEM shell_script#

Given the full path to a shell command or script, BBEdit will run that command or script and insert the result. This is a pretty powerful way to apply external commands with your BBEdit clippings.

Shell Script Example:

#SYSTEM uptime#

This will tell me the current uptime on my computer. I save the clipping as "uptime" and anytime that I want the computer uptime, I just type uptime. (Not something I would do often but a cool example.)

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