Sometimes life as a Markdown writer is hard. Especially when it comes to writing an email or anything on a third party web service. You get used to the Markdown shorthand and anything with formatting menus just seems cruel. For me, Mixmax helps with the email part, but if you want to quickly share a pitch or some text with anyone over the web, you need to convert everything to rich text, and figure out how the formatting works in a system you’re not familiar with.
Now, though, there’s a simple Mac app to make this entire process as simple as sharing a unique web link. Loose Leaves lets you generate a unique web page from any highlighted Markdown text. Yes, things like links and lists will be formatted just as they should be.
An advantage of using this service, even if you’re not a Markdown writer, is the control it gives you over the content. Because it’s just a link that you can delete, you have the control over it. Share the link to Twitter, where you can’t really share long stuff and then delete the link later if you want. The whole process is a lot faster and easier than writing a blog post.
How to Use Loose Leaves
Loose Leaves is a free mac app. Well, it’s more like a menu bar utility. There’s no GUI. There are a couple of ways to use it. Just highlight any text and press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Cmd + C”. The document will be instantly generated and it will open in your default browser. Just copy the link and share it wherever you want.
The option is also available OS wide in the right-click menu. So just select any text anywhere (again, it doesn’t have to be Markdown), right-click and select the “New Leaf from Selection” option.
You can get started even without creating an account. But if you want to delete the document later, you’ll need to be a registered user.
To create an account, click the Loose Leaves icon from the menu bar and select “Account Settings.” You’ll see an option to sign up for an account.
The process is relatively simple. Just enter your email address and your name. You’ll then get an email with the confirmation link. Click on it and the Mac will be linked with your account. No need for passwords.
Once you’ve got an account, you’ll see a “Delete” button (a trash can icon) in the top-right for every web page Loose Leaves generates.
Overall, the app is very limited. But of course, that’s by design. Still, a list of all the documents you’ve generated would have been nice to have.
Txti is like Loose Leaves, but it works entirely on the web. Just go to the website, paste in some text and you’ve got a unique web page link that you can share anywhere online. There’s no account business here. You’ll get another link that gives you access to admin tools, that’s it.
Have you ever used such services to quickly generate a text-only web page? Something like Pastebin perhaps? Share with us in the comments below.