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RISC OS Text Grabbing Utility

A must for anybody's boot sequence
Swipe Demo (image broken till I recover it from backup)

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'Swipe' is an application which allows you to copy text from almost anywhere on the RISC OS desktop. Originally written by Thomas Leonard for grabbing text from icons, it is now capable of grabbing text from almost anywhere else as long as it is plotted using an outline font*. It uses the global clipboard and is therefore compatible with quite a few other applications and is a perfect companion for ClipBoard** and ClipMan.

This means that, far from being behind the likes of MS Windoze, in terms of text copying, RISC OS can now be ahead because even on windows there is some stuff you just can't copy. Meanwhile with Swipe there are only a few occasions* when it is not possible.

* It can not grab text from StrongEd (which supports the global clipboard anyway), or anything using ZapRedraw. Neither does it grab the pre-RO3.5 desktop fonts provided by !FinalLook (they don't use the FontManager??!?!? - is this fixed in v0.15?)

** I recommend using the IcnClipBrd module from the application !ClipBoard but ditching the front end - ClipMan does the same and does it better (without taking up icon bar space). (Update: That's quite an old statement now so I may be doing someone an injustice - I haven't tested a recent one)

NEW to version 0.15 (Dec 6th 2000)

Thanks to GUS (of Freeze fame, no website I can find but he is listed here under Kostas Proitsakis), Swipe will now grab system font from anywhere on the desktop! This feature now makes it truely Windoze beating.
It can also paste text into writeable menu items as well as all other writable icons - something which previously defeated it.
Finally, it no longer requires the old, apparently confusing, installation, but can be just copied to your disc.


How do you use it?

It's easy! You just position the mouse pointer over whatever text you are interested in and hold down the left shift and left alt keys (configurable). Swipe then grabs the text and opens a small window:

Swipe Window (image broken till I recover it from backup)

You can then drag out (swipe) the part you are interested in, or just click on the icon to select it all, and when you let go of the keys it will put the text in the clipboard. Alternatively, if the application you are using doesn't support the global clipboard, but does support drag and drop, then you can just drag the icon.



Just running it like any other application will only allow it to copy text from icons. To be able to copy text from elsewhere a file must be placed in your 'PreDesk' directory (on an RPC) or in the equivalent place in older systems. Some versions of RISC OS may require that you copy the contents (one line) directly into you !Boot file (or !Boot.!Run). You can tell if it is right because it won't generate an error.


Known Bugs/Oddities/Compatibility

There are no bugs that I am aware of.

It does not read correctly from Ant Marcel (when using an outline font). The text you expect is always present, but Marcel does something odd which adds extra text to the end of the line. There are some other oddities with Ant software.

However, it is known to work correctly with all text icons, the desktop font (RO3.5+), Draw, Impression Publisher, AntiWord and everything else I had handy when testing it.

Although I only have RO3.11 and RO3.7 myself, I am told that !Swipe works on RiscOS 4 and above. If this is not the case then please let me know. If you could also fix it then that would be even better!

Update 17/09/2000
It does not work with Oregano since it uses its own font manager rather than the standard one.

Update 20/09/2000 - V0.12 released
The problems with RO4 (and other systems if the conditions are just right) have now been removed (I hope). A couple of other minor bug fixes have also taken place.

Update 06/12/2000 - V0.15 released
Many thanks to GUS for the modification in this release.
Known bug - The system font grab may grab more than you expect if other text on screen is being updated when you 'swipe'.

Do you think something could be improved?
I do not plan to make any further improvements myself (I haven't touched it in years now). However, it is written in BASIC so you have the source code, please feel free to make your own improvements. Gus did! I will happily post any new versions here.

Suggested Projects:



Icon swipe/arc(16K) - version 0.15 (6/12/2000)



I am Andrew Stubbs. Any suggestions, questions, praise, money etc. will be welcome. Any abuse should go to bill.gates@microsoft.com.
Email: swipe dot as6966 at dfgh dot net
ICQ: 56909577