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I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Editorial Workflow: Cut the Current Line

I often find, while reading my notes, that I need to make a small change here or there—or else that I need to move a to-do item into an archive section, or to remove an entire item in an unordered list…basically, I often need to remove an entire line from whatever document I'm looking at. As often as not, it's nice to have that line in my system clipboard, because a lot of times I need to paste it in somewhere else.

This sort of thing is easy on a Mac, but it's often a huge pain in the something-or-other on a mobile device; you have to hold a touch until a selection loupe pops up, you have to slide both ends of it into the desired places, you have to copy, you have to scroll, you have to paste…it's really not very fun, and it often leaves me wishing I were sitting at my Mac.

Since Ole Zorn's very excellent iOS text editor Editorial was released, I've been trying to find ways to reduce this sort of friction on my iPad. One such trick is this little workflow I cooked up: it selects the entire line on which the cursor currently sits, “cuts” it to the clipboard (meaning it is removed and also placed on the clipboard), and moves the cursor to the end of the preceding line. It's triggered by a quickly-typed text snippet: xxx. Place the cursor at the end of the line, type the shortcut, and zing–line gone and copied. It's a simple little thing, but it gets rid of a really common task which is a huge pain to complete on iOS.

Here's a little companion workflow which does something similar: it selects the current line and copies it to the clipboard, but does not remove the line. Also pretty useful, this workflow is triggered with the command ccc.