Use Chrome as a Quick-And-Dirty Text Editor

This tip will work on any version of Google Chrome (as far as I know) but is mainly aimed at those who, like me, use a ChromeOS device such as a Chromebook.

I often find I want to temporarily save and manipulate a short snippet of plain text – maybe some program code, or a short message I want to share to various social media sites. I might want to make some minor edits, and then keep the text on hand to use later.

The clipboard is OK, but I can’t really edit what’s in there. I can open a text editor or note-taking app, or a new Google Doc, but that’s overkill for what I need, and it takes time to open.

Luckily, there’s a quick way to turn a Chrome tab into a basic text editor. Open a new tab, and type:

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

in the URL bar. You can now use the browser area within that open tab as a simple text editor.

With the editor area empty, save the tab to a bookmark (I simply called mine Text Ed and left it on the bookmark bar), and it’s available whenever you need to jot down (or paste) a passage of text and make some minor edits:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge