Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Art of Copy Paste : An Introductory Guide for Law Students Vol.1

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Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V . If you are reading this, you must have used it!  It’s perhaps the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts on planet earth. Their importance is such that a religion Kopimism has been founded upon this belief that everything should be available freely to copy paste. To become a follower, continue reading!

Kopimism a religion

It is difficult to imagine to complete that 10,000 word essay without Ctrl + C, and Ctrl +V.  Ok I guess you are tired of my rants so lets talk business. This post will teach you how to copy and paste from anywhere or everywhere:-

PDF and web are the two places from where you will copy 99% of your stuff. We will tackle both of these medium individually.

See this webpage for example and try copying anything from here you will see you can’t do so. Suppose you want a paragraph or two from here you obviously don’t gonna type it down. So the following is what you could do:-

a) View Source Method: If you are using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome Press ‘Ctrl+U’ and press alt+v+c in Internet Explorer a new window/tab will open. This is your webpage without aesthetics in plain HTML/CSS/Javascript/PHP etc etc. Press Ctrl+F now and in the find box type a word from the paragraph/line you intend to copy for example I am gonna search ‘traditionally’ here

view source of protected text

Now as  you can see I have got the text over here and I could simply paste it. The problem is what if I want several paragraphs then obviously it will become a pain as I will have to lift text in turns as otherwise the code gibberish will also be copied. There is a way to sort this out by using code cleaners. What you could do is select the entire text including the code in one go and paste it over here and press the strip button.

strip html tags
You will get output like this

output after stripping html tags
b) Script Method:- The above method is quite lengthy. There is a shorter and better method to do the entire process. Install this plugin if you are using Google Chrome ,this if you are using Mozilla Firefox, this if you are using Opera and this if you are using Safari.  Still stuck on IE? Only God can help.

So these websites use client side scripts such as javascript to prevent you from copying text and using these plugin you could block these scripts from running on your computer and directly copy the text.

disbling script works
See, disabling script works!!!
Warning: These addon may disrupt your regular browsing experience hence enable only for the time period when you intend to use them else keep them disabled.

c) Miscellaneous Websites:- What if you intend to copy from sites such as Google Books then the above methods won’t work. What you will need now is an OCR(Optical Character Recognition) software. The best in my view so far is Abbyy FineReader Professional Edition.

Say for example you want to copy some stuff from this Google Book over here. Run Abbyy Screenshot Reader and it will convert the captured screenshot into text.

Abbyy is a paid software. Some free alternative are FreeOCR , Online OCR and Google docs.

The next post in series covers in detail how to copy from PDF and third post in series cover in detail on how to paste text effectively.


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