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The snippets plugin enables you to reuse often used code fragments through a few clicks. Snippets are of two kinds, insert string and search and replace pattern. In addition to that, snippets can be organized branches.
Enabling the snippets plugin
The snippets plugin is activated by default in Bluefish. Otherwise it can be enabled through Edit > Preferences > Plugins.
Snippets can be accessed in two ways. Either through the top bar above the editing area or through the snippets browser in the side panel. If the snippets are not seen at the top bar, right-click in the snippet browser and check Show as menu.
For using insert strings, put the cursor where you need the code fragment, click on the specific snippet or group of snippets you need at the top bar or at the side bar. Depending on the specific snippet, you may should input requested data.
Creating new snippets
New snippets can be created in the snippets browser at the side panel. Snippets must be within branches. Therefore you may must create a branch at first. Right click in the snippets browser and select New Snippet. Outside a branch you are forced to create a new branch. Only the name of the branch is required. A right-click on the branch enables to create an Insert string or a Replace pattern.
Creating an Insert String
Right-click on the branch, where you want to create a new snippet and select New snippet in the context menu. A dialog will open, select Insert string at first and click forward. In the next dialog, you have to name your snippet. Optionally, you can give a description of your snippet. It will be shown, when you hover over snippet. Otherwise, the insert string itself will appear.
Next, you have to fill in the Insert string itself. Two text-boxes are provided for the string. The first one is for the string before the cursor, the second after the cursor. In addition to that, you can define parameters with the text-fields right-hand. These will be requested using that snippet. In the snippet itself they are numbered like '%1'. Please use %% if you need literal % in your string! eg: use style="width:20%%" to have style="width:20%" Furthermore, you can check if it is a file path. This will provide a file choose dialog.
Creating a Search and Replace pattern
Right-click on the branch, where you want to create a new snippet and select New snippet in the context menu. A dialog will open, select Search and Replace pattern at first and click forward. In the next dialog, you have to name your snippet. Optionally, you can give a description of your snippet. It will be shown, when you hover over snippet. Otherwise nothing appears.
Next, you have to define the search and replace pattern. The search string and the replace string have to be given. As in insert strings, you can define parameters requested when using that snippets. Likewise in insert strings, they are named like '%1' in the search or replace strings. Names for the dialog can be assigned to them.
In addition to that, the scope and the match pattern of the search and replace pattern can be assigned. There are four options for the scope:
- Entire document
- Forward from cursor position
- All open files
And there are two otions for the match pattern:
Furthermore, you can check wether the search and replace pattern should be case sensitive and wether to use escape chars.
To edit an existing snippet, right click on the snippet in the snippet browser and select edit snippet. Then, you have the same process as in creating a new snippet.
Use drag and drop to reorder snippets. You can reorder single snippet or branches. To create a new top level branch you have to right-click on the empty part at the end of the snippets pannel. (actually bug: if you have too many snippets for the height of the window, there is no empty line at the end of the snippets list.)
Import and export snippets
Bluefish snippets can easily exported and imported, so that they can be provided on different machines.
To import snippets, right-click on the snippet in the snippet browser or, more usefully, a branch of snippets and select import. Navigate through the dialog to the snippet file to be imported.
To export snippets, right-click on the snippet in the snippet browser or, more usefully, a branch of snippets and select export. Use the save dialog to navigate to your specific place for saving it and to name that file.
In the Bluefish wiki a Category:Snippets repository of predefined snippets is provided.
Set snippet accelerator
With the Set snippet accelerator keyboard shortcuts can be assigned to a specific snippet. Right-click on the snippet to which a shortcut should be assigned and select Set snippet accelerator. A dialog will ask you for the key combination. Crtl, shift or alt can be used. With esc the Set snippet accelerator can be be canceled, deleted or removed.
see Snippets syntax