Comment Inserter : Documentation

Comment Inserter

Comment Inserter Icon

Programmed by Alexander M Kasprzyk

Comment Inserter can be downloaded here or here.


System Requirements

Drag Manager IconComment Inserter makes extensive use of Apple's Drag Manager which is present in System 7.5 and above and can be installed under System 7.1. The program will not run without it. The Drag Manager is available from Apple's online services. (Note that you also need Finder version 7.1.3 or higher and the Clipping Extension to drag items to and from the Finder.)


Comment Inserter is a simple application which provides a handy window for storing useful pieces of text. This window "floats" above all other open applications, thus providing easy drag and drop access to your text from within any Drag Manager aware application.

Dragging Example

Comment Inserter allows easy dragging of automatically numbered, dated and initialled comments into a document. The order in which the comments where dragged can be recorded using a numerical counter embedded in the dragged text. This is especially useful for programmers who must keep a record of who made a coding change or for editors of documents where adjustments must be clearly labelled. Comment Inserter can be used with any Drag Manager aware application.

Creating a New Comment

The simplest way to create a new comment in the Comment Inserter window is to simply drag some text from a Drag Manager aware application (such as SimpleText, ClarisWorks, the Finder) into the Comment Inserter window. This will cause the new comment to be created in the highlighted section.

Creating a New Comment

If you hold down the command key (Command Key Symbol) when you drag a comment into the Comment Inserter window then the highlighted comment will be replaced.

A new comment can also be typed in the "Preferences" dialog. This dialog is explained later in The Preferences Dialog section.

Rearranging the Order in which the Comments Are Listed

You can change the order in which the comments are listed by dragging a comment to a new position.

Rearranging the Comment Order

By holding down the command key (Command Key Symbol) when you drag a comment you will replace the highlighted comment with a copy of the dragged comment.

If you hold down the option/alt key when you drag a comment a copy of the comment will be inserted before the highlighted section.

Removing Comments from the Window

There are three different ways you can remove a comment from the Comment Inserter window. The simplest method is to simply drag the comment onto your trash.

Dragging a Comment to the Trash

Alternatively you can click and hold on the comment you wish to remove until a pop-up menu appears. Simply select "Remove" from this menu to delete the comment.

Selecting Remove from the Popup Menu

The final way you can remove a comment is to simply delete all its text in the "Preferences" dialog box. This will cause the blank comment to be removed.

Bringing Comment Inserter to the Front

Often Comment Inserter will not be the front most application. With normal applications simply clicking on a window belonging to that application will activate the application, however with Comment Inserter this method won't work because the window is always active. You can, of course, simply select Comment Inserter from the "Application" menu, however there is a far easier way of bringing Comment Inserter to the front. Holding down the shift key whilst clicking once on the Comment Inserter window will cause the Comment Inserter application to become the active application.

The Pop-Up Menu

The pop-up menu has already been discussed briefly, however it has many more uses other that simply removing comments. These features are really only important to programmers who work in C, C++, Java or Pascal - if you never use these programming languages feel free to skip this section.

The pop-up menu allows you to quickly and easily choose the comment style that will be used when you drag a comment into an application. You can choose from a variety of comment formats, explained bellow with examples.

The Popup Menu Items

The Preferences Dialog

There are two ways of bringing up the "Preferences" dialog. Either double click on a comment in the Comment Inserter window (which will open up the "Preferences" dialog on the comment you clicked on) or select "Preferences..." from the "File" menu.

The "Preferences" dialog box allows you to create new comments, edit existing comments, delete comments or adjust counter values. Perhaps the most important feature of the "Preferences" dialog box is that it allows you to create comments with built in counters and date formats.

The Preferences Dialog Items

Reserved Words

Perhaps the most powerful feature of Comment Inserter is the ability to use reserved words to create "adapting" comments.

The Reserved Words

More Preferences Options

More Preference Items

A Final Note

A special thank-you to Simon Fraser and to Brian Hill for being such fountains of ideas and suggestions, as well as for beta testing the program.

Comment Inserter was first programmed in 1997 by Alexander M Kasprzyk. It was developed for Classic Mac OS; it will run on OS X under Classic emulation. Please feel free to contact me via eMail with any questions or bugs you may have regarding Comment Inserter.

Comment Inserter can be downloaded here or here.