HOW MANY TIMES have I typed the text of an error messagebox into an IT or internal tools team task I log, because I can’t copy and paste the text? How many times have I tried in vain to select the text with the mouse cursor, hoping that somehow I remembered wrong and you really could select that text?
Many times, my friends*.
So after years of retyping, today a quick Googling for copy text from windows message box turned up a blog post titled Copy message box text to the clipboard.
You just press Ctrl+C while the message box has focus, and then you can paste the text (title bar, button text, everything!) Nice!
How would I have ever thought to try that? (I guess it goes back to Jonathan’s article about signifiers and affordances.)
Anyway, I’m glad the functionality’s there!
*Sometimes I just take a screenshot of the message box and paste it into an email, but that has the undesirable side effect (in MS Outlook anyway) that the screenshot is not propagated when people reply, so it’s easy to lose track of what you’re discussing. That’s one reason I prefer to put the message in as text.