Copy multiple selected items?

Is there a way to copy multiple selected items (i.e., second-order lists)?


I’m not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean copy all selected items that are indented one level (while excluding there selected parents) Can you give an example?

Generally probably there is not a way in the standard UI, but it should be possible to write a script that does what you want. (Once I’m more sure of what that is)

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Sure thing! So, if I created a list like this…


  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Radishes

…and I wanted to select & copy “Lettuce,” “Peppers” and “Radishes” – that’s what I’d like to do.

Does that make sense?

I think I’m missing one more requirement. If you just want to:

…and I wanted to select & copy “Lettuce,” “Peppers” and “Radishes”

Then I “think” you can just click and drag with the mouse cursor to create this selection?

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 4.41.18 PM

Then choose menu item File > Copy? I’m probably missing something, please clue me in :slight_smile:

Hmmm… Well, if it’s a contagious list it might work. But if I select non-contagious items, e.g., “Cucumbers,” “Peppers” and “Radishes” – and select Copy – then when I hit paste (in another app) I only get Cucumbers.

Ahh, I think I understand your original post now …

Is there a way to copy multiple selected items (i.e., second-order lists)?

In TaskPaper each line is considered a separate item. And I thought “second-order” was a reference to item indentation level. So “Yes” you can select multiple items at level one (or any) indentation.

But instead I think you are asking about multiple discontinuous selections? That isn’t possible in TaskPaper. You can only specify one selection range, never multiple.

Yes, I think that captures what I’m seeking.

Not even to select & copy “discontinuous selections”? Darn it, that’s a shame… Is there any kind of work around or script that could be used to make this work?

Thanks for your help!

Sorry I don’t think so. Scripts can do lots to work on the model layer, but I don’t think they can help much here.

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Got it. Thanks, man.

Well, I understand (and totally appreciate) the simple, lean approach of TaskPaper, but…I’d truly love to have this as a feature for future editions…

That an some kind of iOS syncing!

Thanks for your terrific work, and all of your help…

A note—TaskPaper files are text files.

You could always open them in a text editor that support discontigious text selection, and do your edits there. Then return to TaskPaper for the things that it does better.

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Ha, actually looks like it is somewhat possible:

I had thought that I’d disabled this NSTextView feature. The multiple selection doesn’t match up well with TaskPaper’s internal selection model, which is single. But for your use case it might work?

Edit: Never mind, reading @complexpoint 's post (instead of just looking at pictures as I did at first) explains that while you can make and delete the selection… you can’t successfully copy it.

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Thanks. I thought about doing this. The thing is, I’m mostly just hopping between a TaskPaper file (that contains a list of categories & values – or hashtags), and MarginNote (in which I’m copying the values / hashtags from TaskPaper, and populating them in MarginNote). So…it’s kind of a pain to open the TaskPaper file in another app, just so I can copy discontiguous text selections…

Again, I really appreciate TaskPaper for the lean, mean app that it is, but it would be great to have this as a feature for future editions. And have iOS app ability, too !

Thanks so much for all of your help, guys…

Hey @jessegrosjean … I really do appreciate your help answering the query, and am just wondering (hoping!) if TaskPaper might someday allow users to select and copy discontiguous text. It would just be such a huge help…

Thanks for considering this, and for all of your assistance.

Hard to say never, but I don’t expect anytime soon.

I wonder if some adjusted workflow could work. For example if you could append to existing clipboard content then I think you could have a similar workflow? I haven’t tested any of them, but I a google search found a number of “Append to clipboard” solutions for macOS. Here’s one:

To when you wanted to make a discontiguous copy you would:

  1. Start by copying the first section.
  2. Continue copying by appending to clipboard following discontiguous sections
  3. Paste in target app
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Hey, thanks so much for all of this – and I’m sorry for my late reply!

So, it looks like one could write up a command for Keyboard Maestro to create an “Append to clipboard” solution for macOS. That is, until you create this feature in an update for TaskPaper! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Have I got that right?

Anyway, I thank you for that suggestion, and I’ll look into it a bit more and report back…

Although this is separate from the current topic, I’m still trying to find a way to use some of my TaskPaper files in iOS and also be able to copy discontiguous text there, too. Any ideas / suggestions for how I might be able to accomplish that??

Thanks so much again for all of your help… I greatly appreciate it.