Quickly Make a Stickies Note from a Selection in Mac OS X
Stickies is an app that creates floating notes that can sit on your Mac desktop, it’s been around on the Mac for ages and tends to sit quietly forgotten in the Applications folder of Mac OS X. Often the lack of Stickies usage is either due to not knowing the app exists, or just not knowing how useful it can be, and that’s why this little trick is so great; you can instantly generate a note from just about anything.
The ability to make a Stickies note out of a highlighted text or media selection is generally available to most Mac apps thanks to it being a system Service, if you don’t see the feature yourself, you may need to enable it within the preference panel as discussed in this article. For the purpose of this walkthrough, we’ll make a new sticky note from a webpage in Safari.
Quickly Making a Stickies Note from a Text Selection
- Use the cursor to highlight and select text and/or images
- Right-click within the text selection and go to the “Services” menu
- Choose the “Make New Sticky Note” option to immediately launch the Stickies app and generate a new note with the highlighted text and images
Because Stickies is a lightweight app, it opens almost immediately. The note generated from the text selection contains the same formatting, as well as all the words, images, and media that is within the highlighted block.
If you’re selecting the text block to make a note from a web page, any selected links will also be preserved, allowing you to click through to them from the floating Stickies note.
As mentioned above, if you don’t find the “Make New Sticky Note” option available to you in the Services contextual menu you probably just need to enable it first.
Enabling the Make Sticky Note Service on Mac
- Go to the Apple menu and open System Preferences
- Choose the “Keyboards” panel and then go to the ‘Shortcuts’ tab
- Select “Services” from the left-hand side and locate “Make New Sticky Note”, selecting the checkbox next to it to enable the system service
Note: if you don’t see the “Make Sticky Note Service” but find it already checked in this Services menu, simply uncheck it, then check it again to make the item appear in the Services menu. This works to display it when it’s not visible, and is probably a bug.
You’ll also notice the “Make New Sticky Note” service has an accompanying keyboard shortcut to generate a new note, another useful variation of this trick.
Stickies can be quit or closed if you don’t want to see them anymore or are finished using the block of text contained within them.
There really isn’t much downside to using Stickies, except that it can’t make iCloud synced notes like what can be done from the Notes app, which span between iOS and Mac OS X, as well as across Macs, through the separate Notes application.