Highlight and Share Web Snippets with MASHA

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jul 31, 2012 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Bookmark sharing services are a dime a dozen nowadays, but what if you want to give your visitors the ability to share specific text snippets from a web page without relying on third-party services? Then MASHA (which stands for MArk and SHAre) is just the ticket. This nifty little tool provides a simple and elegant solution for highlighting text fragments on a web page and sharing them with other users.

Deploying is not particularly complicated, even if your web coding skills are not up to scratch. Grab the latest release of the software from the project's GitHub repository. If you have Git installed on your system, you can do that by executing the following command:

git clone https://github.com/SmartTeleMax/MaSha.git

Copy the src directory containing all MASHA's parts to your server (you might want to rename the directory to something more descriptive, e.g., masha). To enable MASHA on a specific web page, you need to add a few elements to it. First of all, insert the following code between the <head></head> tags:

<!--[IF IE]>
<script type="text/javascript" src="ierange.js"></script> 
<script type="text/javascript" src="masha.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="masha.css">
<script type="text/javascript">
// if jQuery is not available
window.addEventListener('load', function(){
// can be called by domready
MaSha.instance = new MaSha();
}, false);
} else {
window.attachEvent('onload', function(){
// can be called by domready
MaSha.instance = new MaSha();
// if jQuery available:
$(document).ready(function() {
MaSha.instance = new MaSha();

Make sure that all the links in the code point to the right files in the src directory. Next, you have to mark selectable content in the page using the <div id="selectable-content"></div> tags:

<div id="selectable-content"><p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit</p></div>

Finally, insert the code that enables the clear selection button somewhere at the bottom of the page:

<div id="upmsg-selectable">
    <div class="upmsg-selectable-inner">
        <img src="../src/img/textselect/upmsg_arrow.png" alt="">
        <a href="#" class="upmsg_closebtn"></a>

That's all there is to it. Open the MASHA-enabled page in a browser, and select a text fragment. MASHS then automatically highlights the selection and generates a URL which you can share with other users. Besides simple highlighting functionality, MASHA has a few other handy features, including the ability to share a selection via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The source code distribution contains sample pages that demonstrate MASHA's more advanced functionality.

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