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Topicgrazer help

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What is Topicgrazer™?

Graze on web pages and documents . . . take just what you want . . . Topicgrazer quietly builds a document in the background with the text and images that you choose. And it keeps a record of which web sites you copied, for future reference.


Topicgrazer is a Windows program and uses a familiar keystroke for each item to be saved, and you don't have to leave the web page or document you're reading.

Imagine holding a virtual highlighter in your hand as you read web pages, documents, or PDF files. You highlight sections of text you want to save and indicate images to preserve, and with a familiar keystroke, send them to Topicgrazer. It works with web sites, text, Word documents, PDF files, spreadsheets and more - anything, in fact, that can be saved to the clipboard. Each snippet is headed with its source if it came from a web site or Word, for example.

All the portions you select are extracted and gathered in one place until you decide to finish and save the document.

Using Topicgrazer

  1. Start Topicgrazer. Leave it running in the background, preferably with the window at least partly visible.
  2. Open your browser or document. Start reading, learning or researching on web sites, document files or PDF files.
  3. When you find something you want to refer back to later, select it with your mouse, and press Ctrl+c
  4. What you selected will be placed in the open Topicgrazer document (and the clipboard will be cleared).
  5. Keep reading, selecting and copying.
  6. In front of each saved item, it will make a record of where it came from, provided Windows places that information on the clipboard, which it does for web browsers (it saves the web address -URL), Microsoft Word documents (it saves the filename and path) and others. If you add several extracts from the same source, it will not repeat the source, but just add a separator line.
  7. When you have finished, save the file (Ctrl+s or File menu > Save). You'll have a Rich Text Format (.rtf) document that contains just the sections you wanted to keep consolidated in one place. RTF documents can be opened in Wordpad (included with Windows), MS Word and other software.

To add to an existing document, open Topicgrazer, click on the file menu and navigate to the RTF file that you want to add to. Place the cursor at the end, go to the document or web page you're reading and start 'grazing'.

HINT: Place a shortcut to Topicgrazer in your Quick Launch tray or pin it to the taskbar. Then it will be ready any time you want to capture something interesting.

Saving images

Topicgrazer can save images, but mixed text and images on web pages must be saved in separate operations. For example, right click the image, select 'Copy' from the context menu that appears. Then select the text area, and press Ctrl+c. Both will then be in the Topicgrazer window.

If some text is selected on a web page and you right click an image and click "Copy" to save it, Windows will instead pass the selected text to Topicgrazer. To save the image when text is selected, left click a blank part of the page to deselect the text, then right click the image and select "Copy".

When you press the Print Screen key (sometimes PrtScrn) key on your keyboard, the screenshot goes to the clipboard, and if Topicgrazer is active, it will capture the screen image. Tip: If you want to grab an image of just a window, not the whole screen, Alt+Print Screen will do that for you.

Turning Topicgrazer on and off temporarily

While you're using Topicgrazer, the software 'owns' the Windows clipboard. Sometimes you will want to copy and paste for other purposes - copy a URL and paste it in your browser's address bar, for example. Then you will need to deactivate Topicgrazer for a while.

There is a standard key combination for this: Ctrl+Alt+Scroll Lock

On laptops, using Scroll Lock often requires a function key to be held down as well, so you will probably want to change the key combination. Perhaps just Fn+Scroll Lock or Ctrl+Alt+c

Go to the Switch menu and select Hotkey Settings to make this change. Make sure you do not choose a key combination that you might want to use for other activities - that's why we chose the rarely-used Scroll Lock key as the default setting.

The Topicgrazer window does not need to have the focus when pressing the hotkey combination.

The Switch menu has On and Off entries that you can use for this as well.

Watch out for ...

... Topicgrazer working when you've forgotten that it's active. If you are diverted from reading and grazing to some other task, it's easy to forget that Topicgrazer is sitting in the background.

If you find that Ctrl+v is suddenly seems not to be working for copy and paste operation it's probably because Topicgrazer is still active. In that case, either disconnect it from the clipboard (Ctrl+Alt+Scroll Lock) or save the Topicgrazer file and close it.

Conversely, if you find Topicgrazer is not working as expected, check in the 'Switch' menu to make sure that it's switchd on.

This is why we recommend having the Topicgrazer window partly visible - you'll be aware if it's active or not.

If you try to copy (Ctrl+c) something in Topicgrazer's own window, it is designed not to capture the selected text to Topicgrazer but it will instead pass it to the clipboard. So you can select material in the Topicgrazer window and copy it to paste to another document even when Topicgrazer is active.

If you select something from a new document that has never been saved, Topicgrazer will show something like "Source App: Document1". If you select something from a new Excel spreadsheet that has never been saved, rather than showing the default file name (like "Book1.xls"), Topicgrazer will show something like "Source App: Sheet1!R4C5:R9C7".


Installing Topicgrazer

  1. Get Topicgrazer from here: Download Topicgrazer and save it on your Desktop.
  2. Double-click on the installer and click Next.
  3. In the next screen, leave the suggested entry (recommended) or change the offered installation location if you wish - click Next.
  4. Then leave the suggested entry (recommended) or change the offered Start menu name - click Next.
  5. Decide if you want a desktop icon (recommended) and click Next.
  6. Finally, please click Install and when complete, Finish.

Installing your license

When you buy Topicgrazer, you will receive an email from us with the license file attached. Please install the license as follows:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Topicgrazer installer, as you will need to install it again
  2. Extract the license file from the email (ways of doing this vary according to the email software or service used) and place it on the Desktop on your computer.
  3. Install Topicgrazer. Even if you have already installed Topicgrazer, please re-install it, because the installer will pick up the license file and install that as well and remove its trial status.

Please keep your license email in case of a need to re-install.

If you experience any difficulty, please refer to this article: license problems. You can read the End User License Agreement here.

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