15 November 2017

Known issues with Clippings 6

By now, many users who have upgraded to Firefox 57 (a.k.a. Firefox Quantum) have also upgraded Clippings to the new WebExtension version.  There have been a few reported issues and questions as a result of the upgrade, and so I have compiled them here, along with answers or suggested solutions.

I'm prompted to import my backup file after the upgrade, but I didn't create one.

Problem: Some users either forgot to, or didn't get around to, creating a backup of their Clippings, or they somehow missed the user messages in Clippings 5.5 to do so, or they did not upgrade to Clippings 5.5 to see the user messages in the first place. Regardless, the clippings are seemingly "lost."

Solution: Follow these steps:
  1. Use the file manager application on your system (e.g. Windows Explorer) to find the Clippings data source location. Depending on your previous settings, it may be your Firefox profile folder, or another folder located elsewhere.
  2. Open the data source folder and locate the Clippings backup folder. It should be named "clippings-backup" or ".clipbak".
  3. Open the Clippings backup folder and locate the most recent backup file. Copy this to your Desktop or Documents folder.
  4. Open Clippings Manager, then Tools → Import, and then select the backup file.

Import of the Clippings backup file failed.

Problem: When attempting to import the clippings backup file in the Welcome to Clippings 6 page, or from Clippings Manager, the clippings don't appear.

Solution: The database that Firefox uses to store extension data may be inaccessible, corrupted or otherwise not set up correctly. Do the following:
  1. Check that Private Browsing mode in Firefox is not turned on.  Clippings won't work in Private Browsing mode.  Then restart Firefox and try again. 
  2. If that doesn't work, Refresh Firefox, then reinstall Clippings and import your clippings backup again

My clippings disappear when I'm using Private Browsing mode.

Problem: When opening the Clippings menu on the browser's context menu while Firefox is in Private Browsing mode, none of the clippings and folders appear.  They reappear when switching to a normal browser window.

Solution: None at the moment, other than to avoid using Clippings in Private Browsing mode.

The keyboard paste shortcut key has changed to ALT+SHIFT+Y.  Why?

Problem: The keyboard paste key was changed in Clippings 6 to be ALT+SHIFT+Y.  Many users are having difficulties adjusting to it, while others hate it with a passion.

Response: Get used to it.  The old CTRL+ALT+V shortcut key had to be changed because WebExtensions are not allowed to use CTRL and ALT together (apparently, it conflicts with the AltGr key on European keyboards). Alternatives were considered, but ALT+SHIFT+V displays the View menu in the top application menu bar in Firefox, and CTRL+SHIFT+V pastes as plain text.  Emacs users may find the new shortcut key to be vaguely familiar, as the paste ("yank") key used in that text editor is CTRL+Y.

I don't see the placeholder prompt dialog when pasting a clipping with custom placeholders.

Problem: In past versions, users would be prompted to fill in the value of a placeholder when pasting a clipping.  No such prompt appears when doing the same with Clippings 6.

Response: Placeholder prompts were not included in Clippings 6 due to time constraints.  There were also usability concerns with the noticeable delay in displaying popup dialogs from WebExtensions.  This will be fixed in a future release.  For now, you'll have to manually edit the pasted clipping to substitute the custom placeholders with actual values.  Note that built-in placeholders (for the date, time, etc.) will be automatically substituted, just like in previous versions.

I want to share my clippings with my other machines on my network. Can I do this in Clippings 6?

Problem: Users have set the Clippings data source location to a network share so that they can use the same clippings on different machines.  But Clippings 6 no longer stores its data in a data file like it did in previous versions.

Response: WebExtensions such as Clippings can no longer access the local file system on their own, so Clippings 6 couldn't store its data in a data source file like it did in previous versions. It now stores all its clippings in a database provided by Firefox.  For now, your options are either to manually import and export across your computers, or consider installing Firefox ESR on your machines so that you can continue to use Clippings 5.5.x and be able to access your clippings on a network share.

Need more help?

Please post your questions to the AE Creations Help and Support forums.  Be sure to read through other recent posts, as your question may already have been asked and answered.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and for sharing their feedback, bug reports and workaround solutions.

12 comments:

Paul said...

I installed 6.0.1 but I'm still not able to export (json or html file that is created is empty)

AE Creations said...

Are there any error messages that appear? Check the browser console for any messages that may appear, as that could help with troubleshooting. Please post to the AE Creations Help and Support forums to discuss further. Thanks.

David Blakely said...

My right-click dropdown doesn't have Clipping on it for most uses now. Anyone know why?

asafatmagento said...

How can I map the shortcut key to something that is more productive and allows one handed usage such as CTRL-.


Previously I was using keyconfig but this is no longer a supported extension.

AE Creations said...

@David Blakely: Which website are you trying to do this in? Is this happening to all the websites you visit, or just a specific one?

googlenemesis said...

Multiple problems but I'll start with: After upgrading to FF 57 and Clippings 6.0.1, I can no longer highlight text and drag it to the Clippings icon in the tool bar. Nor is it possible to copy/paste without opening the Clippings Manager, creating a New Clipping entry, pasting the new entry, then re-copying the first line and pasting IT into the title line.

Second problem: When upgraded to FF 57, All the existing clippings were deleted. I had to retrieve them from my Profiles as per the instructions in your webpage but found it confusing because your instructions were for version 5.5 and NOT 6. There are also far fewer tools available, far fewer options than shown in your instructions pics and it's really getting frustrating. I also have two copies of all the profile-sourced clippings in the now-existing clippings manager.

Lastly, how does one print out or save the clippings from the Clippings Manager?

I hope these matters can be resolved because it's really draining my attention from what it should be focused on. Clippings used to be quite useful. Now, it's hardly functional at all.

AE Creations said...

@googlenemesis - Actually, printing your clippings can be accomplished by exporting to HTML, then opening the generated HTML document in a web browsing and printing from there. Just like in Clippings 5.5 and older.

SilverSS said...

I cannot even get to a point to install my backup as I continue to get a message that Clippings cannot run in Private Setting...I am not in Private session

AE Creations said...

@SilverSS - Have you tried Firefox Refresh, as mentioned in the instructions above?

TwoBros said...

The problem after updating to Clippings 6 and Firefox 57. Clipping button no longer works with Cookies turned off. (I suspect this is the problem with Private Browsing). I use a Cookie manager that allows cookies on the sites I choose, when using this with the Universal setting of "Accept Cookies" turned off, Clippings doesn't have the drop down list or anything from the button. I do not want cookies from everywhere just to have Clippings work. There is probably a cookie with Clippings that I could Whitelist for this to work. But none show up in the Cookie Manager when I try the Clippings Button.
This was not the case with previous versions of Clippings. So could you either correct this in the next update, or tell me what I can Whitelist in the Cookie manager for Clippings to work. Thanks.

AE Creations said...

@TwoBros - Unfortunately, this unwanted interaction with cookies is yet another unwelcome limitation of WebExtensions such as Clippings, and is not something I can control. If you feel strongly about this, as I'm sure many users do, I suggest lobbying Mozilla, the makers of Firefox.

TwoBros said...

Thanks. I am having other problems with cookies with FF 57. Some sites don't respond unless I change to universal acceptance of all cookies. Enough to make me give up Firefox. I will write them.