On the Internet, we go through a lot of phases. That’s especially true for web services. I remember years ago when image hosts like TinyPic and Imageshack were all the rage. New and free image hosts were popping up everywhere, and as the smoke finally cleared, it was Imgur that came out on top. The same ended up happening with social webcam sites. Do you remember Stickam? That snowballed into competitors like Tinychat and even ChatRoulette.
The paste-and-share model is a relatively new and popular one. The most popular of this breed of website is definitely Pastebin. It’s been around for more than 10 years, but it became increasingly relevant in the past three. As it always goes, it has spawned plenty of competitors and imitators. But are there better alternatives to Pastebin?
Tinypaste is incredibly easy to use. Directly on the main page of the website, you’ll find the field to submit a new paste.
One feature that Tinypaste has over many other alternatives is paste formatting. You can bold, italicize, underline, and do more with your pasted text. On Tinypaste, all posts are hidden from search engines (essentially making them all private). You can even protect your pastes with a password.
Syntax highlighting can be toggled on or off and seems to support HTML and PHP. Paste pages allow you to download the paste, view it in fullscreen, and toggle line numbering on or off. You can even modify the current paste version to submit a new version.
You can see an example paste on Tinypaste here.
Hastebin is probably the most visually-appealing alternative that I’ve seen. As the name plays off of, it’s an alternative to Pastebin that boasts one of the quickest paste-and-submit interfaces available.
The buttons in the right-hand corner, from leftmost, allow you to save your paste, create a new paste, duplicate and edit your paste, view raw text, and share your paste on Twitter (all of which have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them).
Upon saving your paste, the URL in your address bar will immediately be changed to reflect what URL you can share to give this paste to others. Syntax highlighting will also be immediately applied. Here is an example of the formatted version of a paste with hastebin.
Chop offers a very smooth interface with an emphasis some emphasis on collaboration.
Like our last example, Chop is very nice on the eyes. With Chop, you can paste your code and select from a handful of syntax highlightings, such as HTML, CSS, Java, SQL, XML, and more. You can even enter the URL of any website and Chop will automatically parse and input the source code for you. They make this one step easier.
The hallmark feature of this service is the ability to add line-by-line comments to anything in your paste. You can submit a paste, send it to friends, and any of them will be able to select their name and add a comment to any line. This is great if you’re new to coding and looking for feedback from a friend or mentor.
You can see an example paste on Chop here. I’ve dropped a comment.
Snipt gives you what you expect out of a quality pasting service, and then a little extra.
On Snipt, you have the option to set a paste title, include or exclude line numbers, set your paste as private, and choose from one of the largest list of syntaxes that I’ve seen. Just eyeballing the list, I’d say it offers over 80 different languages for highlighting purposes.
What Snipt does that many others don’t is offer you to change the theme of your paste with styles like Traditional, Dark, Chocolate, Terminal, Slate, and more. They even have a theme browser so you can see all of the styles on a single page.
Paste pages allow you to increase or decrease the text size, edit, or delete your paste. You can also view plaintext, download, copy, or embed your paste in a single click. Checkto see an example paste on Snipt.
It’s all a matter of preference. At the core, all of these alternatives to Pastebin (and Pastebin itself) achieve the exact same effect. It’s on you to determine which features are the most enjoyable and which works best on your eyes.
Let us know your favorite in the comments section below!
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