Many of us use email to share links with people. Instead of a that drab blue link, send a rich Facebook-like link preview box with Clip Better.
Extensions like Linker for Chrome let you quickly and easily share a link via email , but the recipient gets just that line with no other information, apart from what you write in your email. Meanwhile, if you share a link on Facebook, the social network smartly creates a cool “Link Preview” box that grabs the headline of your link, some intro text and a header image.
If you want something like that link preview when sending emails, then Clip Better is what you need. It’s an extension for Chrome, a bookmarklet, an email service and an iPhone app.
Clip Better On Chrome & Bookmarklet
The implementation of Clip Better in Chrome is fantastic, so if you use Google’s web browser, then this is one of the best Chrome extensions you can get. The mechanism is simple. When you are on a web page and you want to share it, hit the Clip Better icon in the toolbar. In a matter of seconds, the service will give you a cool shareable link preview that looks like this:
As you can see, a comments box is provided so that you can write something which anyone who gets the clip will be able to check. If you only plan on emailing the link preview, then I’d suggest skipping the comments box and just writing what you want in the email. However, if you are going to use the same clip in different places—like emailing through different accounts or sending it as part of a Microsoft Word document—then the comments box can save you some time. Oh yeah, Clip Better’s previews can be copy-pasted in Word and they work perfectly!
You can also edit the link preview so that the text can be altered how you like it, letting you get rid of incomplete sentences or adding text of your own. Similarly, you can also add or change the image to the preview by pointing to any image link on the web.
The Chrome extension works well with Gmail, so if you’re a Gmail user (and there are plenty of reasons to use Gmail ) then you are in luck. With one click, it’ll open a new Compose Mail window with the link preview already inserted. The bookmarklet doesn’t offer this though, so you will have to copy-paste the link preview into your email, which is not a big deal anyway.
Multiple Links With Email
Clip Better can also work without the extension or bookmarklet installed. All you have to do is send an email with a link to email@example.com and the service will reply with the preview. Here’s the best part: with email, you can send multiple links to get multiple previews!
There are great web tools to share bundles of interesting links , but this is a much better option if you are going to send multiple links in an email. You can also add comments of up to 73 characters to these by including them in brackets, as well as put in text formatting like bold and italics. Clip Better has the details on how to do that. However, in my test, the comment insertion never worked even with multiple tries.
Clip Better on iPhone
The Clip Better iPhone app is a whole new ball game and not as convenient as the web version, in my opinion. It works similarly, but you see, multi-tasking is a much smoother experience on a desktop web browser than a mobile one. Clip Better works well with Safari and Chrome and the process involves you copying a link and pasting it in the Clip Better app, which then lets you either send the link preview using the default Mail app in iOS or copy-paste it to your favourite email client.
But there’s one feature on the iPhone app which I wish was available on desktop. In the iPhone app, Clip Better gives you the option to save certain clips so you can look them up and share whenever you want in the future. This vault of easy-share links could be invaluable to some users.
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How Do You Share Links?
Email isn’t the only option to share links any more and many people prefer to restrict such shares to social networks, using email only for work. How do you share links though? Is email still a convenient option for you? And if yes, what’s your take on Clip Better?