Saving Readwise highlights from Safari on MacOS

I’ve recently adopted Readwise, and it’s now one of those “why didn’t I discover this earlier?” tools.

However… there doesn’t appear to be any (sensible) method of saving highlights from Safari on MacOS.

  1. The Readwise browser extension only works in Chromium browsers
  2. The Readwise-compatible hypothes.is browser extension only works in Chromium browsers
  3. The hypothes.is bookmarklet doesn’t work reliably, and requires manually logging-in for every single website
  4. I can’t find an Alfred Workflow for Readwise
  5. The manual integration with Liner is broken

Any suggestions?

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Not an immediate suggestion, but maybe soon. Readwise announced it was working on Readwise Reader, and the notes mention a browser extension for “web highlighting”. Could be worth waiting for.

For now, I used hypothes.is – the login is friction, but it only takes one click to log in. In the background, however, Readwise does not regularly sync with hypothes.is, unless I explicitly force a sync.

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The Readwise Reader looks very promising.

In the mean time, I’ve created a set of rules in OpenIn so that pages from domains which I most frequently want to highlight (Substack, Stratechery, Every.to etc) automatically open in Brave instead of Safari, so that I can use the Readwise browser extension.

I stick to Chromium but if you have Popclip on MacOS then there’s a Readwise plugin that works systemwide (but probably missing some extended info you get with the Chrome extension).

https://pilotmoon.com/popclip/extensions/page/Readwise

Seems to be broken
Fixed – works flawlessly in the latest build. The PopClip clipper picks up all the related metadata.

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Do you need the Readwise MacOs-app for this to work? I don’t have a M1 Mac so can’t install Readwise on my Mac (unfortunately) :frowning:

You need the PopClip app, and the Readwise extension for PopClip, and your Readwise Access Token. The Token gets installed into the Readwise extension for PopClip the first time you install that PopClip extension. Otherwise, no macOS app for Readwise – PopClip sends the data to your Readwise account on the internet.

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That’s weird. It didn’t ask me for the token. When I click it just makes an error sound. But does anyone know whether it is possible to open settings and maybe even extension settings? Nevermind, re-started and Popclip appeared in the menubar

You cannot send data to Readwise via their API without the token – otherwise no way for Readwise to associate the data stream PopClip is transmitting with your account. So, something else is going on.

Pretty slick innit? I use the Chrome extension a lot by habit but Popclip is great cuz it works systemwide. Sadly you won’t get much metadata outside the browser (last I checked) but its great to have!

I get the same metadata from the PopClip Readwise extension as I do from highlighting articles with hypothes.is.

I just tried to download the Readwise popclip extension and it is throwing up an error when trying to open it. Has anyone else had a problem similar (it is happening for the todoist extension as well).

I’m prepared to write it off as that I’m on MacOS Beta if need be for now.

PopClip is in the process of making a lot of changes to be ready for macOS 12 and future improvements to the extension – I had the same issue with Readwise failing at first. The most recent beta version will work with the extensions you’re having issues with. What I did was get in touch with the developer (support@pilotmoon.com) and get the beta.

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I’m thinking about how this pop clip script might be adapted for Alfred Universal Actions (I don’t use pop clip) and maybe some extra logic could be added so that if one isn’t adding content from a browser, it prompts for you to add more metadata. I’ve done something similar with Drafts (adapting this action somewhat) but would be more useful as an Alfred universal action. I may try to hack on this in a few weeks when I have time.

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Or prompt to edit the metadata before committing it to Readwise? That would be helpful – often the PopClip action will fill in “author” with the name of the website, so editing the author field to the real name of the author before committing the data to Readwise would be great.

I’ll buy your action when you publish it :smile:

An Alfred Action would be a great solution. I’d happily pay for it.