Jeff Mesnil
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Automator Service to create a Gist

October 19, 2009

I created an Automator Service to create a Gist from a text selection. This service will create the gist and copy the corresponding URL to the clipboard so that it can be pasted in IRC or in a web browser

  • Open ApplicationsAutomator
  • Create a new Service

Create a new Service
Create a new Service

  • Drag and drop UtilitiesRun Shell Script
    • Select shell: /bin/bash
    • Pass input: as arguments
    • Copy the content below:
rm -f $RESP_FILE

USER=`git config --global github.user`
TOKEN=`git config --global github.token`
if [ $USERAVAIL -eq 0 -a $TOKENAVAIL -eq 0 ]; then
  AUTH="--data-urlencode login=$USER --data-urlencode token=$TOKEN"

curl --silent -i $AUTH --data-urlencode "file_contents[gistfile1]=$1" --data-urlencode "file_ext[gistfile1]=.txt"  -o $RESP_FILE
cat $RESP_FILE|sed -ne '/Location/p'|cut -f2- -d:|tr -d ' ' | pbcopy 
  • Since it can take a few seconds to create a Gist, I added a Grow notification: drag and drop UtilitiesShow Growl Notification
  • Save service as "Gist Code"

You will end up with this service:

Gist Code

Now, you can select any text1, right-click and select Gist Code:


It also works from the Terminal using the application menu TerminalServicesGist Code

Once the gist has been created, you will be notified by Growl when the gist URL is copied to the clipboard. You can then paste this on IRC or in a web browser:

By default, the gist will be saved as plain text (you will need to change the type from the gist page directly). This service also uses Git to retrieve GitHub credentials so that the gist is added to your Gists (rather than anonymously).

This is a screencast showing how to create and use this service:


  1. It only works for Cocoa text widget. At first, I wanted to use it with Eclipse but unfortunately Eclipse does not support Apple Services...