1. Essentials

1.1. Folders

SnippetsLab enables you to create an unlimited number of nested folders to organize your library efficiently. Snippets not assigned to any folder will appear under “Uncategorized.”

  • To show or hide the sidebar: Choose View > Show Sidebar from the menu bar, or press Shift-Command-L.

  • To create a folder, you can:

    • Select Library > New Folder from the menu bar.

    • Click the plus button at the bottom-left of the sidebar, then choose New Folder.

    • Press Shift-Command-N.

  • To nest a folder within another folder, you can:

    • Drag the folder and drop it onto another folder.

    • Hold Option while creating a new folder to directly create it as a nested folder.

  • To rename or delete a folder: Right-click on the folder and choose Rename or Delete.

    Note: Deleting a folder will also remove all its subfolders, and any snippets in these folders will move to “Uncategorized.”

  • To set a custom folder icon: Right-click on the folder and choose Customize Icon….

    SnippetsLab supports all icons from Apple’s SF Symbols library. You can browse commonly used icons through the in-app UI or search for any icon by its full name for direct use.

  • To sort folders alphabetically: Go to Settings > General and select Automatically sort folders and smart groups.

  • To set a default language for a folder: Refer to the section on Default language.


By default, the snippets list displays all snippets in the selected folder and its subfolders. To exclude snippets from subfolders, right-click on the snippets list, expand Display Options, and deselect Include Snippets From Subfolders.

1.2. Tags

Tags offer an additional layer of organization in SnippetsLab, allowing for multiple tags to be associated with a single snippet.

  • To set tags for a snippet, you can:

    • Click the tag button in the toolbar.

    • Click the ellipsis.circle button in the toolbar, then choose Show Tags.

    • Select Editor > Show Tags from the menu bar.

    • For snippets with existing tags, double-click the tags area in the snippets list.

    The tags popover will suggest commonly used and appropriate tags for the current snippet. These suggestions evolve based on your usage of tags in the library.

  • To set a custom color for a tag: Right-click on a tag in the sidebar and choose an option from Customize Color.

  • To rename or delete a tag: Right-click on a tag in the sidebar and select Rename or Delete.

By default, the snippets list displays all tags added to each snippet. You can modify this in Settings > General > Snippets List > Show Tags to show only tags with custom colors, or to hide tags entirely.


Tag names are case-insensitive but case-preserving. This means that while searching for or adding existing tags, any capitalization can be used, but the display format will be as initially created. For instance, if you create a tag named LaTeX, you can later search for or add it as latex, but it will always be displayed as LaTeX.

1.3. Smart Groups

Smart groups in SnippetsLab are a dynamic and powerful feature that allow you to search your library based on custom, complex criteria. With smart groups, you can show specific subsets of snippets that meet certain conditions, such as:

  • All snippets without any tags.

  • All snippets with multiple fragments.

  • All snippets in the Apple Development folder, plus any that have either the iOS or macOS tag.

  • All snippets modified within the last 7 days.

To create a smart group:

  1. Select Library > New Smart Group from the menu bar, or press Control-Command-N.

  2. Enter a name for your smart group.

  3. Specify the rules you wish to apply.

  4. To add a nested set of rules within a rule, hold the Option key and click the Nest button.

  5. For more complex rules (e.g., some criteria matching all rules, others matching any), create sets of nested rules.


You can rename, modify, duplicate, or delete smart groups by right-clicking on them and selecting the appropriate item from the context menu.

Set a custom icon for any smart group by choosing Customize Icon… from the context menu.

Here are a few examples of smart groups that you might find useful:

  • Recently modified: Show snippets modified within the last 7 days.

  • Untagged: Show snippets without any tags.

  • Attachments: Show snippets that have attachments.

  • By language: Show snippets in a specific language.

  • By project: Show snippets that belong to a specific project (e.g. filtered by specific folders and/or tags).

Smart groups are an exceptionally flexible tool that can enhance the organization and management of your snippets. Experiment with various smart groups to discover how they can boost your productivity.

1.4. Shortcuts

You can easily access your most frequently used folders, tags, and smart groups by adding them as shortcuts to the Favorites section in the sidebar. This feature provides quick and convenient access to your most important items.

  • To add a shortcut, you can:

    • Right-click on a folder, tag, or smart group and select Add to Favorites.

    • Simply drag and drop a folder, tag, or smart group into the Favorites section of the sidebar.

1.5. Languages

1.5.1. Active languages

SnippetsLab supports a wide range of programming languages and text formats. To limit the length of the language menu, the app displays only active languages as selected by the user. Initially, the list of active languages includes only the most common languages. You should personalize this list to include the languages you frequently use.

To configure active languages, navigate to Settings > Languages. Here, you can activate a language by selecting its checkbox. Deactivating a language removes it from the language menu but does not affect any snippets that use the deactivated language.


1.5.2. Default language

The application allows setting both an app-wide default language and individual default languages for each folder. New snippets will default to the folder’s language setting, or, if none is set, to the app-wide default language.

  • To set an app-wide default language: Go to Settings > General, and make your selection under Default Language.

  • To set a folder-specific default language: Right-click on a folder and choose the desired language from the Default Language submenu.

Note: Only languages marked as active will appear in these menus.

1.5.3. Automatic language detection

SnippetsLab features automatic language detection for the 50 most popular languages, powered by Apple’s Core ML technology.

By default, the app automatically assigns a language when you paste content into the editor unless a default language is already set for the folder. You can adjust these settings in Settings > Languages to always enable automatic detection or disable it entirely.

To detect language at any time, right-click anywhere on the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar…. Then, drag the wand.and.stars Detect Language button into the toolbar.

1.6. Snippets and Fragments

A snippet in SnippetsLab may contain multiple fragments, which are distinct parts of the snippet. Each fragment can have its own notes and language settings.

Fragments are useful when a snippet logically consists of several parts, particularly when these parts are in different languages. Common use cases include:

  • A class header and its implementation.

  • HTML code alongwith its JavaScript/CSS counterparts.

  • Various solutions to a single problem.

  • To pin a snippet, you can:

    • Swipe right from the snippets list and choose the Pin action.

    • Right-click and select Pin from the context menu.

  • To create a new fragment, you can:

    • Click the ellipsis.circle button in the toolbar and choose New Fragment.

    • Press Command-T.

    • Press Option-Command-T to create a fragment with the clipboard content.

  • To lock/unlock a snippet for editing, you can:

    • Right-click on the snippet and select (Un)Lock Editing.

    • Use the lock Lock/Unlock button in the toolbar (the button can be added by customizing the toolbar).

  • To rename/delete a fragment: Right-click the fragment tab and select an option from the context menu.

  • To reorder fragments, you can:

    • Right-click the fragment tab and choose Move to Right/Left.

    • Press Option-Shift-Command-[ or Option-Shift-Command-].


Quickly navigate to a specific fragment using Command-1 ~ Command-9.

1.7. Snippet Linking

Snippet and fragment links allow you to open a specific snippet or fragment with a deep link that starts with snippetslab://. These links work both inside and outside of SnippetsLab, even when the app is not running.

  • To obtain a snippet link: Right-click on the snippet in the snippets list and select Copy Snippet Link.

  • To obtain a fragment link: Right-click on the fragment tab and select Copy Fragment Link.

Snippet and fragment links can be useful for a variety of use cases, such as:

  • Referencing other snippets and fragments within SnippetsLab.

  • Linking to your SnippetsLab library from other documents, such as wiki pages or README files.

  • Creating custom keyboard shortcuts or macros that open specific snippets and fragments.


Hold Command and click on a deep link to open it in a new snippet window.

1.8. Notes

Add notes to a fragment in the dedicated notes area for additional context. By default, notes will also appear in the snippets list, but will be excluded when you copy or paste the snippet content.

By default, the notes area is hidden if there are no notes.

  • To add notes, you can:

    • Click the ellipsis.circle button in the toolbar and choose Add Notes.

    • Select Editor > Add Notes from the menu bar.

  • To always show the notes area: Go to Settings > General, and enable Always show notes field.


1.9. Attachments

SnippetsLab allows attaching files to snippets for added context, like screenshots, sample data, or configuration files. Attachments must be under 100 MB.

  • To add an attachment, you can:

    • Click the ellipsis.circle button in the toolbar and choose Add Attachments….

    • Select Editor > Add Attachments… from the menu bar.

    • Drag and drop files into the snippet area.

    • Paste images and files directly into the editor.

  • To activate Quick Look: Double-click on an attachment or press Space while selected. Note that Quick Look may not be available for all file types.

  • To manage attachments: Right-click for options like open, rename, delete, or save a copy.

  • To insert image attachments to Markdown snippet: Drag an attachment into the editor or right-click and choose Insert as Markdown Link.

  • To automatically optimize images: Navigate to Settings > General, and select Save optimized copies when importing images.

    The optimization can often reduce the image file size considerably with limited-to-minimal impact on visual quality.


Create a smart group to display all snippets with attachments.

1.10. Code Formatting

SnippetsLab uses technologies such as clang-format and Prettier for built-in code formatting in various languages.

  • To format a snippet, you can:

    • Choose Edit > Format Code from the menu bar.

    • Press Control-Command-\.

    • Use the text.word.spacing Format Code button in the toolbar (the button can be added by customizing the toolbar).

  • To format automatically: Navigate to Settings > Text Editing and enable Automatically format code when pasting.

1.11. Searching

SnippetsLab offers advanced searching capabilities.

  • To switch key focus to the main search bar from anywhere in the app, press Shift-Command-F.

  • To toggle search options such as full-text search, fuzzy search, case-sensitivity, click the magnifyingglass button.

  • To insert a search filter to further refine the result, you can:

    • Type the keyword in: in the search bar.

    • Click the magnifyingglass button and select Insert Filter.

    • Press Option-Esc.

    With the search filter menu open, continue typing to narrow down the choices. You can combine multiple filters to show only snippets that satisfy all criteria.

    To quickly navigate to an intended item, press Command-Up or Command-Down to jump to the top or bottom of the list, and Option-Up or Option-Down to jump to the previous or next section.

    By default, the search filter menu closes automatically after making a selection. To keep it open, hold Option.