Update - Snippet was rewritten in Python! See this.

GitHub Gist is a nice way to share a snippet of code or a block of text with other people. Gists are under Git revision control so it is very easy to view and follow changes, other users can fork them and they are under SSL encryption for private sharing.


Snippet is a Mac OS X Service made with Automator and powered by a small Ruby script for uploading code snippets to GitHub Gist with the ease of a simple right-click.


Implementation was pretty straightforward. Gists can be created for anonymous users without a token. Code bellow will create private Gist named file1.txt with content Hello World!. We can optionally add a description and set visibility of Gist to public or private. The default is private.

curl -X POST \
--data-binary '{"files": {"text.txt": {"content": "Hello World!"}}}' \

I used Automator workflow with Shell Script and Ruby to achieve my goal with the help of a simple Ruby script that will take selected text, create an API call and parse the URL value returned by the GitHub API and copy it to the clipboard.

require 'json'
require 'net/http'

uri = URI("https://api.github.com/gists")
data = { 'files' => { 'snippet' => { 'content' => ARGV[0] }}}

request = Net::HTTP::Post.new(uri.path)
request.body = data.to_json

response = Net::HTTP.start(uri.hostname, uri.port, :use_ssl => true) do |http|

my_hash = JSON.parse(response.body)
IO.popen('pbcopy', 'w') { |f| f << my_hash["html_url"] }


Double-click on Snippet.workflow and click on the Install button. This will install Snippet into ~/Library/Services folder.

You can uninstall by deleting it from the same folder.

If you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to Snippet service you can do this easily by assigning a key in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services.


Select code and right-click. Snippet is located under Services menu. When you use it, it will automatically upload selected text to GitHub Gist and it will copy generated URL to your clipboard so you can share instantly.


Ruby 1.9.2+ or gem install json.

You can download the project here.