PopClip – A really useful mac utility (Review)


PopClip by PilotMoon is a really handy utility that brings iOS like Copy and Paste functionality to OS X.

PopClip appears when you select text with your mouse, in any app. Instantly copy & paste, and access context-specific actions like search, spelling, dictionary and more. In the app preferences, you can adjust the size of the bar according to your choice. The power of PopClip has been enhanced with extensions, which I will cover later.

It has an ‘Excluded-Apps’ list in its preferences, where you can list apps that PopClip will not disturb you. Useful when working with graphic apps.

Copy and Paste

Could not be simpler. Just highlight the text that you want to copy, and PopClip will the appear next to the selected text, just click copy and click in the place that you want to paste the text to. If you hold your mouse button for split second, paste option pops up from so that you can paste the copied content at current cursor location. It is more convenient than doing right-click and selecting from contextual menu. If you want to paste and match style then press the shift key down as you click the paste button. You can also add a specific extension to paste and match style as well. I will cover extensions later.

Copy and Paste

Web Search

To perform a web search for the selected text, just click the magnifying glass symbol, and the search results will open in a new browser window. It is also possible to change the web search engine as well.

PopClip Web Search

Create a new email from an email address.

PopClip is clever and can detect different text formats. It can recognise a selected email address, the PopClip menu will display the @ symbol. When it clicked it will create a new email with the selected text as the email addressee.

Popclip email


Highlight a single word and if you click the dictionary button, PopClip will open the Mac OS X dictionary and display the entry for the highlighted word.


If the word has been misspelled then PopClip will show a menu of suggested corrections, just click on the correct spelling and PopClip will correct it.


Open Link

PopClip can automatically detect a web address in highlighted text, click on the link symbol and PopClip will open the web page in a new browser window.

Web Link

PopClip Extensions

One of the most useful features of PopClip is the ability to add new functionality by the way of extensions. There is a growing library of extensions as PilotMoon and 3rd party developers add new functions to PopClip. At the time of writing this article there are over 60 extensions. To access the extensions click on the PopClip menubar icon, click on the Actions tab, then click on the + icon at the bottom of the drop down. This will open a browser window with a list of the available extensions.

There are extensions to save highlighted URL’s to Pocket and other reader apps.  Support to convert highlighted text into To-Do’s in a number of different To-Do applications such as OmniFocus, Things as well as Apple’s Reminders App. There is even an Extension to count the number of highlighted characters or words.

To install the extension just download the linked extension, then double-click it to automatically add it to PopClip.

PopClip Actions Tab

Below is an example of the OmniFocus extension. Simply highlight the text that you want to convert into a Omnifocus inbox item, and press the OmniFocus extension on PopClip.

PopClip OmniFocus

Do stick with PopClip as I am sure you will find, like myself that it really grows on you. I now use it every day.

PopClip is available on the Mac App Store.


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