Review: PopClip for Mac

PopClip ($4.99 at the Mac App Store) is so incredibly useful and slick that I’m fairly certain Apple will steal it for its next impending OS X release. And that worries me, because the makers of this app, PilotMoon, deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve built. In a nutshell: once PopClip is installed, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. I have PopClip installed on both my Macs.

So, what is PopClip, you say?

Simply put, PopClip puts context-aware actions like Search, Cut, Copy, Paste, Bold, Italic, and Underline within immediate reach, whenever text is selected – very similar to the basic contextual actions found within iOS. See the screenshot below.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

If mimicking Apple’s iOS contextual actions was all that PopClip did, it would easily be worth its $5 asking price. But PopClip packs much more power under its hood, thanks to a slew of downloadable extensions that let you add to PopClip’s core install. One extension that I find imminently useful is the “Paste and Match Style” Action, particularly when I’m working with Pages.

The other PopClip actions I use regularly include:

  • Use e-mail address: composes a new email to the selected e-mail address
  • Reveal in Finder
  • Suggested Spelling: replaces the current word with the suggested spelling
  • Google translate
  • Wikipedia
  • Search Amazon
  • Send text to Evernote

PopClip lives in your Mac’s menubar.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

You can configure the size of the contextual actions menu and your preferred spelling language.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

I have PopClip set to start at login and appear in the menu bar.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

Adding extensions is very simple. Visit the PopClip website, download the extension you want. Once it’s downloaded, double-click it and the new extension will appear within PopClip’s Extensions tab.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

You may not want contextual actions appearing in all your apps. Thankfully, you can add an exclusions list.

PopClip for Mac screenshots

I’ve been using PopClip for about two months now, on the recommendation from my Apple Artist podcast co-host, George Coghill. PopClip is stable and fast, and the price is very reasonable for what you get. Aesthetically, the app has polish – it looks great, just like every Mac app should. I can’t really find anything wrong with PopClip. It simply does what it says it does, and does it well. The bevy of useful extensions are an added bonus. I give PopClip a 5 out 5 Bob Weiner rating.


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