PopClip is an essential Mac utility for me. Developed by Pilotmoon, it’s a micro-app that increases my productivity. Highlight any text and PopClip makes it super-easy to do all kinds of things that would otherwise take more effort and more steps.
Everyone who uses it loves it for different reasons — sometimes even for incompatible reasons! For instance, you can highlight text, and get a hover menu with options to cut, copy, or paste (iPhone users will be familiar with this view). Some users can’t live without this feature. Personally, I think that’s what keyboard commands are for, but whatever floats your boat. For me it’s the power features that make PopClip essential.
If you’re a writer who uses a Mac, I recommend taking a look at the customization page. I won’t go through all the options (over 100 extensions) but here’s a few highlights.
As a writer who publishes social media daily, I can’t live without character count. When I highlight text, the hover display instantly shows number of characters and words. Sure, you get a feel for it after a while, but Twitter doesn’t go by feel. And if you’re using a third party app to push to Twitter like Hootsuite, you’ve gotta know what you’re working with.
I work in global product development, so I often get emails, comments on social media, and support requests in multiple languages. Google Translate is awesome, and PopClip puts it at your fingertips. Select the text and choose the translation engine of your choice. Boom: a translation now hovers above the original. Or a new tab opens in Google Translate and you’re ready to reply.
PopClip lets you choose up to 25 functions at a time. (I like a simpler interface, so I keep it to about 6.) The developer maintains a huge collection of custom extensions. Some work with popular applications like Evernote, Mail, And get-things-done apps like OmniFocus and Things.
Others give you advanced search options, like Google image search. Need to put parentheses around the section? (Just select and click.) Want to convert markdown to HTML? There’s an extension for that. It’s easy to install the new modules: just download and click — the app takes care of the rest.
Most users will find something to love in this selection. If you are ambitious and technically skilled, you can also create your own plug-in and add it to the public library.
The developer has released multiple updates for the beta version coming out this fall. The code base was rewritten from scratch, so I expect the new released to be even better and more efficient.
I bought this app for $5. At that price I could recommend it to anyone. Now I’m seeing a $12.99 price tag. If I’m being honest, this is the app I use more than any other because I use the functions in every application whether I’m editing text, browsing the web, or following a link. Download the free trial to try before you buy. Give it a shot and see if PopClip is an essential utility for you.