PopClip review

Some Mac users have complained that Mac OS X has become too similar to iOS, while there are others who wish it was even more like Apple’s mobile operating system.

PopClip will appeal to those in the latter category, although we think even Mac traditionalists might be tempted. With the program running, any time you select text, in any application, an iOS-like pop-over will appear with options appropriate for the context.

If, for example, you select read-only text, the pop-over offers options to search that text in your default search engine, copy the text, or get a word’s definition. If the text includes URLs, a single email address or a file path, you also get an option to open the links in your default browser, send an email to the address, or reveal the file in the Finder, respectively. And if a word is misspelt, you can bring up a pop-over filled with suggested replacements.

If you’d rather not see any pop-overs in a particular program, you can add it to PopClip’s excluded-apps list. You can also adjust the size of your pop-overs, and disable specific types of commands.

PopClip makes it easier to cut and paste and look up words in a document

Overall, PopClip works well. We found it easier and quicker to use than traditional menu commands. It’s even more convenient than right-clicking selected text to access similar options from the contextual menu.

The program does have a few quirks, though. For example, if you select a block of text, then select it again, the pop-over doesn’t appear; you must first click elsewhere, then reselect the text.

OUR VERDICT

There are also a couple of options we’d like to see added. Choosing the dictionary-definition option launches OS X’s Dictionary, rather than using OS X’s less-disruptive Definition pop-over. Still, for the many Mac users who are mouse/trackpad-focused, PopClip is unique and useful.

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