Continuing the toolchain series of posts, I want to take a minute to talk about another one of those brilliant single use (sort of) applications. PopClip is a small pop-up window which appears every time I select some text. This might be one of those Marmite situations where you think this is the best thing ever or it would annoy you to the point of saying bad words. Personally I think it’s the best thing since you could get sliced bread delivered.

If you can control the mouse then you can use PopClip. (Actually with a little bit of AppleScript magic you can still use it even if you use some other method to select text. If people are interested, I can write a quick post on how to do that.) It’s £9.99 on the App Store but try it out first on the website (free).

PopClip is completely simple to use: select your text and it will offer you a menu of options in a small black overlay window. You can do things like: search the selected text on Google1, turn the text into a bullet list, surround the text quotes, count the number of words and characters that have been selected… That’s just a tiny few things; there’s an extension page which has loads and loads of little extensions you can add for your own particular needs. Hundreds of em!

I really seriously love Popclip. I want to talk a bit more sometime about how important speed/efficiencies are to making my day more bearable. I’ll do a post on that soon. Everything takes so bloody long when you are quadriplegic! It could drive a body insane, it really could. So these things are a real gift to me. There’s a weird linkup between self-optimisers and severely disabled people - if you look at the stuff those guys are putting out, a lot of it is obviously not applicable at all - their concerns are not my concerns! - but some things are real gifts. Popclip is one of them. Recently I did a podcast, Systematic with Brett Terpstra, who is one of these productivity/self-optimiser guys, and he incidentally wrote a little tool called PopMaker which helps you write your own extensions to PopClip should the hundreds on offer not completely satisfy you! :-) I will write another post in the not too dim and distant on how to use the PopMaker application.

That is not me, obviously. Just for you, I recorded a scintillating demo of my illustrious self using Popclip:

As always, if you get stuck just hit me up on any of the usual channels including Twitter, Facebook, via email or in the comments below and I’ll help out if I can.

  1. Other search engines exist but are you know, rubbish.