AppleScript modifier flags Parsing Snippet

Here’s a snippet of AppleScript to help parse the {popclip modifier flags}

use AppleScript version "2.4" -- Yosemite (10.10) or later
use framework "Foundation"
use framework "AppKit"

	Base for parsing {popclip modifier flags} 
	see NSxxxxxxxKeyMask Properties for values
	Combo Example: option and control
	from PopClip returns: 786432
	from KeyCodes returns: 786753 
			- keyCodes is different because it also includes other mask info
			     such as which keyboard side for each key

-- classes, constants, and enums used
property NSCommandKeyMask : a reference to 1048576 -- 0x100000
property NSAlternateKeyMask : a reference to 524288 -- 0x80000
property NSControlKeyMask : a reference to 262144 -- 0x40000
property NSShiftKeyMask : a reference to 131072 -- 0x20000

property hasCommand : false
property hasOption : false
property hasControl : false
property hasShift : false

property sourceText : ""
property modFlags : 0

-- Example Custom App Options
property useBitShift : true -- set true if hasOption // default true
property addBitValueComment : false -- set true if hasControl // default false
-- if hasShift set both above to false 
property firstNotZero : false -- set true if hasShift and hasCommand // default false

-- Get Data from PopClip
set sourceText to "{popclip text}"
set modFlags to "{popclip modifier flags}"

-- Testing in AppleScript without PopClip. Using example values from top 
--set modFlags to 786432			-- example value from PopClip
set modFlags to 786753 -- example value from KeyCodes with other BitMasks

my parseKeyMaskOptions()
my parseAppOptionsForFlags()
my logResults()

on parseKeyMaskOptions()
	set hasCommand to ((modFlags div NSCommandKeyMask) mod 2) = 1
	set hasOption to ((modFlags div NSAlternateKeyMask) mod 2) = 1
	set hasControl to ((modFlags div NSControlKeyMask) mod 2) = 1
	set hasShift to (((modFlags) div (get NSShiftKeyMask)) mod 2) = 1
end parseKeyMaskOptions

on parseAppOptionsForFlags()
	if hasOption then set useBitShift to true
	if hasControl then set addBitValueComment to true
	if hasShift then
		set useBitShift to false
		set addBitValueComment to false
		if hasCommand then set firstNotZero to true
	end if
end parseAppOptionsForFlags

on logResults()
	log {"modFlags value is", modFlags}
	log {"hasCommand is", hasCommand}
	log {"hasOption is", hasOption}
	log {"hasControl is", hasControl}
	log {"hasShift is", hasShift}
	log {"==================Custom App Options Below"}
	log {"useBitShift is", useBitShift}
	log {"addBitValueComment is", addBitValueComment}
	log {"firstNotZero is", firstNotZero}
end logResults

	(*modFlags value is, 786753*)
	(*hasCommand is, false*)
	(*hasOption is, true*)
	(*hasControl is, true*)
	(*hasShift is, false*)
	(*==================Custom App Options Below*)
	(*useBitShift is, true*)
	(*addBitValueComment is, true*)
	(*firstNotZero is, false*)

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Brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

I’m thinking, a set of separate variables such as {popclip modifier option} with possible values 0/1 might make your life easier here?


Just to add to this, on the topic of modifiers … (not really the place for this but thinking out loud) … the use of modifiers in extensions might run into some with some interpretations PopClip itself makes of modifiers.


  • shift will convert “paste result” to “copy result”
  • option will convert “paste result” to “show result”
    " option-shift will convert “copy result” to “paste result”

Those are the main 3 at the moment. But fair warning, I’m expecting the Control and Command keys to be getting a use in future versions.

And THAT said — I’m thinking a better way in future will be for extensions to have sub-options more clearly set out. That will probably be by by control key, long press or right click (those three will be equivalent) which will pop up a sub-options list. And then there will be a way for extensions to define their sub-actions.

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Cool yeah always problems with other software as well.

I’d place my vote on the CTRL modifier (as that seems be a universal modifier for PopUp menu approach.

Also using a PopUp Menu will allow you to do NSMenuItem enabling. By having the Extension supply back something

Enable action menu BOOL

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Also another great use for the Ctrl function menu besides showing the Actions available would be the ability to select any “options” and edit them.
(And hopefully save to user defaults for the extension) All without having to go to the PopClip menu bar item.

Options could include: a Pefix text that you change every now and then like in the other post with “Allocine”

Or to be able to change a RegEx replacement template.
Or change any variable that you script may use.

Examples of

For example in the