Behaviour of PopClip differs according to the type of call

The behaviour of PopClip differs according to the type of call, i.e. whether it was called after selecting a string or via the key combination. In the latter case, the first extension is “selected”, the arrow key can be used to move this selection and the extension can be triggered via the Enter key. In the former case, however, no extension is selected, using the arrow keys or Enter causes the pop-up to disappear. I make no secret of the fact that I prefer the behaviour after pressing a shortcut. Are there any reasons against aligning the programme’s behaviour?


That’s an accurate observation and good question. PopClip appears in two modes: mouse mode and keyboard mode. I’ll try to explain why.

When selecting text with the mouse, people are not always actually trying to activate PopClip. They might have triggered PopClip inadvertently while doing some other text editing task, and when they press the arrow keys, they want their keystrokes to have an effect – and not get “trapped” by PopClip. I’ve found that people get quite annoyed when PopClip interrupts or disrupts their flow. So this behaviour is important, I think.

Whereas, when activating with the shortcut, there is a clear intent to activate and use PopClip with the keys. In this situation, it is OK for PopClip to take over the keyboard input.

(I’m not sure if I built in some kind of hidden setting to make it work in keyboard mode all the time … let me have a look … no, I didn’t.)