PopClip not working with Obsidian

It used to work intermittently, but now it’s stopped working completely. Every time, I have to use the keyboard shortcut. I’ve restarted Obsidian and PopClip.

Is this a known issue with Obsidian, or other electron apps?

Using Monterey on an M1 MacBook Air. PopClip 2022. Obsidian is up-to-date.


Popclip works great for me in nearly every app – except Electron apps and some Google products in the browser.

It actually works OK for me in Obsidian but I do hear that some are having trouble with Electron apps.

You could provide a little data to help shed light on it by Option-clicking the PopClip menu bar icon, which will reveal a Debug window. When you select text in Obsidian, what appears in the debug console? You could paste a sample here (click Pause in the debug console to allow copying).

Thanks for the quick response. Here’s the debug info:

06:50:51.5 EventCreate:
06:50:51.5 app.active: 74033 / md.obsidian / Obsidian
06:50:51.5 event.serial: 2224
06:50:51.5 event.windowNumber: 1578
06:50:51.5 global.location.start: (2050.066406, 655.160156)
06:50:51.5 global.modifiers.start: 0x0000000000000000
06:50:51.5 global.time.start: 2023-02-10 13:50:51 +0000
06:50:51.7 ClickDetector:
06:50:51.7 * Mouse activity rejected (A window disappeared when clicking (com.apple.inputmethod.ironwood))
06:50:51.8 EventComplete:
06:50:51.8 app.focused: 74033 / md.obsidian / Obsidian
06:50:51.8 decision: probe 0 probe+require-beam [app:md.obsidian][trigger:multi][cursors:arrow]
06:50:51.8 event.trigger: multi
06:50:51.8 global.cursors: arrow
06:50:51.8 global.location.end: (2050.066406, 655.160156)
06:50:51.8 global.modifiers.end: 0x0000000000000000
06:50:51.8 global.time.end: 2023-02-10 13:50:51 +0000
06:50:51.8 * Excluded by initial (pre-axapi) policy check (probe+require-beam)
06:50:57.2 EventCreate:
06:50:57.2 app.active: 74033 / md.obsidian / Obsidian
06:50:57.2 event.serial: 2225
06:50:57.2 event.windowNumber: 2209
06:50:57.2 global.location.start: (863.039062, 457.980469)
06:50:57.2 global.modifiers.start: 0x0000000000000000
06:50:57.2 global.time.start: 2023-02-10 13:50:57 +0000
06:50:57.3 Log paused

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Ah yes, now I remember I already started looking into it. It’s something I need to look into on my end. It happens with Notion too.

You might find, when this happens, alt-tabbing away from Obsidian and back helps.

Alt-tabbing, or even quitting and restarting obsidian, didn’t help.

I’ve also noticed it’s working intermittently in Drafts. Here’s is the debug, with one event where it didn’t work, followed by another event that did work.

Looks like the “08:58:43.5 * Excluded by initial (pre-axapi) policy check (probe+require-beam)” is the issue?

08:58:43.4 EventCreate:
08:58:43.4 app.active: 4725 / com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX / Drafts
08:58:43.4 event.serial: 70
08:58:43.4 event.windowNumber: 2150
08:58:43.4 global.location.start: (33.628906, 845.000000)
08:58:43.4 global.modifiers.start: 0x0000000000000000
08:58:43.4 global.time.start: 2023-02-10 15:58:43 +0000
08:58:43.5 EventComplete:
08:58:43.5 app.focused: 4725 / com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX / Drafts
08:58:43.5 decision: probe 0 probe+require-beam [app:com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX][trigger:single][cursors:arrow]
08:58:43.5 event.trigger: single
08:58:43.5 global.cursors: arrow
08:58:43.5 global.location.end: (32.628906, 845.000000)
08:58:43.5 global.modifiers.end: 0x0000000000000000
08:58:43.5 global.time.end: 2023-02-10 15:58:43 +0000
08:58:43.5 * Excluded by initial (pre-axapi) policy check (probe+require-beam)
08:58:43.7 EventComplete:
08:58:43.7 app.clicked: 4725 / com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX / Drafts
08:58:43.7 app.focused: 4725 / com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX / Drafts
08:58:43.7 decision: discover 1 fallback [app:com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX][trigger:multi][cursors:arrow, beam][role:AXTextArea][subrole:][parents:AXWindow, AXTe… (153 chars)
08:58:43.7 element: <NMUIElement: 0x600001a5aeb0> AXTextArea
08:58:43.7 element.enclosingTextControl: <NMUIElement: 0x600001a5aeb0> AXTextArea
08:58:43.7 element.parents: AXTextArea,AXScrollArea,AXSplitGroup,AXWindow,AXApplication
08:58:43.7 element.role: AXTextArea
08:58:43.7 event.trigger: multi
08:58:43.7 global.cursors: arrow,beam
08:58:43.7 global.location.end: (32.628906, 845.000000)
08:58:43.7 global.modifiers.end: 0x0000000000000000
08:58:43.7 global.time.end: 2023-02-10 15:58:43 +0000
08:58:43.7 IntentionFilter:
08:58:43.7 event.intention: Select|Paste
08:58:43.7 Discovery:
08:58:43.7 axapi.textControl.selectedText: <string of length 5>
08:58:43.7 result.plain: <string of length 5>
08:58:43.7 Intel:
08:58:43.7 copyAvailable: yes
08:58:43.7 copyMenuActionExists: yes
08:58:43.7 cutAvailable: yes
08:58:43.7 hasFormattingControls: yes
08:58:43.7 pasteAvailable: yes
08:58:43.7 Population:
08:58:43.7 populationTime: 0.002508044242858887
08:58:43.8 MovementFilter:
08:58:43.8 distance: 0
08:58:43.8 elapsedTime: 0.07602202892303467

Thanks for looking into this.


It looks like it’s failing when the cursor is an arrow and succeeding when it is a beam/caret shape.

It does this because it uses the cursor shape as a heuristic to help work out if the user is actually selecting text. If the cursor is an arrow, it assumes the mouse movement is for something else.

However, I think this needs to become more nuanced – I will be working on this soon.

In the latest beta (build 4183), I think I have fixed this issue with PopClip not working in Obsidian. It should also be better in Notion and VS Code, and in browsers too.

If you get a chance to try the beta, please do let me know if it seems to have improved matters or not.

I haven’s specifically addressed Drafts in this beta, so do let me know if you are still seeing the problem in Drafts.

Also, if anyone is aware of any further apps with which PopClip still exhibits this problem with PopClip, please do report the details to me.

The problem still exists in both Drafts and Obsidian. Definitely associated with the arrow cursor. Using build 4183 on a Studio Mac running macOS 13.5.2.

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I programmed PopClip to allow the arrow cursor for selections in app with bundle ID md.obsidian (that’s Obsidian’t bundle ID on my machine). I wonder if perhaps there are other Obsidian variants?

Could you please use the BundleID extension to find the bundle ID of your copy of Obsidian and tell me what yours is?

For Obsidian: md.Obsidian
For Drafts: com.agiletortoise.Drafts.OSX

And you definitely have a capital ‘O’ — md.Obsidian not md.obsidian ? (The distinction is critical)

Sorry. You are correct: md.obsidian not md.Obsidian

The problem is the same in Ulysses - except with Ulysses I can’t figure out how to get the arrow cursor to change to the beam. So, PopClip doesn’t work at all.

I need to probe further. The best thing that you can do is option(⌥)-click the PopClip menu bar icon to reveal the debug window. Then record a screen video (with QuickTime Player or similar) showing the fault happening and with the debug window showing in the video too. That will help me get a much better feel for what is happening. Then send me the vid — you can upload it to https://www.dropbox.com/request/QZit2LMzPZsQc09tjBsi

Let’s keep it to Obsidian for now. I’ll look into Drafts and Ulysses too after.

I’m having a hard time getting the behavior recorded in Obsidian and Drafts. Sent you a recording for Ulysses.

Will keep trying

Thanks. In Ulysses, if you hold the Fn key while selecting, does it make PopClip appear?

Holding the Fn key causes Ulysses to hide.

As you can see from the three videos I sent you, the behavior is not limited to the arrow keys. Within the last 48 hours two friends have told me that PopClip is no longer working for them. I don’t know whether the three of us are doing something strange or whether the problem is more general.

I just updated Obsidian to the new Insider build (1.4.12). I can no longer select text with the arrow cursor. As soon as I try, the cursor changes from an arrow to a beam. Wit the beam cursor PopClip works reliably. That is based on only a few minutes of testing, but seems to be a definite improvement.

When I activate Drafts, it opens with the arrow cursor and PopClip doesn’t work. But, there is a work-around: If I click in the tag area at the top of the edit screen the cursor changes to a beam and PopClip starts working.

With Ulysses, I can’t get the app to use anything except the arrow cursor, so PopClip doesn’t work at all.