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Developer Changelog

Detailed notes on changes to PopClip's extensions programming interface will be kept in this file.

The format is based on Keep a Changelog.

Unreleased / beta


  • The text string format can now be used for all kinds of icons, e.g. "square filled symbol:flame".
  • Add "strike" modifier for icon strings, which overlays a strike-out effect.
  • Add "flipX", "flipY", "moveX (percent of viewport)", "moveY (percent of viewport)", "scale (percent)" and "rotate (degrees)" modifiers for icon strings.
  • Emoji text icons now render in color.
  • Added data: icon type for specifying icons as raw data.
  • In the JavaScript environment, popclip.input.regexResult is an array containing the full result of the regex match, including any capture groups. Unlike previous PopClip versions, this array is now always available regardless of whether the regex was specified in the static config (as an ICU regex string) or in a module (as a JavaScript RegExp object).


  • Icon properties set at the top level are no longer inherited by actions.
  • Config.json files are now parsed with a JSON parser instead of a YAML parser.

PopClip 2023.9 (4225)


  • TypeScript can now be used as the source language for JavaScript actions and module-based extensions. This is done by specifying a file with the .ts extension in the javascript file or module field. For snippets, specify typescript in the language field.
  • PopClip ships with a TypeScript type definitions file, popclip.d.ts, inside the app bundle. You can configure your code editor to reference this to aid in developing your own extensions.
  • URL actions can now specify an optional alternate url, invoked by holding Option (⌥).
  • URL actions now have an optional clean query flag to clean up newlines and whitespace in the text before inserting into the URL.


  • Updated the versions of several of the built in NPM modules.
  • Key Press actions no longer automatically wait 100ms between keypresses. Instead, use wait <milliseconds> to add a delay if needed. See Wait between keypresses.
  • The Unsigned Extension warning is now only shown for extensions with Shell Script actions, AppleScript actions, or JavaScript actions with entitlements.
  • In URL actions, leading and trailing whitespace and newlines are now always trimmed before URL-encoding.


  • Amended documentation in various places to reflect the new TypeScript support.
  • Added Using require() to the JavaScript environment documentation.
  • Added Abbreviated forms to the module-based extensions documentation.

Documentation Update, 2023-08-30

PopClip 2023.7 (4151)

There were no changes to extension programming interface in this release.

PopClip 2022.12 (4069)


  • Extensions and snippets can now use icons from Iconify, which provides over 100,000 open source icons. Specify them like this: iconify:ph:rainbow-bold.
  • Snippets can now be added as a comment header to any text file, with the result that the entire file becomes installable as a JavaScript, Apple Script or shell script extension. (See Header Snippets in the main Readme.)
  • PopClip will install an extension from a .popcliptxt file. This is basically a snippet in a text file.
  • Added shell script field for specifying a shell script as a literal string. This allows shell scripts to be put directly in snippets.
  • Added optional stdin field for shell scripts, to allow passing a value to the script via stdin.
  • Allows the AppleScript source to be specified as applescript string or applescript file when calling a named handler.
  • A key combo string can now specify numpad as a modifier, to denote pressing a key on the numeric keypad.
  • Added options for icon drawing including flip horizontal, flip vertical and preserve aspect.
  • Added built-in core-js shim inside PopClip to allow modern JavaScript features on all target platforms.


  • Increased maximum selectable snippet length from 1000 to 5000 characters.
  • The script interpreter field has been renamed to interpreter.
  • Shell script files are no longer executed with /bin/sh by default. An interpreter must be explicitly specified.
  • The preserve image color field has been renamed to preserve color.
  • The parameters field in the applescript call dictionary has been renamed to params.
  • Icons are now drawn in a square canvas with uniform height and width, unless the new preserve aspect flag is set.
  • PopClip now enforces that the extension identifier may contain only A-Z, a-z, 0-9, period (.), and hyphen (-).
  • Updated the versions of several of the built in NPM modules.


  • The snippet detector now correctly recognizes snippets written in YAML flow syntax (i.e. with braces {}), as well as JSON syntax (since valid JSON is valid YAML).
  • Fixed never-ending spinner with some Shortcuts actions.

PopClip 2022.5 (3895)


  • Added the ability to execute pre-compiled AppleScript .scpt files, and to invoke handlers within them with parameters.
  • Key Press extensions can now take an array of key combos, to press a sequence of keys.
  • Extended the key code string format to simplify specifying non-character keys, and raw key codes. For example: command tab.
  • Brought back the restore pasteboard field for actions.
  • Added a 'test harness' mode to PopClip, for testing your JavaScript code in the PopClip environment. Run as: /Application/ runjs <filename>
  • Additions to the JavaScript programming environment:
    • Added RTF processing features (via RichText class object).
    • Added locale information to the util object.
    • Added a promise-based global function sleep (e.g. await sleep(1000)).
    • Supports the new key combo string format in the popclip.pressKey() method.
    • Improvements to the XMLHttpRequest implementation, including adding Blob and ArrayBuffer support.


  • For Key Press extensions, there is now a 100ms delay after each key press.
  • Updated the versions of some of the bundled npm libraries for JavaScript extensions. (There should be no breaking changes.)

PopClip 2021.11 (3785)


  • PopClip will now load either JSON (Config.json) or YAML (Config.yaml) as an alternative to an XML Property List (Config.plist) for the extension config file. The same field names are used in each of the three formats, and they each define the same logical structure. The choice of format is just a matter of which you prefer. (I'm currently leaning towards YAML for the best readability.)
  • Field names for use in the Config files are now defined in a spaced lowercase form such as applescript file. However, PopClip will accept field names in all common forms including the original "spaced capitalized" form (e.g. AppleScript File) and camel case (e.g. applescriptFile).
  • The URL field for Search extensions will now accept *** in addition to {popclip text} as the placeholder.
  • The text-based icon format has a new "magnifying glass" style, intended for search extensions.
  • The text-base icon specification format has changed since 2021.10 (see README).
  • The Script Interpreter can now be specified as a bare executable name (e.g. perl), and PopClip will locate the tool in the PATH of the user's default shell.
  • Added a new field called AppleScript, allowing AppleScripts to be specified as a verbatim text string in the config file (rather than as a separate file via AppleScript File).
  • Allow key combos to be specified as a text string, for example command option T.
  • Added an emails requirement to specify one or more email addresses.
  • Added Shortcut action type, to run a named Shortcut on macOS 12.0.
  • Added JavaScript action type.


  • Removed the Extension ... and Option ... prefixes from field names (e.g. Extension Name is now just Name). The old names will continue to work.
  • The extension's Identifier and/or Name are now optional. If either is omitted, popclip will generate one from the .popclipext package name.
  • An action's Title is now optional. If omitted, the action takes the extension's name as its title.
  • An action's Icon is now optional. If omitted, the action takes the extension's icon (if any) as its icon.
  • The Actions array is now optional. An extension with a single action may now be specified at the top level of the config file, without a separate action dictionary.
  • Renamed Blocked Apps to Excluded Apps, Regular Expression to Regex, Pass HTML to Capture HTML, Required Software Version to PopClip Version, and Required OS Version to MacOS Version. The old names will continue to work.
  • Renamed the requirements httpurl and httpurls to url and urls.
  • When URLs without a scheme prefix are detected in text, PopClip now defaults to https instead of http.
  • Changed the text icon specification format. (Docs todo.)


My goal with these recent changes is to drastically lower the barrier of entry for users creating their own extensions. The changes mean that extensions can now be defined with fewer fields and less structure.

As the cherry on top of that, PopClip now has a new built in action for installing extensions from selected text. It activates when you select text starting with # popclip followed by a YAML extension definition. The extension must be a URL, Service or Key Press extension. Here is an example:

# popclip extension to search Emojipedia
name: Emojipedia
icon: search filled E

This means simple extensions can be shared simply by plain text in emails, on websites etc. Extensions shared this way don't also show an unsigned extension warning.

There is limit of 1000 characters for this. (If you are doing anything requiring more than that, you should probably be creating a packaged extension.)

PopClip 2021.10 (3543)


  • Executable shell scripts now have the user's PATH set in the script variables.
  • Brought back Preserve Image Color.


  • The App specifier can now be set on individual actions as well as at the root level.


  • The Script Interpreter field is deprecated. Reverted - see later changes to this field.

PopClip 2021.9 (3510)


  • PopClip now supports SVG image files as well as allowing you to specify an image as a SF Symbols identifier or to generate an icon from up to 3 letters of text.
  • PopClip now provides an HTML and a Markdown version for all text selections, when Pass HTML is set. When the content is not HTML backed, the HTML and Markdown is generated from the selected RTF or plain text content.
  • Added POPCLIP_MARKDOWN field to contain the markdownified HTML.
  • Added POPCLIP_ACTION_IDENTIFIER field. This is passed to the action script allowing you to use the same script for multiple actions.
  • Added POPCLIP_FULL_TEXT field. This is always contains the full selected text in cases where POPCLIP_TEXT only contains the part of text matched by regex or requirement.
  • Added Option Value Labels array so that the options list can show a display name different to option string value itself.
  • Added Option Description field to add more information in the UI about an option.
  • Shell scripts with the executable bit set can optionally specify their interpreter with a hashbang, instead of the Script Interpreter field.


  • Removed the html requirement since all selections now come with HTML (as above).
  • Removed the Preserve Image Color option. PopClip now always converts the icon to monochrome. Restored in 2021.10.
  • Removed the Restore Pasteboard option. PopClip now always restores the pasteboard, unless using the *-result keys.
  • Removed the Long Running option. All extensions are now assumed to be potentially long running.


  • The POPCLIP_HTML field is now sanitized to remove CSS, potentially unsafe tags, and to fix invalid markup. The unsanitized HTML is still available in a new field POPCLIP_RAW_HTML.
  • Renamed the Image File and Extension Image File fields to Icon and Extension Icon, respectively. (The old names will also still work but are no longer documented.)
  • Added App dictionary field to specify a single app (since it turns out we hardly ever need to specify more than one app). (Apps array will still work but is no longer documented.)
  • The error checking when loading an extension is more robust, so errors such as incorrect field types will now be caught. And you'll get an more specific message about what the problem is.

One more thing... there is also a brand new extension format based on JavaScript. Documentation still "to-do", watch this space!