PopClip and Grammarly, what do they have in common? Not much, but they can be quite valuable when put together.
I came across PopClip through a friend, Parker Grimes, who found it on Brett Terpstra’s website. PopClip reminds me of what happens when you hold your finger down on text on your iPhone, but completely customizable and for your Mac. You highlight some text and PopClip brings up a small menu with some different options to choose from. You can tell it to copy, paste, search the web, and a whole slew of other things. The best part of it is that you can create extensions for it to do whatever you want.
Grammarly is a grammar checking service. It has an excellent web browser extension that will check text as you type it on websites. If you pay for Grammarly’s service, you can also get plagiarism checking and a few other helpful features.
I like PopClip, and I like Grammarly. I wanted to create a way for PopClip to take highlighted text and use Grammarly to check it. The problem I ran into is that the Grammarly’s desktop app is simple. There isn’t much to it. The app doesn’t take you to a blank document when you first open it, and there is no keyboard shortcut to create a new document. I couldn’t have PopClip open the Grammarly app, create a new document, and then paste the text I had highlighted into the app for checking, but I did find another solution.
What I ended up doing was creating a PopClip extension that takes the highlighted text, opens Chrome and creates a new tab, and then goes to a web page I create that just has a text area on it. PopClip then pastes the highlighted text into the text area, and Grammarly does its thing. This all happens using an AppleScript.
If you’d like to get a hold of my Grammarly PopClip Extension, check out my repository on GitHub.