In macOS, a Text Clipping is a selection of text that you've dragged from an application to another location on your Mac, where it becomes a unique kind of standalone file.

The relatively little-known feature has been around since at least Mac OS 9, and it offers a convenient way to save out pieces of text from pretty much anywhere for later use in another app or document.

how to use text clippings mac 1
To create a Text Clipping, simply highlight any piece of text and drag it with your mouse to your Desktop or an open Finder window.

This saves the highlighted text – including any rich text formatting – as a .textclipping file named after the first few words of text that you selected, but you can easily rename it to make it more identifiable.

how to use text clippings macos 1b
To use the selected text in another file like a Pages document, drag the Text Clipping into the open document and the text will be automatically pasted wherever the cursor is located.

You can paste the clipping in the same way into all sorts of open files and apps, including browser search engines, Mail compose windows, Xcode projects, and more.

how to use text clippings 2
To quickly view the contents of a Text Clipping, simply select the file and invoke Quick Look with a tap of the spacebar.

You can also double-click a Text Clipping to view the text in a dedicated window, and even highlight and copy (Command-C) just a snippet of the text from this window for pasting elsewhere.

text clipping macos 1
Text clippings can speed up many repetitive tasks, making things like reusing email/letter templates and code snippets a cinch. If clippings become indispensable to your workflow, consider creating a dedicated folder to store them, otherwise they can quickly clutter up your desktop.

Top Rated Comments

roguedaemon Avatar
36 months ago
Can I just say I absolutely love this series of how to’s. Really sets MacRumors apart, and stands out from the crowd of copy past “news” sites.

While most of this stuff I know, I always read them because I invariably get at least a little tidbit out of it, like how this feature’s been around since OS 9.

Great stuff guys, keep it up!!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xflashx Avatar
36 months ago
Im a mac user since 2007, but this is actually new for me. Thanks!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
woefi Avatar
36 months ago
You have to wait (hover) above the text for about 5 seconds before dragging
You don't have to hover 5 seconds – you can immediately click - but you have to hold there a second - then drag.

And yes, I use this great feature since classic MacOS days. Unfortunately at the start of iCloud (maybe yosemite idk) this .textclipping files were destroyed when synced to iCloud and you could never rely on it. I thought they were about to abandon it...

But now (I'm on Sierra) it works again well in the cloud.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Deedolito Avatar
36 months ago
A big thank you for the 'how to'

Wasn't aware the function was there, and will implement it into my work flow.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scooz Avatar
36 months ago
Ah, we‘re so dark mode now.

Looks pretty in these small pics but I really only missed it for Xcode and other „lab“ environments that usually already came with a dark mode.

Any way to set dark mode per app?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neliason Avatar
36 months ago
This has existed since Classic Mac OS. Not sure exactly which version, but it has to go back at least to Mac OS 8. Probably earlier. I never found it very useful in general. Only used it a few times in a couple of decades of Mac use.
These little niceties are why I like Mac so much. This isn’t something I use or likely will. But these sort of intuitive features that make using a computer easy are what I think set macOS apart.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...