Plain Clip FAQ

Below you will find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on Plain Clip.

Plain Clip cannot be opened, as it is by an “Unverified Developer”.

Please read the information on “Gatekeeper”.

How can I open the preferences?

As Plain Clip has no real user interface (see also next question), there is no menu which you could use to open the preferences dialog. Instead, simply hold the Shift key pressed while launching Plain Clip, and the preferences will appear.

When I launch Plain Clip, nothing happens.

This may sound odd, but this is the way it is supposed to be. As Plain Clip does nothing more than modify the clipboard’s contents, there simply is no need for a graphical user interface. Hence, when you doubleclick Plain Clip, it will start, do its job and quit—and during this short time, you will not even see its icon in the dock.

In other words: You will only notice that Plain Clip has done its work by comparing the clipboard contents before and afterwards.

The only exception is the very first time to launch Plain Clip or the first time you launch a new version: in these cases, a dialog will appear, offering to show the info file or to open Plain Clip’s preferences. And, of course, you can always bring up the preferences dialog by holding the Shift key down when launching Plain Clip (see also previous question).

I launched Plain Clip, then copied and pasted text, but it is still formatted.

Plain Clip is not a daemon that runs silently in the background, waiting for formatted text to be put on the clipboard. In fact, it's much simpler: it will only process the clipboard's content when it is launched and it will quit immediately afterwards. So, usually it is a matter of copy → launch Plain Clip → paste. If that seems awkward to you, I strongly recommend using it with a hotkey utility (see next answer).

Implementing Plain Clip as a daemon which automatically cleans the clipboard appears to be a much more elegant solution, but would have two major drawbacks:

  • It would be impossible to paste text with formatting, for instance, when you move text around within a Pages or OpenOffice.org text document.
  • You could not use different types of cleaning. Plain Clip offers some cleaning options, which can be used independently when used with a hotkey utility (see ReadMe). This would not be possible with a daemon.

Can I set a keyboard shortcut to launch Plain Clip?

You can—but not within Plain Clip itself. There are some great tools available for setting system-wide keyboard shortcuts (my favourite is Spark), so I recommend using one of them. Another way to integrate Plain Clip in your workflow is by calling it from a text expansion utility such as TypeIt4Me.