What Is It?

Clipping refers to the ability to make a selection in the application you’re working in and send (“clip”) it into to the Mac note taking app for storage and later reference. In this way the note taking app acts as a repository for important information you run across as you browse the web, read your email, and so on.

Some note taking apps save clippings in one central location, while others let you direct clippings to specific storage locations within the app. If you’re working on two research projects, the ability to send clippings specifically to Research Project A’s or Research Project B’s clipping repositories is preferable to later combing through one large central clipping repository and figuring out which clipping corresponds to which project.

Mac Notes Apps with This Feature

What Else Should I Know?

The term “clipping” comes from the practice of using scissors to clip out articles from a newspaper, magazine, or other printed matter, and tuck those clippings away to review later on.

Clipping is generally implemented through the Services menu that appears in every application on the Mac. And while clipping most-often involves text, it can include other types of data as well. For example, you might clip a selection from an image editing application.

Ideally, the clipping operation will not take you out of the app you’re working in and into the Mac note taking app. Clipping should work invisibly, saving the clipping in the background and letting you continue with your work.