Dropshelf User Guide

Basic usage

When you drag an item to the edge of the screen, a shelf will slide into view. Drop your item on the shelf, like this:

You can drag to any part of the screen edge, but not the same edge that has the Dock or the menu bar. You can also create multiple shelves (up to a maximum of 20). If you have multiple monitors, Dropshelf will work on each screen.

Tip: For best results, always drag items directly towards the edge, in a straight line. Don't approach at a shallow angle.

Tip: To avoid triggering shelves, hold down the shift (⇧) key while dragging. You can also restrict which screen edges trigger a new shelf; see Preferences → Behavior.

A shelf can hold either files and folders, a text clipping, a URL or a color. (See Item types.) To drag out, simply drag the items to their destination. The shelf will close automatically.

Tip: If you want to keep the shelf open after dragging out, hold the shift (⇧) key. You can also configure Dropshelf to keep shelves open by default (in which case the shift key does the opposite); see Preferences → Behavior.

Other ways to create shelves

As well as dragging, you can put items into Dropshelf in several other ways:

  • Use the New Shelf from Clipboard command to paste the current clipboard contents into a new shelf (see Main menu).
  • Use the "Open With" menu in Finder to send the selected files to a new shelf.
  • Use the Send to Dropshelf command in the OS X Services menu (works with both files and text clippings).
  • Drag and drop items onto Dropshelf's icon in Finder or in the Dock.
  • Use the Dropshelf PopClip Extension.

The shelf

Close button

The close button removes the shelf from the screen and discards its contents. (You can undo closing a shelf using the Reopen Last Shelf command; see Main menu.)

Menu button

Click the menu button to open the shelf menu. The menu button also acts as the label for the shelf, and is color coded according to the type of item that is on the shelf.

Tip: You can also open the shelf menu by control-clicking or right clicking anywhere on the shelf.

Shelf menu

The shelf menu offers context-sensitive actions you can perform on the shelf contents.

Minimized shelf

If you leave the shelf unused for a short time, it will automatically minimize to a smaller size. To restore it to full size, hover the mouse over the minimised shelf. 

Tip: You can disable automatic minimizing. See Preferences  → Behavior.

Tip: You can manually minimize a shelf by double-clicking the shelf background (the stripy part).

Show the main menu by clicking the Dropshelf icon in the menu bar. The menu has the following commands:

Enable Dropshelf Turn Dropshelf on and off. When off, all the shelves will disappear. They will reappear when you turn it back on.
New Shelf Create a new, empty shelf. (The position of the new shelf will be near where most recently created a shelf by dragging.)
New Shelf from Clipboard Create a new shelf containing the current clipboard contents.
Reopen Last Shelf  Reopen the shelf that you most recently closed, with its original contents.
Preferences... Open the preferences window. See  Dropshelf Preferences.   
Quit Quit the app.

Tip: You can hide the menu bar icon. See  Preferences → General.

Item types

Files and folders

A shelf can hold many files and folders at once (up to a maximum of 64).

When you place a file on a shelf, the file itself remains where it is on disk, and Dropshelf stores an alias to the actual file. In some cases, such as dragging an image from a web page, a new file is created and stored within Dropshelf's data folder.

Tip: To see where the file is located on disk, use the Show in Finder command in the shelf menu.

Tip: You can open the file in the default application by double clicking its icon on the shelf. Alternatively, use the Open command in the shelf menu.

Tip: When you drag a file out of Dropshelf to a Finder folder, it will normally be moved from its current location to the destination. You can cause it be copied instead of moved, by holding the option (⌥) key while you drag. (This works everywhere on OS X, not just in Dropshelf!)

Text clippings

A shelf can hold one text clipping at a time. Clippings can be plain text, rich text (RTF and RTFD) or HTML.You can load, save and convert text using the shelf menu. For example:

  • Use Convert to Plain Text to remove the formatting from HTML and rich text clippings
  • Use Save as File to turn a text clipping into a text file
  • Use Load as Plain Text to turn a text file into a clipping
Tip: An easy way to put text on a shelf is simply to drag it:


A shelf can hold one URL at a time. A URL can be a web link, or any other kind of address.

Tip: Double click the icon to open the URL in the default browser. 


Drag colors to and from color pickers. The color's hex color value is displayed as the shelf label.