A Weird Issue When Editing Text in Drafts, TextEdit, and nvALT

I’m at a bit of a loss and was hoping for suggestions from you guys. This is not a problem specific to Drafts. It is a system-wide problem only impacting three apps: Drafts, TextEdit, and nvALT.

If I select text and hover over it for a moment, a chevron appears at the end of the selected text.

Clicking on the chevron causes a services menu to pop up. Okay … odd, but not a problem.

The problem is that clicking anywhere else in the highlighted text (to edit it) causes that same services menu to pop up. I can’t click in the text field to make edits until I’ve deselected the text.

The problem persists in “Safe Boot” mode. For this reason, I don’t think it is related to a third-party utility. It seems like it is some system-level thing I’ve inadvertently turned on. I’m not sure.

Has anyone else seen this on their system? Any troubleshooting ideas?

iA Writer, Paper and MultiMarkdown Composer all share this feature. I checked these three and they behave the same way.

Might be a system feature or is a part of the developing environment for all of these text based programs.


So, @macosxguru, you have this also? This is not standard Mac behavior in Drafts or any of these other apps, so there’s some setting different on your Macs. I do not know what…but something is different. Standard right-click behavior is like the below.

Thanks for the insights! @agiletortoise To clarify my description, I’m seeing this when I left (regular) click on the selected text. Right-click acts as you describe.

(1) If I create a new user account, the behavior does not persist in the new account. It seems to be specific to some switch that got flipped (by me or some application) in my user account.

(2) @macosxguru I don’t have the apps you mentioned. In looking at the apps impacted, they likely all use Apple’s text-related APIs.

(3) If you could just click on the chevron and get the behavior, it would be a nice feature; but having the behavior active for the entire text selection a problem. I’m thinking some app or utility turned this on, but the functionality is buggy.

(4) I’m drawing blanks on this with Internet search. Part of the problem is that I don’t know what to call the behavior or the little chevron, so I’m not getting relevant search results. Grrrr.

(5) I’ll keep researching and see if I can figure it out. I really don’t want to have to recreate my current user account, but that is an option if I can’t get this resolved.

The right click behavior is the same as yours.

When I select some text and hover my mouse cursor over the selected text, the little drop-down menu appears and that is what contains a list of service related doohickies.

Screen Shot 1

You are right. This is an artifact of some other program or setting because while this appears on the iMac running 10.13.6, and a whole host of login items and applications, it does not appear in a much sparser environment on the Air running the latest edition of Catalina.

I have no idea what is bringing this on. I don’t mind it at all. I will investigate further. This is a mystery and I like those.


That was quick. I looked at the extensions preference and turned off Cardhop. The little drop-down disappeared. I turned it back on. The menu came back.

Is Cardhop the reason for the menu? It is not installed on the Air, but installed on the iMac.


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@macosxguru You da man! I don’t know if I would have ever solved that on my own. The extension Actions as the source of the issue explains why the behavior persisted in “Safe Boot.”

In my case, I needed to turn off Extension Actions for both Cardhop and Fantastical.

I’ll report this issue to Flexibits.

Thank you so much for the help with this! For my way of working with text, it was driving me nuts.

Cool. I feel useful.

I don’t use Fantastical but it does come from the same developer.