In May 2024,’s URL redirection for life is ending, so this page is moving to

EncycloClip™ for iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod Touch® is a faceless iPhone/iPad app by which searches the online version of the Encyclopædia Britannica® for the contents of your clipboard. To use it, select and copy some text (for instance in an eBook, web page, or your own notes); then launch EncycloClip™ from your home screen. It is possible to do this manually from Safari by visiting the Britannica website, but EncycloClip™ reduces the minimum tap count for a lookup to two from eight (or six if you have added it to your Home Screen), and eliminates an unnecessary web request.

EncycloClip™ is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Encyclopædia Britannica®. It merely facilitates access to their web site, which is ad-supported and sometimes needs to scroll down to reveal its search results. On recent iOS versions, launching Safari can sometimes take several seconds; during this time a blank screen will be displayed.

EncycloClip™ was available in the Apple iOS App Store from 2010 until 2019; when I wrote it, it was the only easy way to work around two bugs in mobile Safari and Britannica’s web design. In September 2019 I was told that it violated App Review Guidelines, because I had not needed to update it recently, and that it would be removed within the month. I appealed, pointing out that the Guidelines actually required updating only to ensure that the app remains functional and engaging to new and existing customers; I noted that the Encyclopædia Britannica has remained functional and engaging for two centuries. I was told that exceptions are not provided. I was further informed that an update would now be rejected, as the Britannica web site offers a trial subscription to non-subscribers.

I am therefore making the source code available under GPL2 at, so that users with Xcode may install it on iOS devices. Users who have upgraded to iOS 11 or later may be able to achieve a similar functionality with Run Shortcut. (I am still clinging to iOS 10, as many of my favorite apps and versions are available only in 32-bit.)

Known Issues

For support, email

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