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Is it possible to check and see if the user actively selecting text in an NSTextView, as in they are in the process of dragging?

implement textViewDidChangeSelection:(NSNotification *)aNotification in your textView’s delegate or register for NSTextViewDidChangeSelectionNotification

Those methods only call your method after the mouse button has been released, not while the mouse is being dragged. I believe your only option if you want ‘live’ selection tracking in a text view is to subclass NSTextView and override the -selectionRangeForProposedRange:granularity: method. – Bo