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Friday, December 12, 2014

1547. Manage the Clipboard

I use a Mac, and get tired of the policy of only being able to have a single item on the clipboard. I know this is how it has always worked, but it would be so great to be able to have a stack of clipboard items that I could go back to and reuse, as I'm editing. Am I dreaming?
Certainly a reasonable request, but let’s be clear: This isn’t an issue specific to the Mac OS X operating system—it’s a problem for every computer user, in every operating system. It’s just the way the Clipboard was meant to work: It stores a single item for a short period of time, and when you need it, you paste it into its new location. The Clipboard was created to hold just that one item. The problem is that you, and many other people, would prefer it if the Clipboard could hold multiple items. Of course, that’s not possible: The solution is to use a separate utility that manages the contents of your Clipboard for you, storing a list of items that you've copied or cut to the Clipboard, and then allowing you to select an item and paste it into a document on demand.

There are many applications available, for various operating systems, which handle this task for you. You can find applications for Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android that manage multiple Clipboard items for you. On the Mac, Ken’s favorite is an app called iClip. It’s not free, but it’s a popular and useful utility that allows you to store multiple items, as you copy or cut them, and then retrieve any of the items that have been on the Clipboard for later use. For more information on iClip and other utilities like it, check out this article:

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