Clippy Gone Wild: Clipboard Utilities

Clipboard Utilities

Clipboard UtilitiesClipboard Utilities are Copy/Paste Heaven

Remember Microsoft Office’s “Clippy”? He was the friendly little assistant that popped up when you needed help in Microsoft Word and Excel. Much aligned, Microsoft did away with him about the turn of the century (is it too soon for that joke?). But if you were paying careful attention, he was full of great little tips and tricks that you wouldn’t discover on your own.

Did you know, for example, that Word gives you a Clipboard to store up a list of recently Cut or Copied snippets that you can then paste in any order? One variation is called “Cut to the Spike,” which sounds intriguing, although the name is more exciting than the feature. Cut to the Spike allows you to cut-cut-cut-cut-cut, then paste all the snippets at once (this technique is mentioned in my Word Tips and Tricks book).

But when you’re not working inside Word, your Mac or PC only gives you the one most recent cut or copied item to paste elsewhere. Do you take that inconvenience for granted? Do you copy something…and before you paste it, get distracted and copy something else, then have to go back again?

Or be forced to switch back and forth between two windows…copy/paste, copy/paste, copy/paste?

You no longer have to waste those precious seconds! Imagine copy, copy, copy, copy. Switch documents. Paste the 3rd one, paste the 1st one, paste the 4th one, paste the 2nd one.

If that paragraph makes your geeky heart pitter pat, here are some productivity utilities you will love.

The Best of the Best Clipboard Utilities

My personal favorite for Mac is Copy/Paste Pro by Plum Software. It’s not available in the App Store, and I’m grateful I found it. It keeps a running history of items I cut or copied going back in time. If I was working on a project two days ago and need to pick up where I left off, the text or images I copied are still there for me.

It also has an Archive with links that I’ve permanently assigned to keystrokes. I have my Archive full of the pages on my website I send to my clients all the time. If I want to send them to my list of upcoming classes, I type Command-V-1 and the link appears. If I want to send them to my QBO trainings, I type Command-V-6 so that I don’t have to go visit my own web page for the URL.

CopyPaste Pro can also be used to strip the formatting out of text, change capitalization, and harvest emails.

Other Clipboard Utilities

There is another Clipboard utility in the App Store called ClipDoubler. I haven’t used it since it doesn’t have as deep a feature set, but if you don’t need the fancier tools it will do in a pinch.

If you’re on a PC, take a look at ClipMate.


Having a Clipboard utility on your computer will transform the way you work. When you experience the time saved by searching for text, repeating steps, and switching back and forth between programs; the utility will pay for itself in no time.

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