TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Copy That

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 06
Column Tag: Utilities

Copy That

Why you need a clipboard manager

By Allen Hancock

I am glad so many of you liked DropCopy; I have many clients who say they can't live without "the blackhole". This issue, I am going to address a piece of software I wouldn't do without.

Generically, it is a pasteboard buffer. It's an application that sits in the background, watching and recording the system's pasteboard. Specifically, I have been using PTHPasteboard (http://www.pth.com) for as long as I can remember.

How many times have you copied a piece of information to use somewhere else, only to accidentally copy something different before hitting paste? How many times do you switch back and forth between two applications because drag & dropping address information won't work (hello? Safari?) I got sick of that a long time ago and PTHPasteboard set me free.

On Your Mark

Let's take a quick look at installing PTHPasteboard. Installation is as simple as double-clicking the .prefpane from the installation .dmg file. Once installed, it is a matter of setting a few preferences and we are off.

Of course, we need PTHPasteboard to start at login, so let's push the Start PTHPasteboard button now. The next couple of options are a part of what makes having a clipboard manager so nice. Being able to go back to the last 100 copied items, even across logins/restarts, is possible! Amazing! There is a whole world of options that opens when you can go back to that piece of information you copied yesterday afternoon. I will touch on some of those later.

For now, move on over to the Pasteboards pane. We see the Main pasteboard listed, and by default that screen is hovering in the middle of the screen. Lets move that off to the side by choosing Autoshow Window: and choose a side of the screen. On my system, if I want to see the pasteboard, I just move my mouse to the lower left edge of my screen, and can see all my past clips. On the first pane, PTHPasteboard was set to store 100 clippings so let's also set the Display to show that many items (else why store them?). I still get a little smile when I realize I need a piece of information again, and can scroll back through my clipboard to get that email address, serial number etc., etc., etc. The only other change I would recommend making is "Move to top" when pasting. While the feature is useful when you had to scroll down twenty or thirty rows to find something, but for day-to-day use I prefer to know the order of the clippings.

Get Set

Before I get into more detail about PTHPasteboard, here are a few things to note. There are quite a few clipboard managers out there, and the concept is nowhere near new. CopyPaste, one of the old standbys, has been around for ages (1987?). Many of the products are shareware, but there are plenty of free clipboard utilities out there; the Freeware/Open Source readers might enjoy JumpCut as well. [Ed. Note - don't forget iSnip which, while not Universal, runs perfectly well under Intel 10.4.9.]

That said, everything I have mentioned in PTHPasteboard so far is available to everyone when using PTHPasteboard in its freeware mode. For myself, I donated to support Paul Haddad way back with PTHPasteboard 1.0, and today I enjoy many of the features that are available in the Pro version ($19.95 USD as of this writing).

So, what DO I use this for day-to-day?

First off, I use it to maintain my sanity. I no longer grumble in frustration any time I hit Copy knowing full well I meant to Paste some other bit of information I had left in my clipboard. Now I can copy at will, knowing that the last 100 items I copied will be there waiting for me should I need them again.

In fact, with the Hot Key feature, I can access my last ten clipboards with a simple key-command.


To access that clipboard information I recently copied over, I type Control - 1

Of course, you will setup your own hotkeys to suit your needs. For me, I couldn't give up Control 1-9. Of course, once you get past 9, remembering the order of your clips isn't realistic. In this case, I will whip my mouse over the Main window, and scroll through my history.


Put your pasteboard windows wherever they are convenient

This feature is most often used when needing to transfer a series of pieces of information. Most commonly, this will be an address needing transfer into another application's fields. For example, when you see someone's address in your email and you want to put it in Address Book.app. Start with the last piece of information - the zip code, then work your way through state, city, address, then name. Now Command - Tab to Address Book, and it is a matter of Control - 1, tab, Control - 2, tab, etc., etc. As you may know, I am one to take every shortcut I can in my computer usage. Having a pasteboard buffer is a great addition to my time saving arsenal.

There are so many uses for this; it would be tedious for me to even attempt to list them here. It will suffice to say that just knowing you can go back in time through your copies & pastes is liberating. I have been known to make a quick "save" of a document by Selecting All and Copy. I know it is saved, but never have to worry about cleaning up that old draft.

Go!

Ok, for all you that haven't drunk the Kool Aid, let's get on to some of PTHPasteboard's advanced (read: paid mode) features.

Filemaker Pro users: how tired are you of having to remember to deal with pasting formatted text into a non-formatted text field? PTHPasteboard can create a pasteboard just for you where you can set any keystroke you like to paste the current pasteboard in plain text automatically.

Users with multiple computers: PTHPasteboard's Sync feature is an incredibly efficient way to copying on one computer, then hitting paste on another one (perhaps controlled by Timbuktu, ARD or VNC) and having the text, etc., come through. I have used this feature extensively when controlling a server for adding users (taking advantage of the 30-day demo on the new server). A synchronized clipboard can make going back and forth between your main and test bed machines a breeze.

Editors: PTHPasteboard's Filter options are vast. Imagine copying text from a file, and just by pasting from a pop-out window, having the text cleaned, case changed, html tags stripped, any number of find/replaces, the list goes on; and I am sure I am not doing the filters justice. I am sure that with your creativity, you can create uses for this kind of copying & pasting that I haven't even dreamed of.

There is a screencast available on this topic: http://www.pth.com/products/pthpasteboard/screencasts/filter/. NB-I copied that URL three days ago, and just found it to paste it into my article, it was entry #58.

And for the rest of us: Under the Pasteboard pane, create a new pasteboard, call it "Frequently Used". Have it Auto-show from a side of the screen. Alternatively, give it its own menu icon, or set the auto-show to "None" and set a Hot Key to bring it to the front. By activating my Frequently Used pasteboard, I can quickly paste in directions to my office, steps to email to a client on how to send me their serial number, various other links or whatever else I find myself needing to "type" on a regular basis. And while I use mine for text snippets, let's not forget that these pasteboards are good for all sorts of information.

One last comment for us security-conscious folks: Version 4.1 brought us the ability to ignore a given application's copies. Now when I copy a password from my password manager, it isn't stored for days in my clipboard history. It's very nice to not have to go clear certain clipboard entries anymore.

Fin

There you have it folks, another secret to my computer usage. I am looking forward to see what else PTH comes out with next. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy being able to reference your clips as much as I do.


Allen Hancock has been providing on-site and remote based consulting, support and warranty services based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana since 1997. When not working, he spends his time with his wife and son. He can be reached through his website at www.hancockconsulting.net

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Adobe After Effects CC 2018 16.1.3 - Cre...
After Effects CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for $52.99/month (or $20.99/month for a single app license). The new, more connected After Effects CC 2018 can make the impossible... Read more
Adobe Audition CC 2019 12.1.4 - Professi...
Audition CC 2019 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $20.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Audition customer). Adobe Audition CC 2019 empowers you to create and... Read more
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 13.1.5 - Digi...
Premiere Pro CC 2019 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $52.99/month. The price on display is a price for annual by-monthly plan for Adobe Premiere Pro only Adobe Premiere... Read more
Navicat Premium Essentials 12.1.25 - Pro...
Navicat Premium Essentials is a compact version of Navicat which provides basic and necessary features you will need to perform simple administration on a database. It supports the latest features... Read more
Sketch 58 - Design app for UX/UI for iOS...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
ClipGrab 3.8.5 - Download videos from Yo...
ClipGrab is a free downloader and converter for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and many other online video sites. It converts downloaded videos to MPEG4, MP3 or other formats in just one easy step Version... Read more
Dash 4.6.6 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
FotoMagico 5.6.8 - Powerful slideshow cr...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Civilization VI 1.2.4 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
Skype 8.52.0.138 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Lots of premium games are going free (so...
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming... | Read more »
Yoozoo Games launches Saint Seiya Awaken...
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
PSA: GRIS has some issues
You may or may not have seen that Devolver Digital just released GRIS on the App Store, but we wanted to do a quick public service announcement to say that you might not want to hop on buying it just yet. The puzzle platformer has come to small... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Final week: Apple’s 2019 Back to School Promo...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more
Save $30 on Apple’s AirPods at these reseller...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $30 off MSRP as part of their Labor Day sale. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.95 $15 off MSRP – AirPods with... Read more
Preorder your Apple Watch Series 5 today at A...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 GPS models available for preorder and on sale today for $15 off Apple’s MSRP. Shipping is free and starts on September 20th: – 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 GPS: $384.99 $... Read more
21″ iMacs on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP,...
B&H Photo has new 21″ Apple iMacs on sale for $100 off MSRP with models available starting at $999. These are the same iMacs offered by Apple in their retail and online stores. Overnight shipping... Read more
2018 4 and 6-Core Mac minis on sale today for...
Apple resellers are offering new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis for $100-$150 off MSRP for a limited time. B&H Photo has the new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis on sale for up to $150 off... Read more
Save $150-$250 on 10.2″ WiFi + Cellular iPads...
Verizon is offering $150-$250 discounts on Apple’s new 10.2″ WiFi + Cellular iPad with service. Buy the iPad itself and save $150. Save $250 on the purchase of an iPad along with an iPhone. The fine... Read more
Apple continues to offer 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1019. An standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, outer cases are new... Read more
Apple restocks 2018 MacBook Airs, Certified R...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs starting at only $849. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, and is shipped free. The... Read more
Sunday Sale! 2019 27″ 5K 6-Core iMacs for $20...
B&H Photo has the new 2019 27″ 5K 6-Core iMacs on stock today and on sale for up to $250 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many locations in the US. These are the same iMacs sold by... Read more
Weekend Sale! 2019 13″ MacBook Airs for $200...
Amazon has new 2019 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP, with prices starting at $899, each including free shipping. Be sure to select Amazon as the seller during checkout, rather than... Read more

Jobs Board

Student Employment (Blue *Apple* Cafe) Spri...
Student Employment (Blue Apple Cafe) Spring 2019 Penn State University Campus/Location: Penn State Brandywine Campus City: Media, PA Date Announced: 12/20/2018 Date Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**732907BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000360-Williston-Store Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**728519BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000853-Jackson-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**733006BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000865-Conroe-Store **Job Description:** At Best Buy, our Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro-Store 149 - Best Buy (U...
**731985BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro-Store 149 **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000149-Towson-Store **Job Description:** At Best Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.