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

Bookends 12.8 - Reference management and...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.0.0.185 - Access...
Adobe Creative Cloud costs $19.99/month for a single app, or $49.99/month for the entire suite. Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.4 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.1.5587 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more
Persecond 1.0.9 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
CrossOver 16.2 - Run Windows apps on you...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.2 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.6 - Play Apple Music and...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
OpenEmu 2.0.5 - Open Source game-emulati...
OpenEmu is about to change the world of video game emulation, one console at a time... For the first time, the 'It just works' philosophy now extends to open source video game emulation on the Mac.... Read more

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »
How to rake in the cash in Bit City
Our last Bit City guide covered the basics. Now it's time to get into some of the more advanced techniques. In the later cities, cash flow becomes much more difficult, so you'll want to develop some strategies if you want to complete each level.... | Read more »
PixelTerra (Games)
PixelTerra 1.1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1.1 (iTunes) Description: The world of PixelTerra is quite dangerous so you need to build a shelter, find some food supply and get ready to protect... | Read more »
Tokaido™ (Games)
Tokaido™ 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Discover the digital adaptation of Tokaido, the boardgame phenomenon that has already sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

SSD Speeder RAM Disk SSD Life Extender App Fo...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced they are making their SSD Speeder app for macOS publicly available for purchase on their website. SSD Speeder is a RAM disk utility that prevents... Read more
iPhone Scores Highest Overall in Smartphone D...
Customer satisfaction is much higher among smartphone owners who use their device to operate other connected home services such as smart thermostats and smart appliances, according to the J.D. Power... Read more
Swipe CRM Free Photo-Centric CRM Sales DEal C...
Swipe CRM LLC has introduced Swipe CRM: Visual Sales 1.0 for iPad, an app for creating, managing, and sharing visually stunning sales deals. Swipe CRM is targeted to small-and-medium creative... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.