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

Duplicate Annihilator 5.7.5 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator... Read more
BusyContacts 1.0.2 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
Capture One Pro 8.2.0.82 - RAW workflow...
Capture One Pro 8 is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 300 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It... Read more
Backblaze 4.0.0.872 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac.With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.2 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.4 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. If you use your computer in only one (human) language, you... Read more
CleanApp 5.0 - Application deinstaller a...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Fantastical 2.0 - Create calendar events...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
Cocktail 8.2 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Direct Mail 4.0.4 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more

These are All the Apple Watch Apps and G...
The Apple Watch is less than a month from hitting store shelves, and once you get your hands on it you're probably going to want some apps and games to install. Fear not! We've compiled a list of all the Apple Watch apps and games we've been able to... | Read more »
Appy to Have Known You - Lee Hamlet Look...
Being at 148Apps these past 2 years has been an awesome experience that has taught me a great deal, and working with such a great team has been a privilege. Thank you to Rob Rich, and to both Rob LeFebvre and Jeff Scott before him, for helping me... | Read more »
Hands-On With Allstar Heroes - A Promisi...
Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Allstar Heroes looks a lot like a certain other recent action RPG release, but it turns out that while it’s not yet available here, Allstar Heroes has been around for much longer than that other title. Now that... | Read more »
Macho Man and Steve Austin Join the Rank...
WWE Immortals, by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WWE, has gotten a superstar update. You'll now have access to Macho Man Randy Savage and Steve Austin. Both characters have two different versions: Macho Man Randy Savage Renegade or Macho... | Read more »
Fearless Fantasy is Fantastic for the iF...
I actually had my first look at Fearless Fantasy last year at E3, but it was on a PC so there wasn't much for me to talk about. But now that I've been able to play with a pre-release version of the iOS build, there's quite a bit for me to talk... | Read more »
MLB Manager 2015 (Games)
MLB Manager 2015 5.0.14 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 5.0.14 (iTunes) Description: Guide your favorite MLB franchise to glory! MLB Manager 2015, officially licensed by MLB.com and based on the award-... | Read more »
Breath of Light (Games)
Breath of Light 1.0.1421 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1421 (iTunes) Description: Hold a quiet moment. Breath of Light is a meditative and beautiful puzzle game with a hypnotic soundtrack by... | Read more »
WWE WrestleMania Tags into the App Store
Are You ready to rumble? The official WWE WrestleMania app, by World Wrestling Entertainment, is now available. Now you can get all your WrestleMania info in one place before anyone else. The app offers details on superstar signings, interactive... | Read more »
Bio Inc's New Expansion is Infectin...
Bio Inc., by DryGin Studios, is the real time strategy game where you infect a human body with the worst virus your evil brain can design. Recently, the game was updated to add a whole lot of new features. Now you can play the new “Lethal”... | Read more »
The Monocular Minion is Here! Despicable...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush, by Gameloft, is introducing a new runner to the mix in their latest update. Now you can play as Carl, the prankster minion. Carl has a few new abilities to play with, including running at a higher speed from the start.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
Save up to $80 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $80 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1019 $80 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more
Färbe Technik Offers iPhone Battery Charge LI...
Färbe Technik, which manufactures and markets of mobile accessories for Apple, Blackberry and Samsung mobile devices, is offering tips on how to keep your iPhone charged while in the field: •... Read more
Electronic Recyclers International CEO Urges...
Citing a recent story on CNBC about concerns some security professionals have about the forthcoming Apple Watch, John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the... Read more
Save up to $380 with Apple refurbished iMacs
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $2119 $... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $75 off, starting...
MacMall has Mac minis on sale for up to $75 off MSRP including free shipping. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any reseller: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459.99 $40 off - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
College Student Deals: Additional $50 off Mac...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

DevOps Software Engineer - *Apple* Pay, iOS...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail...
**Job Summary** Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.