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

beaTunes 4.6.14 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
iDefrag 5.1.8 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
Day One 2.1.8 - Maintain a daily journal...
Day One is the easiest and best-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application for the Mac. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through... Read more
Spotify 1.0.53.758. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
VirtualBox 5.1.20 - x86 virtualization s...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
Arq 5.7.9 - Online backup to Google Driv...
Arq is super-easy online backup for Mac and Windows computers. Back up to your own cloud account (Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud Storage, any S3-compatible server... Read more
Vienna 3.1.10 :d05d7a5d: - RSS and Atom...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
WhiteCap 6.7 - Visual plug-in for iTunes...
WhiteCap is a sleek and sophisticated music visualizer and screensaver that features futuristic, wireframe mesh visuals with dynamic backgrounds and colors. WhiteCap contains thousands of visual... Read more
Dropbox 24.4.16 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.2.5645 - 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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Blizzard is looking to hire a mobile dev...
A new thread on the popular video game rumor forum, NeoGAF, uncovered an interesting job listing over at Blizzard Entertainment. It appears the studio behindStarCraft, World of WarCraft, Hearthstone,andOverwatch is looking to bring on a new hire... | Read more »
Legend of Zelda meets Cooking Mama in ne...
Dungeon Chef is what happens when you mix the RPG elements (and style) of a Legend of Zelda game, with cooking elements. Although, now that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also has cookingelements, so maybe the gameplay is not so novel.... | Read more »
ChordFlow (Music)
ChordFlow 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ChordFlow is a chord sequencer with a unique 4-track polyphonic arpeggiator, extensive chord library, MIDI out and Ableton Link... | Read more »
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is out...
The newest season of Telltale Games'The Walking Dead is well underway. After the release of the third episode, "Above the Law" about a month ago, episode four, "Thicker Than Water" is hot and ready for more zombies and gut-wrenching emotional... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another new wave of mobile games do dive into. We've dug through the list of apps that came out this week to tell you which apps are worth your sweet time. And while there weren't too many games this week, there were some big ones.... | Read more »
Vignettes (Games)
Vignettes 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Vignettes is a casual but unique exploration game without text or characters, where objects shapeshift as you spin them around... | Read more »
Get Me Outta Here is an 80s retro shoote...
Are you ready to fight some aliens? Because Crescent Moon Games has released the retro shooter Get Me Outta Here on iOS devices today. [Read more] | Read more »
Get a bunch of Apple productivity apps f...
If you're an Apple Mac owner, you're probably aware of the host of Apple productivity apps the company includes in all new Mac purchases. Apps like iMovie, Keynote, and of course, GarageBand. While you used to be able to also buy these apps... | Read more »
Terra Mystica (Games)
Terra Mystica 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Short Summary:≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈ | Read more »
Ms. Spell (Games)
Ms. Spell 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cast spells and battle monsters in this turn based game, that has you delving into ever the changing Dreadwood to retrieve the lost... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Apple refurbi...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $360 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale...
Amazon has 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (sku MLH42LL/A): $2599 $200... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 13-i...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $270-$300 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz... Read more
MyGiHealth Digestive Symptom Tracker Version...
My Total Health, Inc. has announced the release of MyGiHealth 2.1, an important update to their digestive symptom tracker developed exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. MyGiHealth is... Read more
Galaxy S8 Materials Costs Highest by Far Comp...
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 equipped with 64 gigabytes (GB) of NAND flash memory carries a bill of materials (BOM) cost that comes out to US$301.60, much higher than for previous versions of the... Read more
iCarMode 4.0 Car Dashboard App For iOS Integr...
Indie developer Diego Resnik has announced the release of iCarMode 4.0, an update to his productivity app developed for iOS devices. iCarMode has positioned itself as a true car dashboard app,... Read more
How to save $150+ on Apple’s 13-inch 2.0GHz n...
Apple Authorized Reseller B&H Photo has non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew 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
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
# Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & Apple Music Job Number: 56868140 Culver City, California, United States Posted: Apr. 17, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.