Take advantage of Multiple Clipboards


Take advantage of Multiple Clipboards
Mac Tip #294/20-June-2007

One of my most-used programs gives me multiple clipboards.

When you Cut or Copy something it is stored on the Clipboard. But the built-in clipboard can hold only one item, so as soon as you Cut or Copy something else the previous item is removed.

That’s a huge pain if you’re trying to copy information from separate areas in one place and paste it all together in another place. Think Name and Address, for example: switch to File A and copy Name, switch to File B and paste, back to File A for Address Line 1, switch to File B and paste, back to File A for Address Line 2 and so on and on.

Software that offers multiple clipboards allows you to ‘stack up’ information, because it keeps the 10 or 20 or 100 items you most recently Cut or Copied, and lets you Paste them whenever you like.

With multiple clipboards you could assemble that name and address like this:

  • switch to File A and copy Name, then Address Line 1, then Address Line 2 and so on.
  • switch to File B and paste, paste, paste.

That’s much more efficient, quicker and easier.

After some experimentation I seem to have settled on Jumpcut.

Jumpcut is free and open source. It puts a small ‘scissors’ icon in the menu bar, from which you can choose which item to paste. There are also a couple of Preferences you can set, including how many items to remember, and a keystroke for calling up the clipboards.

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2 Comments

  1. Miraz Jordan said:

    I also used CopyPaste X for a while, but these days Launchbar offers multiple clipboards so I use that instead.

    Whichever software provides the ability to do multiple copy and paste is an improvement over the single clip capability built in to Mac OS X!

  2. Jack said:

    Another good alternative is iPaste, which is also free. In addition to monitoring the clipboard, iPaste will also let you save a selection of “default” items that can be pasted whenever you need them.

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