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The 3 Best Clipboard Managers For Windows

windows clipboardThe Windows clipboard is where information is stored temporarily when you copy something, for example a link, an image, or a piece of text. The clipboard can only hold one single item, so whenever you copy something else, the previous item will be discarded. If you didn’t mean to lose what you had copied earlier that can be a real bummer.

A Windows clipboard manager can fill in the void and add much needed capacity and functionality to the Windows clipboard. Not only can it maintain a history of items you copied during your current or even multiple Windows sessions, it can also save text snippets you frequently use and make them easily accessible.

The Can Do All: Ditto

Ditto may seem unpretentious at first. However, it has a host of useful features hidden beneath its oversimplified interface. On the surface, it merely keeps track of the clipboard history.

windows clipboard

However, when you right-click an item in the clipboard or open the > Options menu through the status bar menu, you are presented with the full depth of possibilities. The most notable features include searching entries, saving clips in groups for later use, and syncing clipboards across multiple computers.

clipboard viewer

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Ditto can save up to 999 clipboard items and you can also let entries expire after a set number of days. Per default, duplicates are removed, you can set a hotkey to activate Ditto and one each for pasting the last ten items copied.

clipboard viewer

Ditto is open source and also runs as a portable application. Frankly, I found the options a little overwhelming, offering far more than I will ever need.

The Happy Medium: Yankee Clipper III

The two essential elements of Yankee Clipper are the History and the Boilerplates tabs in the left hand menu. The history is everything you copied during the present Windows session, while in Boilerplates you can save items permanently. Within each tab, clipboard items are sorted by category: text, pictures, rich text, URLs and all formats.

clipboard viewer

More interesting features are hidden behind the menu icons. From left to right you can hide Yankee Clipper, print the current item, make the window stay always on top, open the configuration dialog, paste with a delay of 3-4 seconds, and exit.

History can be saved between sessions and the tool comes with a great tutorial that will not leave any questions open.

The Minimalist: xNeat Clipboard Manager

If you don’t fancy setting up commonly used phrases and would prefer a tool that exclusively manages your clipboard history, try the xNeat Clipboard Manager.

The options are concise: maximum clipboard history size (up to 99 items), start automatically with Windows, and change the keyboard shortcut to launch the paste options.

clipboard software

When you paste using the xNeat Clipboard Manager key combination, you will be presented with the list of items in your clipboard history. This way you can copy multiple items in a row and then go ahead and paste them in one go.

windows clipboard

If you’re running Windows 7, do check out the comprehensive Clipboard Manager desktop gadget, which I briefly reviewed in the article Top 7 Coolest Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets You Have To Use. For more alternative clipboard managers have a look at the following articles:

  • 4 Great Alternative Clipboard Managers For Windows
  • Keep Your Computer’s Text Clipboard History With ClipCube
  • OrangeNote – A Smart Note Taker & Clipboard Manager

What is your experience with clipboard managers? Userful tools or overrated?

Image credits: Valeriy Lebedev

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