Probably one of the most used Windows features is the Windows Clipboard: a feature that lets you copy and paste text, images, and files between different programs and folders. However, despite all the possibilities, the clipboard can only hold items at a time.
Fortunately, there are many free clipboard managers that can significantly expand the clipboard so that it can contain multiple elements, change the formatting or case of text, enable clips to be searched, create permanent clips, merge two clips together, sync clipboards between computers. etc. In this article, I will mention a couple of my favorite clipboard replacement utilities for Windows.
Ditto is a wonderful clipboard manager that somehow gets updated regularly and comes with free 64-bit support. I would gladly pay a small fee to use it, but since it’s free I’m even happy. It is also one of those programs that looks very simple on the outside, but contains a huge number of functions and options if you delve into it.
What’s great about this is that anyone can easily get started with it and then gradually learn or play around with the options and functions. Once you become a pro with this tool, you will be amazed how you have ever gotten along without it.
The same allows you to store an unlimited number of items on the clipboard by using a database on the server to store everything. This means you can copy something and then after 5 days find that copied item and it will appear immediately. Let’s see how to use some of the basic functions.
After installing it, a small blue icon will appear on the Windows taskbar. Copy a few things like files, text, etc., and then click the icon.
As you can see, the interface is deceptively simplistic. I think this is good because I don’t have to see all the options right in the main GUI interface. So, there are several ways to paste content, once you have items in your clipboard, let’s talk about them.
First, you certainly don’t want to have to click on the taskbar icon every time you want to paste something, so it’s a good idea to look into the global hotkey: CTRL + ~ (tilde). The tilde key is usually to the right below the ESC key, or just to the left of the 1 (!) Key. Press and hold CTRL and then hit the tilde key and a small clipboard manager will appear where your cursor is.
Now, to insert anything from the list, you can do one of three:
1) Double click the item in the last one and it will be inserted into the currently active window or textbox
2) Drag the item from the list to where you want to insert it
3) Press CTRL + number, where the number can be from 1 to 10.
The fastest option for me is to use method 3 as it only requires a keyboard. When you have a whole bunch of clips, you can open the clipboard manager using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + tilda and then just start typing. You don’t have to click on the search box, which is convenient. The results will be filtered immediately, and then you can simply double-click the item to paste it.
There are too many options in this article, but you can play around with everything by right-clicking anywhere in the list and choosing Options.
In addition to the options, when you right-click on a clip, you will see many other options that you can adjust from the menu. These include the ability to edit the clip, view details about the clip, such as when it was created and last used, the ability to make the clip sticky to always be at the top or bottom, delete the clip, insert text. clip only as plain text, etc.
The Options dialog basically has 5 tabs with settings and options, which is too many to explain in detail. Fortunately, they have a help page that explains each option in detail, so you don’t have to try to figure out what it does.
The only thing to note is that sometimes nothing happens when you try to insert. In fact, Ditto couldn’t figure out where to paste the element, so he just copied it to the clipboard. If you press CTRL + V, the item you selected in Ditto should be correctly inserted.
ArsClip is a free clipboard manager that is updated regularly. It has been around for a long time and has a ton of useful features. This includes macros, cloud sync, support for multiple file types, clipboard editing, and more.
You can bring up the popup menu with Ctrl + Shift + Z as shown below, or use the clipboard panel as shown above to manage your clips.
ArsClip is also easy to configure and customize. Just right click on the tray icon and select “Customize”.
Here you can manage all the settings related to popup, clipboard management, etc. Overall, I recommend this program instead of ClipX below because it is constantly updated, whereas ClipX is already ten years old.
ClipX is a small program that does the same thing as other tools, but with fewer features. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since 2008, but works fine on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8/10. The premise is the same: you usually copy items and then use the hotkey to access them.
Once installed, you can start copying text or images to test ClipX For example, I copied four pieces of text and one image. ClipX recorded this, and if I click on the icon in the taskbar, I see all of my copied items, which I can then select by simply clicking any item or clicking the number listed next to the clip. P>
The great thing is that I can actually see the images in the clipboard queue, which makes it very easy to select the element I want. If you are already in a program, say Word, you can bring up the same screen above and paste any item into the document by pressing Windows + V and pressing the number corresponding to the item in the clipboard. P>
In a nutshell, ClipX doesn’t have much more than that. It has a search function to make it easy to find a clip, but by default it only stores the last 25 clips. You can increase this value up to 1024, but not higher. It also has the ability to edit text clips, which can come in handy.
If you right-click the icon on the taskbar and go to the Customize menu, you will see all the different options you can set for the program.
You can set the number of items to store and specify if it should start automatically with Windows. It also allows you to save your session history (computer restart), which is an important feature in my opinion.
One of the nice things about ClipX is that you can save the entire clipboard to a file and reload it later on the same computer or another computer. Just right-click on the icon in the taskbar and go to “Clipboard History” and then select “Save History”. Ditto has a network sync option which is definitely better, but it also works if you rarely sync your clipboard.
I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t like to mention too many programs, because I think it is completely useless. I’ve tested a lot, but these three work well, have good features, don’t crash and contain no unwanted or malware. The same is by far my favorite, but I felt the need to mention a few alternatives for those who like to have a choice. Enjoy!