by Marcel Dufresne
May 28, 2020
Probably the most used command on your computer is copy and paste to and from the clipboard. Unfortunately, the way Apple has it configured, only one item resides in the clipboard at a time. As soon as you copy a new item, the previous one is written over. I have been using copy/paste history and archives provided by third-party applications for as long as I can remember. I am amazed that Apple has yet to make this part of their OS. I am constantly checking back to the history for something that I had previously copied. I consider having this function an essential part of my computer. It is a time-saver, and at times, a lifesaver. One of the first examples of this type of application was CopyPaste. It has been around for over twenty years, evolving with the ever-changing Mac OS. Its longevity is a testimony to its usefulness. Read on to find out what you might be missing out on and why I consider this an essential function.
CopyPaste is best described as a multiple clipboard utility that allows you to save, display, archive, and edit items found in the clipboard. It is not the only such type of application out there but, after having reviewed some others, I find it has the best functions and options. All of these applications save items to the clipboard, allowing you to move more data around in less time. Once installed, anything that you copy or cut will automatically be saved. You will then have the ability to paste any recent clipboard item (text, picture, etc.) back into your document. In the following paragraphs, I will attempt to explain some of the advantages that CopyPaste has over the others.
CopyPaste provides numerous ways to access the saved history. You can use the menu bar, the application’s dock icon, hotkeys, or special individual desktop icons to pick which item you need to paste. Each of these can be turned on or off, depending on your liking, from the application’s preferences. I prefer having only the menu bar active, as well as the hotkeys, but this is only my predilection. I strongly suggest you play around with all these options and pick the ones that work best for you.
CopyPaste has two ways of storing the data. One is a simple History folder. When you look at it, the first entry is the most recent clip added. From here you can select any clip to paste. Twenty items is the default setting in the Preferences for the Clip History. This means that the History will display the 20 most recent clips. This number can be easily changed to a larger number (e.g., 50, 100, etc.), which may better satisfy your needs. Since every item does take up computer space, especially pictures, it is advisable to set a limit to the size of this folder. I have mine set to 100 since I rarely save pictures but I do a lot of copy/paste work. Most clipboard utilities do not set a limit nor do they allow individual items to be deleted (they do bulk deletions instead).
The other data storage option is a set of permanent folders called Archives. You can set up a number of these Archive folders and give them descriptive titles. Anything stored here will be permanently saved, although you can edit or delete an item if you wish. The History folder has a variable limit to what it keeps.
As far as viewing what has been stored in your clip folders, CopyPaste has two means. The Clip Palette is a vertical list of the items stored in the History or Archive folders. You can change the length of the list by dragging the corner of the window or simply scrolling down through it to get to the desired item. You can also use the search bar to find a particular text. It is from here that you can edit your clips. For instance, it is possible to protect (lock) a clip from being deleted or replaced with a newer copy. The delete function is also here as well as many others, all bundled in what is called the clip tools. The Clip Browser yields a horizontal view of the same clipped items, which is particularly good for pictures.
The Clip Tools furnish dozens of ways to edit the clips. There is an Email extractor which grabs email addresses from large amounts of text or a URL extractor grabs URL’s from large chunks of text. You can shorten long URLs. An Internet connection is required for this tool as it uses a service that shortens URLs. The shortener CopyPaste Pro uses is http://is.gd but others are available from the Preferences. As an example, my website can be shortened to https://is.gd/TmW6yB as opposed to https:/mausereviews.wordpress.com. There is a calculator available and so many other functions. I leave it to you to test these out.
CopyPaste lets you paste the text using the same style as the original. If you hold down the Option key while you paste, the selection will be pasted as plain text, without styles. You can change the order of the clips. You can edit the content of a clip. How about searching for a specific item without having to scroll through the complete list. All of this and more is at your fingertips.
The application’s Preferences are quite extensive and provide numerous means to customize it. I have mentioned a few things that can be adjusted, but there are many more. I suggest looking at the online manual to get a better idea of the scope of options. There are also some videos that deliver a visual synopsis of the application.
This application works quietly in the background, always ready to be called upon, and I use it daily. It saves me a great deal of time. You can read more about it from the Plum Amazing website. The paid version costs about $30 and works with Mac OS 10.13 and higher. With all the options and functions it has to offer, CopyPaste Pro is way more than a simple clipboard archiver. Do yourself a favor and download this essential application.