Did you know that there are many people who do not know what the Windows clipboard is all about or how to use “cut, copy or paste”? People new to using the clipboard find the concept hard to grasp and really do not understand the benefit of the clipboard. In this article it is my mission to provide a short tutorial on using the clipboard (for Beginners) and then show you a nice utility that is available (for FREE) that makes the clipboard functionality all that more powerful (for Power Users)…
The Windows Clipboard is not visible. It is a temporary storage area that allows you to store a block of information using the “cut or copy” menu commands. The block of information can be text, a picture or a file. For beginners, start out by “cutting or copying” some text to the clipboard. The easiest method to do this is take your mouse pointer “I” beam and place it at the beginning of the text you desire to copy, then hold down the “left” mouse button and drag it across the text. The text will be highlighted as you perform this. After you have completed highlighting the text, release the left mouse button, place the mouse pointer anywhere on the highlighted text, then “right click” and select “copy” on the menu. When you select “copy” on the menu it copies what you have highlighted to the Windows clipboard. When you select “cut” on the menu it cuts it from the application and places it on the Windows clipboard. Remember you cannot see the actual clipboard and the clipboard can only store one block of information at a time. Once you have copied your selected text to the clipboard you can then “paste” it into another location. For example, you might want to copy a section of text from a website, and then paste that text into an e‑mail message. To “paste”, simply go to the location you want to paste the text, “left” click the mouse at the exact location, then “right click” and select “paste”. You can practice using the clipboard at this website “WebMasterNow.com”. The “cut, copy and paste” selection can usually be invoked from any software application menu (usually under “Edit”) or can be invoked using Windows hot keys (see below).
Clipboard Power Users…
If you are a writer, blogger, graphic editor, where you are making multiple “cut, copy, and paste” routines to the clipboard, then you probably know that using a “clipboard manager” is a real timesaver in completing the task at hand. A clipboard manager lets you save and use an almost unlimited number of text and image clipboard captures.
As a blogger, the clipboard manager that I have come to personally like is “ClipGuru”. ClipGuru is not the prettiest app around and it requires a short learning curve; but it gets the job done. Once you get the hang of it, you will wonder what you did without it.
Two things about this small application really made an impression with me.
- Portability – ClipGuru™ may be installed as an executable ClipGuru.exe file which requires no install procedure and makes no system modifications; thus, making it a portable app.
- Security – Release 2.8 attempts to notify users if the Windows clipboard has been ‘hijacked’ by a program continuously flooding the clipboard. While it is unable to identify the specific application which is hijacking the clipboard, it does attempt to notify you by de-activating ClipGuru and setting a ‘Clipboard Hijacked’ message on the ClipGuru panel. This opton can be suppressed via the ClipGuru Options Panel.
Clips that you accumulate can be stored in sets for future reference and pasting into applications. This little app has become one of my favorite utilities for collecting article information and facts for the blog.