Reinventing the Clipboard

I like Ditto ( :slight_smile: Has a better history browser.

But true. This problem should be solved by the OS, not third party applications :stuck_out_tongue:

Perhaps a stack model could be added on top on clipboard’s default behavior.

Ctrl + C : copy - default behavior
Ctrl + V : paste - default behavior
Ctrl + Shift + C : copy - put on the clipboard stack
Ctrl + Shift + V : paste - pop from the clipboard stack

The only problem is that people aren’t generally familiar with the abstraction of stacking. This could be solved by adding a visual hint at the cost of cut/paste speed.

Other Fabian and GrahamStw - like Qma, I find that full-line copy/cut feature extremely helpful. And due to the clipboard ring feature of Visual Studio, if you ever hit Ctrl-C inadvertently, just press Ctrl-Shift-V to get back the item you copied before.

(I wonder why Microsoft removed the clipboard ring display in VS 2005.)

Most disturbing to me is that “Save” is the #2 most-used command. In 2003, it shouldn’t be necessary to manually save your work, because what you write should be saved as you enter it, so your work can never be lost. Typing at 30WPM generates only 3 bytes per second; any 21st-century computer (including phones and watches) can handle recording that.

Perhaps there’s more to be learned from the command line history function.

I’m not saying that as some UNIX neckbeard or a Linux zealot - really - look at how command shell history functions have solved one part of this problem - repeating stuff you’ve done before vs capturing interesting stuff you’ve found in output.

I remember using CygnusEd (CED) for development back in the Amiga days - it had multiple clipboards (yeah, I know I’m talking text here and it’s not at the OS level), multiple open documents, macros launced external programs (compilers)

This was 15 years ago?? (20 according to Wikipedia!)

I was mightily disappointed…When I started using text editors in DOS/Windows 3.1

I would love it if I could use all those function keys I hardly ever use for clipboards. e.g. Left Windows+F1 to cut, Right Windows+F1 to paste

I like Clipx I also like ArsClip, however when I want to cut some text in word I press ctrl-X and word exits!.. anyway I use clipx continually… In arsclip you can save some permanent items which is also good…


Vincent, I’m rather surprised it’s not #1!
I’ve got a long time habit of pressing ctrl-s after every second or third line born out of some very painful moments where an application crashed and the last save was half an hour ago.

Once I’ve worked on a small fun project with a friend together and we both had the same project on a network share opened in VS. After about 10 minutes we were both sick of VS reloading some files every 30 seconds or so (he has the same habit) that we quickly decided to set up a sourcesafe DB, even if its only for some hours…

The real problem is the lack of a standard for UI. If there were a standard someone would just say: “Hey, let’s improve it” and it would get done.
One of the reasons I do not like linux for desktop is all the problem with KDE vs GTK, it’s like redundancy (not the good database redundancy). I got 2 librarys that to the exact same thing but slight different, so I pay 30 mb of memmory for each one and slow my boot process to load both (or even wrost, load one at boot and the other when some app starts and it hangs there until the library loads). At least in windows we have a single and consistent UI that do not change ever couple months (but still do in the long run).

KDE 4 is out and about.

Windows (with MS Office) has had a multi-entry clipboard feature for several versions. However, it breaks any other apps that rely on the clipboard so I always have to turn it off. As for copy/paste to the command line, you can configure the dos window to select text with a mouse drag, then copy to clipboard with right-click or enter key, then paste to command line with a right-click.

Of course with all that being said, I would find Windows very unpleasant if I didn’t have access to my favorite unix shell environment (complete with command-line – STDIN clipboard commands) installed on my windows box.

Microsoft Office from version 2000 (I think) onwards has the multiple clip history enabled - and I absolutely despise it. My main gripe is that the damn thing maxes out at ten items, and doesn’t remove the oldest.

I’ve only encountered one situation where I’d really like to have multiple items in my clipboard, but it’s hardly a daily occurrance.

Microsoft: Please leave the clipboard alone, or let me use it just like it currently works (read: simple, but fast).

I’m usually the first to go “Lets try this new cool way of doing things”, but this is one situation where I’d really love the status quo to be maintained.

why is the Windows clipboard only capable of holding a single item

Possibly because non-geeks prefer it that way? When I set up machines for family and friends one of the first things I have to do is turn off Word’s #$#!( multi-entry clipboard (or if I don’t I get a call back a few days later to complain that “the clipboard on the Windows [sic] is broken”). I’m guessing that Microsoft’s user testing revealed the same thing, that the masses just don’t want multi-entry clipboards. Heck, I’m a pretty hardcode geek and even I hate them, I don’t want to have to go fishing in a menu just to cut and paste a line of text.

Dear Jeff,

I read your posts with much interest. I rarely have a comment because you’ve covered a subject well, and I can often only agree with your reasoning and observations, or you’re writing about a subject I don’t know much about. I have commented though and as far as I can remember all my comments revolve around 1 thing. I promise that this is the last time.

You’ve written about browsers and I’ve pointed you to Konqueror. Now you write about copy / paste behaviour and others have mentioned KDE’s Klipper already. I know you’re well locked-in to Windows and that’s fine but it seems to me you’ve got a few reasons to have a look at KDE. Not as a competition between window managers or browsers, that’s a bit pointless but as a reference for improvement: you only have to look for things that are done different and better. So if you have an old machine lying around you’re not currently using, install a Linux distro somewhere in a corner of the harddisk and try KDE out for a while, it won’t hurt.

Jeff, I agree completely. Moreover, the thing that has really gotten me over the past few years is apparently caused by an MS security patch around the clipboard (I am guessing). The following behavior does not always work reliably any more, and it used to:

  1. Highlight and copy some text in running App 1.

  2. Start App 2.

  3. Once App2 has started, paste text into App 2.

Often times now #3 either brings in some PRIOR clipboard contents before the last cut/copy (the most likely scenario) or nothing at all. Odd and frustrating and happens across multiple machines and versions of Windows (at least XP and 2003). This still bites me almost every day, and the behavior’s been broken (or randomized as to success) for at least a year or more now.

Steve, your comment on emacs reminded me of one of my favorite jokes - “emacs - a nice operating system, but it could use an editor.” :slight_smile:

Nice graphic on the clipboard stack!

Jeff, that’s one great tool you recommend there. Installed it and already lovin’ it.

You are all spoiled brats:)

I consider myself a (absolute!) power user and I never needed multiple clipboard items. Your beloved Word approach always annoyed me…

And why sacrifice the speed and non-graphical modus operandi of the current clipboard for multiple items support?

I thought you might find it interesting to know that on any given Windows error message, you can hit Ctrl + C (Copy, obviously) and it will directly copy the contents of the error message to your clipboard…just a fun fact that may serve everyone as a usefull hint.

I see your point Jeff and as you know MS Office ships with similar feature.

Problem is simple managing data in your head, instead of managing several data and keep them in brain while trying to do something else is just an extra hassle (at least for me, blame my low IQ!). Maybe up to 2 but not 5 or something like that. That’d be crazy.

That’s the only reason I don’t go for this solution.

Ctrl + Shift + V for previous copied item is not a bad idea though I can remember 2 data in my stack :slight_smile: