The Windows clipboard is an indispensable tool, but it only remembers one thing at a time. The fact that Micro$oft hasn’t bothered to fix that issue in Windows’ entire history tells you a lot about about how much they care about their customers. Yes, I know there’s a clipboard thing in Word, and there may be something in Vista. I wouldn’t (and will never) know. But they don’t work across the platform, so they’re essentially useless.
Clipboard managers/enhancers/extenders are little programs that lurk in the background and remember everything you copy or cut while you’re working. The better ones will save at least a hundred clips, and the really good ones will handle any kind of material you throw at them. Basically, you ignore them completely until you need to find something, then open the manager — almost always from an icon in the SysTray — and find what you need. Any worth having will allow you to paste with one click to wherever the cursor happens to be at the moment.
Most of them work quite well. However, I have yet to find a free one that performs to my standards, which are simple: no windows to deal with, unfailingly reliable operation with no thought from me, and accessibility from the system tray. Boilerplate* is nice, but I refuse to deal with a two or three click operation to access it. That’s why we have Google Notebook, anyway, and Notefish does a good job too. Both are web-based, and therefore accessible from the various PCs I use at home, work and when traveling. Heck, for that matter, a text document dragged to the quick launch bar will work OK. You don’t need bells and whistles.
Extenders, on the other hand, are for constant use. They have to be reliable, and must unfailingly hang on to your data through re-boots and crashes. Of all those I’ve tried, I like Memorizer best.
Memorizer monitors all operations and stores all data that is copied to the clipboard, making it available for later use. It works with all clipboard data formats, including text, bitmaps, vector graphics, OLE objects and so forth, allows you to edit or preview any piece of stored data at any time, with a couple of clicks, and the GUI can be configured for color, number of clips displayed and saved, etc. It can save data to its database from any program where you can use Clipboard, and can be enabled or disabled at any time from the system tray. It’s stable, fast, and will handle huge amounts of data (I don’t know what the limit is; I haven’t reached it in about seven years, so I guess it’s adequate for most folks.)
It also costs $20 US, but you can download it for a 30-day trial at no charge. At the end of the trial you will probably register it, and then you will get all future updates and enhancements for free, forever. It operates with Windows 9xx versions, XP and (ugh!) Vista. I assume it will also work with 2000 and NT, if anyone’s still using them. Costs nothing to find out. Give Memorizer a shot, and tell me what you think.
Disclaimer: I have no connection with AYLabs, and paid full price for my copy of Memorizer, albeit back when it was somewhat cheaper.*For those without a publishing background, boilerplate is copy that you tend to use over and over again: HTML footers, short biographies, collections of links that you might add at the end of an article, and so forth.
[tags]clipboard, clipboard extenders, clipboard managers, productivity tools[/tags]