Clipboard history?

Since Undo seems to get lost across files (I just lost text again), what about a built-in clipboard history?

You might try ClipMenu if you need a solution right away. It’s free:


My favourite for this is PTHPasteboard Pro. It’s a powerful clipboard management tool, not only saving reams of clipboard history, but allowing you to perform functions while pasting, such as straightening quotes, translating from one language to another, and tons more. If you use more than one computer, it has a very nice synchronisation feature. You can subscribe your computers to each other’s clipboards so you can copy something on Machine A, walk over to B, and paste it.

Not free though. There are a lot of clipboard managers out there, you should be able to find something that suits you.

Having spent the best part of ten years of my life teaching English to non-native speakers, and trying to speak another language myself, I’ll believe that when I see it! I don’t know how many bits the human brain has, but it’s rather more than 64, and if it struggles with translation I wouldn’t have much faith in any translation that a home computer could produce. I remember when an Italian friend of mine ran an English web page through Google’s translation service and almost died of hysteria at the result.

But I take it from this that you don’t use LaunchBar’s clipboard history. A bit limited, I agree, but it’s always there.

Best, Martin.

Ha! Yeah, don’t expect much better than Google’s results—in fact I wouldn’t be shocked if they are just using the Google API. I’m not aware of anything on the Mac that does this natively (the Apple-supplied widgets all require a network connexion).

Fun game is ‘telephone’. Pass a phrase through multiple Google translators from one language to the next and finally back around to the source. Produces some riots.

I’ve never really played with LaunchBar’s clipboard feature. I had been a PTH user since before that was added to LaunchBar, and so never really needed it and kept it switched off. If someone needs a simple clipboard history tool, and also likes the basic idea of LaunchBar, it’s a very compelling choice, as clipboard history is only a minor addenda in LB’s overall usefulness.

My favourite along these lines was the story of the early days of computer translation when, as an experiment, a phrase was run from English to Russian, then back from Russian to English. The phrase in question was “out of sight, out of mind”. It came back as “invisible idiot”.

I’ve just investigated the LaunchBar clipboard history a little more, and it seems you can do filtering through actions. I’ll have to look at it further.

Best, Martin.

I wondered about that as well, while I was writing the above, since LB’s claim to fame is being able to string together data, commands, and applications easily. With a little scripting knowledge (LB is just as fine with UNIX as AppleScript, in terms of scripting), one could probably do quite a bit with LB’s clipboard history.

You can access the Services through LB as well, which means that in my case I can get all of TextSoap’s “scrubs” via LB. But I also noticed that “copy and paste as plain text” is one of the options you get with the contextual menu in LB. Looking at their forums, it’s quite remarkable what people try to do with LB – one of them was proposing to parse MMD to html using a script via LB! Seems the sky’s the limit.

Cheers, Martin.