You probably know how the Windows clipboard works. You copy something, then you can paste it somewhere else. The things you copy could be plain text, formatted text, images, links or files. You may also know what happens each time you use the clipboard. The Windows clipboard only holds the memory of the last clipping. Anything you clipped previous to the last item is gone forever.
This loss can be frustrating, and the frustration has inspired many solutions to this problem. The most common solution is a tool called a clipboard manager. These tools (sometimes called clipboard extenders, enhancements or extensions) can give you access to old clippings.
I won’t use a PC for any length of time without a clipboard manager. Over the years, I’ve tried many clipboard extenders, and Ditto is my favorite. Ditto is a free and open source program. It has built-in help and an active online forum. It also comes in a portable version that you can unzip onto a flash drive and take with you for use on any PC.
Ditto’s search feature is what really sold me on it. When Ditto is activated by it’s hot key, it displays the most recent clips and also defaults to a search mode. As soon as you start typing, Ditto searches all of it’s clippings for the characters you enter and displays the most likely clippings that contain those characters.
When you combine the search feature with Ditto’s ability to permanently store clippings, you have a time saving database right at your finger tips. After I describe the program, I’ll show you my favorite feature to save you time if you decide to use it.
Here are a few of the features:
â€¢ Easy to use
â€¢ Search and paste previous copy entries
â€¢ Sync or share clippings over network
â€¢ Data encrypted when sent over network
â€¢ Access from tray icon or global hot key
â€¢ Select clips by double click, enter key or drag drop
â€¢ Paste into any window that allows it
â€¢ Display thumbnails of copied images
â€¢ Full Unicode support
â€¢ UTF-8 support for any language
â€¢ Sqlite database
My favorite feature – Storing permanent clips:
I’ll store the address below. All I have to do is highlight the text and use the normal Windows shortcut (CTRL + C) to copy it. This adds the entry to Ditto.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
After I copy the text, I’ll bring up Ditto’s main interface with it’s hotkey (CTRL + Tilde) or a click on the Ditto icon in the system tray. Here’s what it looks like:
Now I’ll right click on the Googleentry to bring up the menu. This menu controls every feature in Ditto. To store this clipping, I will chose Propertiesas shown.
Now I’ll check the check-box labeled Never Auto Delete.
Now it’s stored permanently in Ditto. The next time I need Google’s address, all I have to do is hit the hotkey and start typing in GOOGLEand this clipping will rise to the top of the list as I type. If I double click the entry in Ditto, it will be placed back into the Windows clipboard so I can paste it. In addition, if I already had my mouse cursor placed in an application that accepts text, the moment I double clicked the Ditto entry, the text from the entry gets pasted into the application.
This works for text, images and even file copying. Naturally, you can’t paste an image into a text editor, but you can paste images into image editors and files into Explorer windows.
You can use Ditto to store information such as phone numbers, addresses, login names, passwords and anything else you can copy in Windows. I and my wife used it to store standard trouble shooting responses while working as online tech support for a large wiki farm. I feel lost without it when I’m using someone else’s PC.
Techie Buzz Verdict:
Ditto is a must haveapplication for me. I recommend it to anyone who has ever lost a clipping to the stupid Windows clipboard feature. It can save you hours of work and is also an easy to access database.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5