4 Great Alternative Clipboard Managers for Windows
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clipboard managerCopying and pasting text in Windows is as easy as pressing Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V on your keyboard right? That’s what I’ve always thought and it is even true until now. However, after discovering some of the useful clipboard manager applications out there, I found that copying and pasting is not just restricted to simple keyboard shortcuts. With a little imagination, it can do lot of things and make your life easier and more efficient.

1. Freeclip


Freeclip is a simple clipboard manager that comes with several useful functions. It keeps a record of the last 25 clips you have copied, regardless whether it is a line of text, URL, application shortcut, or images. Whenever you hover over the items on the clipboard, it reveals up a preview window showing you the content of the copied item. The default option is for you to activate it via the mouse (click on the icon at the system tray), but you are free to configure your hotkey in the configuration menu.

One of the things that I like about FreeClip is the ability to add buttons to the clip and modify them on the fly. For example, you can add a Uppercase/Lowercase button so that you can pasted the text in UPPERCASE or lowercase with a single click. There are several buttons available to add including Run applications, Email buttons, form filling, Firefox bookmarks button etc.

2. Arsclip


ArsClip is a small clipboard that does not require any installation. You can easily double-click to fire it up and get it running. It records the last 15 entry of the copied items, but can be adjusted to accept up to 100 records.

The ArsClip user interface is not really that bad, but the good thing about this application is that it gives you plenty of configuration options so you can mix and match until you find the settings that best suits you. You can configure the hotkey to use, the popup options, what to be copied and how it should treat non-text items (such as picture or filenames).

3. Yankee Clipper 3


When you use Yankee Clipper to manage your clipboard, it can sort out the things that you are copying/pasting and place them in the respective order. For example, if you copy an image from the web, Yankee Clipper 3 will show the item on the Pictures list. The same goes for a string of text, URL and rich text. YC3 allows you to save up to 200 items on the clipboard and there is no limit to the size of the clipping.

The best thing about Yankee Clipper is that you can save your clipping to the boilerplates (just like a template) and keep them for future usage. If you find that you are copying/pasting the same things over and over again, the boilerplate is definitely an useful tool for you.

4. Ditto-CP


Ditto-CP is an open-source portable clipboard that uses the SQlite database to store all your clippings. When you first use it, you will find that it is just the same as any other clipboard manager. However, on further exploration, you will discover many other useful features that are not available in other applications.

First, Ditto-CP allows you to connect to other computers and sync your clippings with each computer. You won’t have to recreate all your clippings again when on a different computer. Secondly, it supports the ‘search as you type’ feature on its clipboard. If you have plenty of items on the clipboard, this feature is definitely very useful for you.

Thirdly, there are plenty of settings that you can configure, including creating hotkeys to access the first ten items in the clipboard. There is also a stats menu where you can view the number of copied/pasted performed and the database size.

Previously covered in MakeUseOf

5. Clipx

Mark had previously wrote a great article featuring the usefulness of Clipx. The best thing about Clipx is that it remembers up to 1024 clippings and you can set ClipX to purge itself when you shutdown your PC. There is also a bunch of useful plug-ins to improve ClipX’s functionality.

6. Clipguru

Another useful Clipboard manager is Clipguru, featured by Karl a while back. After you have captured your clippings on your clipboard, you can combine various selections and search through what has already been captured and edit those notes. A useful feature if you want to edit the stuffs that you have copied.

Using a Mac? Not to worry, Jackson wrote about the best free clipboard managers to run on Mac OS X The Best Free Multi-Item Clipboard Managers for Mac The Best Free Multi-Item Clipboard Managers for Mac Read More .

What other clipboard manager do you use to make your copy/paste easier? Paste them in the comments.

Image credit: stupid is the new clever

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  1. Hannes
    October 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

    After 60 days in use, freeclip & 101clips turn out as annoying nag screen applications to buy the Spartan Pro Clipboard. Ridiculous name: freeclip - wankers!

  2. Kyle
    September 10, 2009 at 8:25 am

    CtrlSee is a simple clipboard manager where you can switch between previously copied items quickly. You can find it here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ctrlsee/. It is open source, so it is free!

  3. Mr. Ed
    June 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I am running Vista x64, and have tried several clip managers, but the best I have found is a sidebar gadget by Jan Zeman called, appropriately enough, Clipboard Manager, v2.1.1.1. It can be found at http://www.janzeman.com. It is a terrific manager, and can do tons of things...and it is easy to use.

  4. Maskil
    June 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I quite like PhraseExpress (Autotext - Clipboard Utility - Snippets Organizer) which you can download here:


    Features include:

    - Organize frequently used text snippets.
    - Expand abbreviations as you type.
    - Launch programs with text shortcuts.
    - Auto-complete repetitive phrases.
    - Quick access to the Windows Clipboard History.
    - Correct spelling mistakes in any application.

    p.s. When installing, don’t select all the integration options until you’re sure it’s a keeper.

    • Damien Oh
      June 10, 2009 at 8:51 pm

      PhraseExpress seems to have quite extensive features. Can't believe that I have missed that out.

    • Jim Selcon
      June 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      Wow, this PhraseExpress is really cool! I just saw the demonstration video: phraseexpress.com/demo.htm

      Installing now...


  5. Marcel Poirier
    June 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    About Ditto, I'll give it a try.

    Thanks Matt for your comment.

  6. thw
    June 8, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I like ControlC best!This small cross-platform monitors your clipboard and saves everything online.

  7. Marcel Poirier
    June 8, 2009 at 4:44 am

    My favorite one is Hamsin Clipboard 3.03:


    • Matt Stow
      June 8, 2009 at 6:33 am

      I used to use Hamsin Clipboard religiously too, but it's getting on a bit now - and frequently screws up when using VMs.

      Ditto is an excellent replacement and can do everything Hamsin can and more.

  8. Gamborg
    June 8, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Nice list, but I really think you might have overlooked this

    For me as a coder it does exactly what is needed, no more no less. One of those "why isn't this the defalt behaviour" kind of things ;)

    • thw
      June 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm

      I like it thws.cn/articles/copypastetool.html

    • Damien Oh
      June 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. I guess I really have overlooked that. Will check it out.

  9. William
    June 8, 2009 at 1:45 am


    Unbeatable, IMHO

    • Damien Oh
      June 8, 2009 at 2:16 am

      The 101clips is exactly the same software as FreeClips, which I mentioned in the article

      • Martin
        June 9, 2009 at 8:18 am

        I found 101 Clips after trying many other clipboard tools. I ran the free trial of Spartan Clipboard that is included with 101, spent $10 for the upgrade, and I have never looked back.

        Spartan gives me 20 sheets that I can name, each with 9 x 64 cells that hold graphics or text clips. I haven't discovered the maximum size of a text clip - I think well over 50k. Plus search, back up and diverse editing functions (Proper Case, UC, lc, strip html, strip surplus spaces, strip line feeds, etc.), color coding, and optional pasting modifier buttons. It has become my organizer for phone numbers, addresses, the stuff I tried to put in Google Notes and Google Docs, and all my boilerplate. You can even assign a "friendly" name to each clip. I got the portable version, so I have my clips on any machine. By now, my backups run 5 - 10 Megs.

        And if you don't want to buy Spartan, you can switch it back to free 101! Many of you will find that enough. A very well conceived tool, simple to use, easy to hide and restore.

  10. cRazi_man
    June 7, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I found this Vista sidebar gadget: home.arcor.de/clipboarder/
    Its called clipboarder and I thought it was easily the simplest way to manage the clipboard in windows.

  11. libeco
    June 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I've been using Kana Clip kanasolution.com/index.php?fid=5&pid=2 for years now and really haven't found a better program.

    In combination with X mouse button control I have linked it to one of my two extra buttons on my mouse for very quick access. The other button is used by Kana Launcher although I don't use it as often.