Do You Copy & Paste All Day? Manage The Windows Clipboard Better With The Portable ClipTrap

Saikat Basu 05-12-2012

windows clipboardThe clipboard is one of the invisible but most used features of our Windows computers. But satisfied with the way it handles any copy-paste operations, we let it be…rarely fiddling with it to change its default operation. Come to think of it, it is a bit strange because copy-paste operations take place throughout the day, almost as an unconscious behavior, and always repeatedly. It may make sense to use a Windows clipboard manager which will at least cut the repetitions of CTRL+C and CTRL+V.


Then it definitely makes sense to use a hassle-free portable app for the job, as portable apps come without the extra baggage of registry bloating entries. You can carry it along with you on a portable drive to whichever computer you work next on. ClipTrap is a nice little utility which scores marks on each count.

ClipTrap (ver. 1.1.5) is a free portable app for Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

The Portable Little and Lithe ClipTrap

ClipTrap is a little portable application that works with Windows Clipboard and helps to extend the simple copy-paste operations. Traditional clipboard operations are one-off…your successive clipboard job wipes the earlier one from its memory. But with ClipTrap, it’s easy to keep track of all your copy-paste operations and helps you return to something you copied – let’s say – seven steps back. It’s just the tool you would need if you do a lot of copy-pasting between various applications, and would like to keep a history of it throughout the day.

The interface is simple sans any frills. To understand its simplicity, you have to understand why it was made originally – for use with terminal emulators that often needed to capture several successive bits of output from various routers, switches, and other devices on the network.

windows clipboard


The list of features is also simple…

  • You can toggle the clipboard monitor on and off with a click on the ‘playhead’ icon.
  • You can save all your clipboard operations as a plain text file or append it to another pre-existing text file.
  • You can copy the entire saved text and paste it elsewhere with a click on Copy window text.
  • You can move through an entire day’s clipboard history speedily with the scroll buttons.
  • You can append the latest clipboard entry at the top or at the bottom.

Clear clipboard and Clear window text are pretty self-explanatory. The Configuration screen as shown below, gives you a few productivity tweaks.

windows clipboard

You can change the font of the saved clipboard entries. This doesn’t make much of a difference as you would most likely adopt the formatting of the target file when you paste it there. You can set a timestamp which allows you to use standard AutoHotkey timestamp tokens in your delimiter strings. See the AutoHotkey time format page for the method. Also, for a speedier launch, you can set a keyboard shortcut for the app, and minimize it to the tray where it watches over the clipboard.


Using ClipTrap

There are more powerful clipboard manager tools like Ditto which we reviewed in The 3 Best Clipboard Managers For Windows 6 Free Clipboard History Managers to Track What You Copy & Paste You need a clipboard manager because it can remember all the things you copy and paste. We have compiled five of the most functional tools to manage your clipboard history . Read More . I am partial to ClipX myself and regularly use it in my work. Also, look into the options mentioned by Craig in his Power Up Your Copy & Paste Functions With These 2 Tools Power Up Your Copy & Paste Functions With These 2 Tools [Windows] There are a lot of ways to trick out your Windows clipboard. Some of the most common revolve around the idea of extending the clipboard so that it can hold numerous different things for you... Read More  post. Options are aplenty, so why use ClipTrap?

As the developer says, it is meant to be simple and something just above a more complicated clipboard manager. It took me all of five seconds to start using it. Text and links are saved as is, while files are saved by theirs locations only (obviously). So, if you are among those who likes their software to be portable, free, and lightweight (1.32 MB), you would give ClipTrap a tryout. It must be doing something right as readers have put in a recommendation for it and given it a place on our Best Portable Apps The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More page.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  1. Baba
    May 11, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    If you copy - paste from web or use bookmarks and tabs a lot to save webpages and content, try memosnag. The plugin is available for Chrome and Firefox and there is also an app for iOS (Android should come soon). It's by far the best way to capture, organize and share anything online.

    • Saikat Basu
      May 17, 2016 at 6:07 am

      This is the Chrome extension link our readers would be looking for.

      Thanks for the tip. Could be a useful learning tool as well because it has the organizational "collections".

  2. Giggity Goebbels
    December 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

    This is useful.i am getting it

  3. Dave C
    December 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I've been using ClipCachePro for years. It's marvelous.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 8, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Looks very powerful, but personally for me (at least on first impressions), it looks like bit of an overkill. Then it's not free too. But thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Robert in SF
    December 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I wish that the developer of ClipMate had been able to keep developing ClipMate. It was (is?) the most powerful, configurable, indespinsible clipboard manager....

    It still works, although something about a recent Windows 7 update (at least where I work) has broken the Taskbar area toolbar that showed current clips and allowed quick button access to edits and selections of those entries. The PowerPaste function is one of my favorites.

    If anyone knows of something as good or better, please let us know!

    • Steve T
      December 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      ClipMate's developer has resumed doing work on ClipMate. the latest build is date March 6th 2013. it works fine for me on Windows 8.1

  5. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I've tried a few clipboard extenders and found ClipCube right for me. Also portable, lightweight, and can store scraps of notes so I don't need two separate softwares. The only thing (very crucial, actually) feature it lacks is hotkey. You can only paste one item at a time.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Hotkey boosts you productivity like nothing esle i.e. if you are a keyboard kind of person.

  6. dan
    December 6, 2012 at 2:07 am

    i use Ditto on win7 64bit

  7. Nicola De Ieso
    December 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I use another tool similar at this, but I don't remember the name at the moment

  8. Lewis Golden
    December 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Clip Trap appears to be an app that I can make very good use of on my Win 7 desktop. The simple fact of being able to keep track of many copy and paste entries will be very helpful for me. In particular there are many time tat I want to copy several items from 2 or 3 files to a third. What I have been doing is very inefficient. That is doing one copy and paste at a time. With Clip Trap I will be able to do all of my copying from each file and have the items availble together so I can do all my pasting operations without having to return to one of several files each time I want to copy and paste.Thank you for this information LJG

    • Saikat Basu
      December 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Hey Lewis, that's precisely what clipboard managers are for. I strongly recommend you install one. Go for the portable ones like these.

  9. Shahbaz Amin
    December 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I haven't really used any clipboard manager but there's loads potential and benefits in using one.

  10. riya
    December 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I use clip cube. Its also small, lightweight and it works for me :)

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      December 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

      I second it. It has a nice GUI too.

      • gen
        December 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

        The new version is a big difference from the old one. I personally like the old one better because it's as simple as a clipboard can get. The new one's too cluttered

  11. Adam Borries
    December 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Does it track only copied text, or also images and files?

  12. Kyle MacDonald
    December 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I have used this tool before and it works great with formulas in Excel. Instead of remembering what cells have the formula to edit, I have it right there.

    • Michael
      December 6, 2012 at 3:37 am

      And a bonus - it's *still* there in cliptrap after you deselect an Excel cell! This fixes one of my worst gripes with Excel.

      I have been using similar apps in Unix land for years. Back in the day, Windows 3 used to have clipbook as standard. I really noticed its absence in Win95 onwards.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Using it with Excel is where it really comes to the fore I think. Thanks for the feedback.