Anyone who does a lot of copying and pasting of text on a computer knows how essential a clipboard manager is. I’ve used quite a few over the years, and while there are several great solutions, Irradiated’s iClip ($18.99, free trial) rises above them all.
Over a year ago, I included iClip in a review of Mac clipboard managers, and at the time Clips was as my clipboard manager of choice. Clips, however, became unstable and was rarely updated. After trying a few other clipboard managers, I reopened iClip several months ago and discovered a few features I had previously overlooked.
This app was built with productivity in mind, and is fully Yosemite compatible. If you want to reduce the hassles of copying and pasting text or managing clippings, you should take iClip for a test drive.
iClip keeps a history of everything you copy on your Mac, including images, audio files, videos, and documents. Each of your clips are saved to an individual bin where you can use them to paste the content into another application. Clipboard history is pretty standard for most third-party clipboard managers, but iClip can increase your productivity with a few more tricks up its sleeve.
iClip can be parked and positioned on your desktop, and toggled when your mouse cursor touches a designated screen edge or with an assigned keyboard shortcut. This is convenient for clicking and pasting a clipping into another application, or for dragging and dropping a clipping into a bin.
iClip also allows for creating clipping sets, which permanently save clippings added to them. So for example, you may have a clipping set for a project, which might includes saved URLs, email addresses, template letters, and graphic files needed for quick access. Clippings in the Recorder bin can be moved or copied to a designated set and remain there until you remove them.
For power users, iClip also allows for searching clips, and for creating smart clipping sets that automatically filter results based on a search criteria. You might for example create smart set that captures all copied URLs from a designated website.
For Power Users
iClip is chock full of preferences for changing the skin of the application, assigning hot keys to a few dozen iClip functions, and for telling iClip what to do with your clippings when the application quits or is turned off.
It’s really worth the time to get acquainted with this part of the application if you want to take advantage the more powerful features. You can also set iClip not to record clips in selected applications, such as the password manager, 1Password.
If you don’t like taking your hands off the keyboard while typing, you can use an iClip hot key to activate the bin and paste one of the last nine clippings by simply clicking the corresponding number for the clip.
I’ve mapped an iClip hot key to a Keyboard Maestro action which allows me to type a string of three letters to activate the iClip numbered bins feature, and then type the number for pasting the clipping I want – and I don’t have lift my hands to press the keyboard shortcut.
Copied text in bins can also be edited and labeled for easier management, and a clipped URL or file can be opened from within a bin. If you work with a team of people on a project, you can export and share clippings with iClip users. Hot keys can also be assigned for clearing bins, copying clippings, and converting styled text to plain text.
I also map several hot keys to the automation program, Keyboard Maestro, and the finger gesture application, BetterTouchTool so I can have several different ways to toggle the bins and quickly paste text.
The Best Clipboard Manager
Based on my experience with clipboard managers, I vote hands down for iClip as the best manager for Mac users. The only draw back is that it doesn’t sync with iOS devices like the multi-platform, Cloud Clip. Download iClip for a 30-day free trial, and let us know what you think of it.
Download: iClip ($18.99)
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