One of those seemingly insignificant little features the pundits said the iPhone needed to be a success is coming to the next iPhone OS. Copy and Paste.
Yep. How did you live without copy and paste on your iPhone? What about your Mac? It’s built in. It’s always been there. It’s intuitive. It works. What if I told you that copy and paste can get insanely great on your Mac?
Think for a moment about what copy and paste does and how integral it has become to using our Macs. Sure, we email, we Twitter, we chatter, we point, we click.
And, we copy and paste and don’t give it much thought. It just happens, right? Not so fast. If it just happens; if it’s so easy, how come the iPhone won’t get copy and paste until the next version this summer?
For all the taking for granted we give to our Mac’s ability to copy and paste, there are ways to make it better. Since this is Friday, it has to be a free way to make your Mac work better.
On the surface our Mac copy and paste routine seems simple enough. Select something—test, graphic, photo, whatever—then copy, then move somewhere else, then paste it in wherever we moved. Easy, huh?
The steps have become so much a part of using our Macs that we don’t even bother to think about what we do, why we do it that way, or, ask the question, “Is there a better way, Alex?”
Yes, Alex is back, sans flu, sans children (gone to visit with grandma), and sans husband (on a business trip until our hot date on Saturday night). In the meantime I have too much time on my hands hence contemplating my navel and copy and paste.
My favorite Mac utility for enhancing copy and paste is PTH Pasteboard. Again, it’s more complex that it seems.
Think of this utility as copy and paste with a memory. See, copy and paste works simply enough but it’s stupid. Copy something and it remembers. Copy something else and it forgets what you just copied before. Talk about short term memory loss. Talk about short term memory loss.
PTH Pasteboard comes in two versions, and both the free version and the expensive (anything beyond free is expensive) version have a great memory. Simply put, it remembers what you copy.
So? And it remembers what you copied before that and before that and before that and so on up to hundreds of things you copied; text, photos, images, and more. It all gets saved instead of trashed.
Alright, so it saves a huge frickin’ list of whatever I copy.
You’re asking, “How do I get it back as easy as I copied it in the first place?” That’s a fair question which deserves a thoughtful reply.
It’s easy. Click, select, click again. See? How hard were you expecting it to be?
PTH Pasteboard resides as a utility in System Preferences, as a Menu Bar item, and, very importantly, as a pop out shelf on your screen, complete with the list of what’s been copied recently.
Slide your Mac’s mouse to the side of the screen, the PTH pop out shelf shows up with a list of what you recently copied, find it, click it and it’s inserted into whatever application you’re in at the moment.
I told you it would be easy. Just remember that it’s copy and paste with a very good, albeit somewhat linear, memory of what you’ve copied. In order. One copy at a time.
PTH Pasteboard is handy, cool, chic, elegant, works like you want it to, and, did I mention it’s free? The paid for version adds a few more features and the ability to synchronize pasteboards across multiple Macs.
Many Mac users opt for the slightly more expensive and highly effective CopyPaste Pro which bills itself as “Time Machine for the Clipboard.”
This one gives you multiple clip capability, an option to edit clips, and a whole clips archives. And more eye candy on the web site than PTH Pasteboard, but just as delicious when used in conjunction with your favorite alcoholic beverage which tastes oh so good when both children and husband are gone for a few days.
Either way, you can’t go wrong. Copy and paste may be a big deal on the iPhone, but it’s so common on the Mac we don’t think about. When we do think about it we wonder how we can be more productive, more efficient as Mac users so our friends, family, and co-workers will look up to us.
If you need a little office adulation or just the admiration of neighbors, get PTH Pasteboard or CopyPaste Pro.