If you’re on Twitter you may have heard the sad news of Larry Tesler passing away recently. I, like many others I’m sure, hadn’t heard of Mr Tesler until his death. You will be familiar with his work however. Larry Tesler was the inventor of Cut, Copy and Paste. Copy and Paste is an action we do every day on a computer (some more than others perhaps.. guilty). Editing documents, moving text around, quoting people, downright plagrasium.. it’s a quick and useful way of repurposing text. If you are slow at typing, find spelling difficult or maybe experience short term memory problems it’s a godsend. On Windows you can just use the mouse, select the text, right click and choose your weapon of choice (Cut, Copy or Paste). Mac users don’t have a right mouse button but I suspect they use this feature just as much. Taking it to the next level, let’s call them the serious amateurs, we have keyboard shortcuts. Shift + Delete for Cut (can’t say I use this much), Ctrl + C for Copy and Ctrl + V for Paste. Keyboard shortcuts are great, more productive and help prevent repetitive strain injury (RSI).
As much as I like this tool (technique?) the standard Copy/Paste has a major limitation which you will have certainly have come across if you use it frequently. It only remembers the last item copied. Let’s say you want to copy a few phrases from a document. This means you need to switch between documents: copy, switch, paste, switch, copy… or you could use my preferred method which is to open a Notepad doc, split the screen and paste into that. I do this to remove any style associated with the text but it’s still increasing the workload and thereby defeating the purpose!
There have long been third party tools called Clipboard Managers which allow you take Copy and Paste to the next level. A clipboard manager will allow you: copy. copy, copy > Paste, Paste, Paste. Very handy. What most people don’t know, and the reason for this post, is that Windows 10 has a Clipboard Manager built in, you just need to enable it. Copy as normal (Ctrl + C) but instead of using Ctrl + V to paste, Use Windows Key + V. Windows Key is on the bottom row, left of spacebar between Ctrl and Alt and is the Windows Logo. Once enabled (doing it the first time will prompt you to enable the feature) you will be offered a window with your clipboard history (screenshot below, it works for screenshots too).