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

By Saikat Basu2012-12-05

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. 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  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 page.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


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