I’ve been needing a utility to store multiple clippings, but I couldn’t find one that I liked so I asked the helpful people on the 43 Folders Google Group. Steve suggested ClipMate, Eugene liked Ditto, and Ricochet pointed me toward Clipomatic. The other programs that I found on my own that weren’t a complete waste of time were M8 Multi-Clipboard and CLCL.
After playing around a bit, I was all set to go with Ditto, but then I got more responses and Doug not only suggested ArsClip, but pointed me at a Wikipedia entry for clipboard managers. I need to remember to check Wikipedia more often; they have a lot of good summary articles.
I didn’t try every single one of the clipboard managers that I ran across. I eliminated a lot of them because it was easy to see that they didn’t match up to the ones suggested, or they hadn’t been updated in a long time. Here’s a quick overview of the few that had unique features:
ClipMate seems to be the undisputed ruler of this software niche. This bling filled app has too many features to go into here. If you’re a “Power User”, there’s a 99% chance that this thing has the features you’re looking for. For my needs though it would be like using a sledge hammer to swat a fly. Plus it costs $35 and I’m a cheapskate.
Clipomatic is a great minimal solution. No bells and whistles, it just works. Seeing as I tried out so many clipboard utilities, I guess it goes without saying that I’m looking for something a bit more flashy, but the price is right.
M8 Multi-Clipboard does the expected cutting and pasting plus it also does screen captures and gives you handy buttons to websites and email addresses in clippings. It has a nice layout, quick keyboard control, the ability to store clips, and mousing over the items allows you to preview them. They have a free version, but the full version is $20.
ArsClip is a pretty full featured freeware program. One added bonus it has is a form filling feature (similar to ClipMate). Most of the times I want to fill a form, it’s on a website and there are browser based tools that do that job better for standard information like you name and address. I can think of a situation though were I need to copy a series of clippings into a form that this would come in handy for. Maybe I could even use it with AutoHotKey to automate the task further (I guess you could do the whole thing with AutoHotKey, but adding this app could save some coding).
Ditto is a strong competitor for even the mighty ClipMate and it’s open source! Another solid open source player worth mentioning is Clipboard.NET, which has a plugin architecture in case there’s something special you want. The features I really liked in Ditto are the ability to pick what types of objects you want to clip, a convient auto-hiding window, and you can share clippings with another computer over a network. The sharing feature would be great for use with Synergy (it has a simple shared clipboard built in).
In the end, Ditto is the one for me. Picking the right one depends a lot on your personal needs and comfort, but hopefully my search will help you narrow the field.