Sheer limitations in Windows and Office’s clipboard such as the lack of permanent memory, and other features may not bug you, but it’s irking sometimes to have to do things the long way. Ditto is a free and open source application that serves as a clipboard manager. You can download the installer from http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net. Unzip the file. Copy it to a folder and run Ditto.
Ditto runs as a small tiny icon on your taskbar. Now, when you use an application such as Office or a web browser, copy text using [Ctrl] + [C]. Click on the Ditto program and you’ll see how Ditto copies everything you do.
What’s cool about Ditto is how it seamlessly runs in the background. Like a lot of programs, it has the stay-on top feature that is useful so you don’t have to keep minimizing and maximizing. Ditto also monitors functions such as Print Screen. So press [Print Screen] on your keyboard and you’ll see a miniature version of your desktop in Ditto. Ditto also works with Cut ([Ctrl] + [X]).
|Ditto’s simplistic interface is a breeze to use
Once you’ve copied, simply go to the program you wish to paste some of the items in, and double-click. Alternatively, drag and drop. Simple? To paste multiple items, select all them. You may use the mouse, press [Shift] or to select items which are not sequential, press [Ctrl] and click on them.
Ditto also features a useful search function that searches and filters as you type. Next to the filter bar is a Double Arrow (>>). Clicking on it collapses Ditto into a thin vertical bar that can stay unobtrusively in the background while you work with your programs. Quick Paste ([Ctrl] + [V]), as is expected pastes the most recent thing copied.
You may even press the Close button on the Ditto screen or Exit the program entirely. On restart, your old copied items are still saved.
|Ditto’s right-click quick options
Right-clicking on the Ditto interface gives you a few features. Quick options allow you to modify basic things such as the number of lines you see, the positioning, the font that is being used, change what happens when you double-click the caption bar, and more.
You may also edit a copied entry. Its features such as these that set it apart from the Office clipboard. Right click on Entry, and select Edit Clip. It opens a Text Editor that’ll let you change the entry. While you’d expect a simple Notepad type interface, it’s goes one step ahead by adding support for bullets and fonts.
Let’s take a quick look at the options. Right-click the icon on the taskbar. Click on Options to see a huge list of tweaks you can make to customize Ditto.
|Use the options to tweak Ditto to your tastes
You may choose to Start Ditto at System Startup, choose whether or not to display the icon in the system tray, modify the maximum number of saved copies (500 defaults – which is quite impressive), decide whether or not the entries vanish, and if they do, after how long, or are they stored in memory indefinitely.
After you reach the maximum limit, like all clipboards, the oldest entry is removed. However, if you’ve marked it as Never Delete (Right-click on Entry > Quick Properties > Never Auto Delete), it’ll stay on in memory.
You may also make nice small tweaks. What were interesting are the Ignore Copies functions. For example if you keep [Ctrl] + [C] pressed, or if you copied the same thing twice, Ditto will ignore it. It has the functionality to ignore copies that occur X milliseconds from the last copy. You may also choose to play a sound on copy.
On checking Update Clip Time on Paste, it will set the Time of the entry to the time it was pasted (Current) and take it to the top of the list. (Note: This works only on double-clicking and not on Drag and Drop operation). The other categories in Options allow you to modify keyboard shortcuts, assign quick-paste keys to the last ten copied items and change the type of files allowed (Rich Text and Unicode). The Quick Paste subcategory has more options as to how History is organized, whether text is displayed or just the entry number and whether thumbnails should be displayed for image items.
If on a network, you can add Friends by entering their IP addresses in. By right-clicking on an entry and using Send To, you can send your clipboard to a maximum of 15 computers. Of course, you’ll need to decide a password and use it for encryption, but advanced users can figure this out on their own.
Go to Options > Status for a nice Odometer to keep track of how frequently you use Ditto. Other nice features include Theme support and options to check for updates. On the whole, even if you remove all the other fancy features, the essential utility in Ditto is brilliant. A very compact clipboard that stays on top of all your applications allowing you to store as much data as you need. We would recommend it highly as a must-use for all those who do a lot of editing or use Office or browse the web on a regular basis.