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Look inside the clipboard

Display all formats supported by the Windows Clipboard with this free tool.

The Windows Clipboard only displays basic file formats like text and bitmap when you copy a file to it, but in fact it makes a wide range of formats available; it just doesn't show them. NirSoft's InsideClipboard is a small, free utility that displays the binary content of all the formats currently stored in the Clipboard and lets you save the content of a specified format as a binary file.

Like most of NirSoft's utilities, Inside Clipboard is completely portable and runs as soon as you click the program file, with no formal installation required. It has a simple two-panel interface; the upper panel lists all the formats currently stored in the Clipboard, and the lower panel displays their contents in either ASCII or as a hex dump. You can select either mode or an automatic mode. The interface has some customization options, such as displaying grids and choosing columns, and a few extra features, such as Tooltips and HTML reports. It has a basic suite of icons and file menus, though the Help file is really only an About file. However, the program's Web page offers adequate documentation, including instructions and a list of command-line options. InsideClipboard is easy to use, though. We started by copying a Word document to the Clipboard for pasting to the desktop. The InsideClipboard interface displayed all the available formats. We selected the file data and saved it as both a text file (.txt) and a clipboard file (.cpl), and also loaded the clipboard file back into the program. Opening the saved files showed the selected data. You can also clear the Clipboard from the program's interface.

This is a nifty little tool that makes the Windows Clipboard better and more flexible, and we recommend it.

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