Killer Download

Anytime I need to do research on the Web, I know that the fingers involved with the copy and paste keyboard shortcuts are in for a workout. I also know I'll be alt-tabbing to switch between my browser and my text editor, too. Fortunately I found clipboard utilities to make any cut and paste or data-entry task a lot easier.

Clipboard utilities make it possible to copy numerous, separate items from your Web browser without switching programs. Once safely copied, you can then move to your document or text editor and paste each bit of info right where you want it. Not only do they give you the ability to copy multiple items to allow you to focus on the task at hand, they also come with other added features that make them useful for other projects.

If you work in customer service, for example, using these utilities makes it easy to bring up a database of common support mail responses. Data-entry workers and those doing research will find these programs extremely useful, as well. Though I don't work in these professions, I find they come in handy any time I need to transfer a lot of separate information from one place to another.

M8 Free Multi Clipboard
Though not as pretty as the others, added features for previewing clips come in handy. (Credit: CNET Networks)

M8 Free Multi Clipboard is the least feature-rich of the bunch, but you'll be able to copy up to 25 items before you need to "empty" clips to your document. Once you go beyond 25 clips, the program replaces the first with your last copy so make sure to keep an eye on your list. Text and image files can be previewed in the interface so you can grab exactly what you need when you're ready to start pasting. You'll also be able to paste graphics clips directly into e-mails without creating an attachment using this app.

Simply double click on your selected clip to paste to the target app or document. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Clipdiary is another free clipboard utility, but offers an unlimited amount of space for your clips. This utility runs at Windows startup and captures everything you copy into a searchable database. This means you can go back and find commonly used items quickly for pasting to multiple documents--even if you've shut down between sessions. Just click on the task manager icon and enter the first letter of your clip and Clipdiary will take you to the best match. Clicking on items in your list bring up a preview of the clip so you know for sure you're using the right one.

Organize your clips into customized categories for multiple copy/paste tasks. (Credit: CNET Networks)

textBEAST is a great name for this clipboard utility and well worth the price if you're in one of the professions I talked about earlier or if you do a lot of research. Sporting an intuitive interface, textBEAST lets you organize clips into groups so you can group together info associated with a specific job. You'll be able to customize and name each group to have exactly the clips you want, so specific repetitive tasks will have the exact info you need every time. If you're serious about getting a clipboard utility, this is the one to get, but it will cost you ($29.99).

If you're involved with research, data-entry, or anything that requires you do a lot of copying and pasting, these tools can help. Once you get used to them, you'll wonder how you ever did your job without them.

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.