What Did I Clip

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Clipboard Watcher

What is it

ClipboardWatcher is intended to be a one-trick-pony, though like many applications I am sure it will grow into a bloated beast. It’s one trick is this. It sits in the background and watches the clipboard for changes, if there is a new text item it will append the plain text (along with some optional information: timestamp and frontmost application name) to the AppendFile.

Read about the background of the application at O’Reilly Net.

Screen Shot


Things It Does

  • appends any text content to a text file of your choosing
    • optionally time stamping the entry
    • adding the application
    • for some applications it can even add the path to the file or the URL
  • open text file in a text editor
  • indicates watchfulness with a really ugly icon in the dock
  • see the screen shots for some ideas about what you can customize

Things It Will Do Soon

  • optionally get more information from the supplying application (many browsers let you get the url, some editors let you get the filename, etc)

Things It Might Do

  • delay saving to file until before clipboard changes instead of right after, would let one manipulate the text in some way before appending to text file. This would let one, strip HTML, replace tabs with space runs and the like
  • roll over the text file when it reaches a certain size or age.
  • run from the menubar (and not the dock) . Or neither (background only), but callable thru a hotkey (so I can modify preferences)
  • be released for windows and linux

Pie in the Sky

  • searchable database of clipboard captures
  • Optional sound alert when new text is appended (“Ping!”)

Things it will not do

  • it is not a clipboard manager
  • it is not a widget to maipulate clipboard content
  • it is not a clipboard preserver
  • it is not an editing tool
  • it is not a big monkey 😉


Free for now, but who knows… if you want to make a donation towards a feature or just because you think you might be helped out by this application then use the paypal donate button. Otherwise, do something nice for someone you know, ‘pay it forward’

Where can I get it

6 thoughts on “What Did I Clip”

  1. Sam,

    I have sent the link of this tool to several people. I think it is great!

    The main reason this tool is so great is that you took the time to address a single persons request. That request has ramifications for many others of us, that never even thought about a tool like that, or thought about, then forgot about it.

    The only suggestion I have is that the tool capture to an RTF file, then the tool could also capture images from some documents and things like that. …

    Still it is a great little thing for me, a collector of little things.

    Thanx Jack

  2. Here is a request for Sam: I am an editor of biomedical papers for authors for whom English is a second langauge. They make the same errors, time and time again, and I spend half my life adding notes into their manuscripts on when to use ‘the’ rather than ‘a’. There is a library of perhaps 100 most common errors.

    I would love an app, double byte-enabled, that would allow me, while editing in Word,

    1. to place the cursor just next to an error
    2. hit a key combination for that particular type of error (“Ah, that’s a no. 72!”)
    3. have the error number inserted at the cursor, and
    4. insert the description of that error, from a predefined library, into a separate text file.

    Embellishments might be to allow highlighted text (ie. the author’s erroneus text and my correction – and note that I use Word’s Track Changes function) to be copied into the separate text file just in front of the description, so the author sees his error, my correction of it, and the explanation for it.

    Such a system would be a tremendouse time saver for me, and a tremendous education for the authors, who all thirst to improve their English.

    How does that sound?

  3. Just read the O’Reilly article and was impressed – just used the app – even more so. Does exactly what is says on the tin – nice and simply.

    Nice work.

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  5. No tech babble here. You always strive to make the world a better place for others. So I’m impressed but not surprised with the positive reception of your new tool. More developers should be so motivated.

    –Uncle Bob

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