For many years I’ve used the excellent Clipboardsharing to exchange the clipboard contents between my laptop and desktop machines, it also supports multiple clipboards. However it is not supported under Mac OS X 10.7.x (Lion) and the developer website seems to have disappeared. I spent a while looking at various alternatives and I thought I’d summarise my findings.
I should add I had a pretty clear view on my needs.
- Exchange clipboard contents (text and images) between laptop and desktop machines running Lion
- Have multiple clipboards
- Ability modify text e.g. remove formatting
Nice to have
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Option to encrypt clipboard contents before transfer
- Also exchange clipboard contents with iOS devices
Clipboard Evolved features a clipboard-like window for managing clips, a menu bar icon, and now a cover-flow interface for quickly pasting clips. It supports both text and images, and Clipboard Evolved has eight "complex" animation options to choose from: Ripple, Copy Machine, Star Burst, Irregular Holes, Disintegrate, Swipe, Crystallize, and Dissolve. It does not support clipboard sharing.
ClipMenu is a clipboard manager that supports a number of text and images types including Plain text, Rich Text Format (RTF), Rich Text Format Directory (RTFD), PDF, Filenames, URL, TIFF image, PICT image. The clipboard history can then be accessed via an icon in the menu bar or via a shortcut key. ClipMenu can manage re-usable text as snippet. You can select it from menu and paste it anytime. It does not support clipboard sharing.
Clips automatically generates and arranges copied items into Application-specific clipboards, these can then be accessed via a Finder like interface or via an icon in the menu bar. It also supports live search so you don’t have to scroll through them, just start typing in the Clips Board or Organizer and irrelevant items will fly off the screen instantly. It does not support clipboard sharing.
Cloud Clip allows sharing between Mac OSX and iOS and has an interesting duplicate detection feature. There is a Cloud clip helper which helps get around some of the sandbox issues. There is also a few clipboard sharing using email, Twitter etc.
Clyppan is a clipboard history application that keeps a list of text you have copied to the clipboard, these can then be accessed via an icon in the menu bar. Clyppan only supports text clippings, but the history is searchable and pressing the spacebar will give you a Quick Look-style preview of the clipping, it also does not support clipboard sharing.
CopyLess supports all data types supported by the Mac OS X clipboard and has inline searching and Quicklook integration to allow you to check what you are pasting, it also keeps track of the application the data was copied from. It does not support clipboard sharing.
CopyPaste Pro is a popular clipboard history tool that can then be accessed via an icon in the menu bar or a graphical browser, CopyPaste Pro also has a selection of clipboard tools that allow the user to manipulate the data on the clipboard. It also allows the creation of archives to store clips for later use. It does not support clipboard sharing.
CuteClips 3 is a recent update, it supports text and images which can then be selected from a list. It supports shortcuts and has an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts for manipulating the list and pasting options. It does not support clipboard sharing.
iClip supports copying plain-text, rich-text, images, audio, video, or files and all can be accessed in a rather neat iClip dock that sits on the side of the screen, you either drag and drop to and from the iClip history bins or copy and paste. It is possible to preview images in clip bins which might be very useful if you are working a lot of the time with images. It supports keyboard shortcuts, but does not have clipboard sharing.
Jumpcut is an open source application that provides multiple clipboards. Every time you copy some text it is added to the Jumpcut stack, these can then be accessed via a scissors icon in the menu bar. Alternatively you can view the list via a hot-key. It does not however support images and as far as I can tell no plans for clipboard sharing.
PTHPasteboard Pro 4
PTHPasteboard is comprehensive clipboard manager that supports multiple text and image clipboards, these can then be accessed via a customisable icon in the menu bar or from a floating window, clicking on an item in the clipboard history displays the application that the data was copied from and for text items shows the number of lines/words/characters and for images the size. PTHPasteboard also supports filtering of clipboard text allowing you to convert to unformatted text, convert to lower/upper case, change to Mac/Unix/Windows line endings. There is also a custom filter dialog that allows you to build your own filters for example to convert a list from a text document into an html list. It also allows the creation of custom clipboards. PTHPasteboard PRO's Syncing support takes advantage of Mac OS X's Bonjour technology to seamlessly sync your pasteboard items across multiple machines.
Savvy Clipboard holds a list of items that you copied — text fragments, graphics, URLs, multimedia data, or links to files — and lets you access them using this list from either a floating window or menu bar icon. You just select the needed item from the list, and it is ready to use from the system Clipboard, so you can paste it anywhere you want. While it is possible to export a list and transfer to another computer it does not support clipboard sharing.
ShadowClipboard is another fairly comprehensive application, with unlimited clipboard sets, clipboard sharing, clipboard filtering and clipboard set backups, the clipboard history can then be accessed via an icon in the menu bar or from a window. It supports keyboard shortcuts, and shadowClipboard uses Apple's ZeroConf networking called Rendezvous. shadowClipboard clients will automatically recognise each other on a local network.
Stuf 2 has a different way to share clipboards in that Stuf stores your clippings and can share them with any other Stuf users, even in a different country, with your permission of course. Stuf can use any network drive to share clippings, but they really recommend you use DropBox. Stuf 2 is available for both Mac and PC. It supports text and images and clipboard history can then be accessed via an icon in the menu bar.
So I bought PTHPasteboard which best meets my needs but obviously your needs may vary. There are also a couple of clipboard sharing tools Syncopy, which is nice because it supports Mac OS X and iOS, CrossClip which works between Mac, Linux and PC.
Updated 10 January 2013