You know how it goes: you copy a link, or a piece of text, intending to paste it – then you get distracted and copy something else before you get the chance. You then have to find and copy the first item again. A clipboard manager solves this problem by saving a history of the items you copy, letting you paste in any one of them later.

There are plenty of clipboard managers around (a quick search of the Mac App Store found 34 of them), and you might think that when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. But where Paste stands out is in using a colorful interface with large previews, intended to make it easy to identify the item you want to paste. I’ve been trying it out for the past few days … 

NordVPN

Once installed, Paste automatically adds anything you copy to its clipboard history. You can then access that history either from the Paste icon in the menu bar, or by your own choice of keyboard shortcut. I have it set to Shift-CMD-V, simply holding down the shift key while doing a normal paste.

Preferences offer a few other options, the main one of which is to set the history capacity – which defaults to 100 items. The minimum is 10, and the maximum is ‘unlimited.’

prefs

Paste appears security-conscious: by default, it doesn’t store anything copied from Keychain Access, and it recognized that I have the LastPass password manager installed and automatically excluded that too. You can manually add additional apps to the exclusions list.

exclude

Once you have your preferences set, using it couldn’t be easier. Hit your keyboard shortcut and it opens a screen with a huge preview of the most-recently copied item, together with large, scrollable previews of earlier items. As you’d expect, double-finger swiping is used to scroll the list.

paste-main

Each item is color-coded by app, with the app icon used to help identify it. This makes it really easy to visually identify the item you want. It also shows large thumbnails of photos.

If you want to go further back in time, searching is quicker than scrolling. You can click the search icon top left, but you don’t need to: you can simply start typing and the search-box appears.

paste-search

You can also search on terms like ‘photo’ and ‘video.’ In this case, Paste will show items that contain that text, but also show those file types.

Once you’ve found the item you want, simply double-click it and it’s copied back into your clipboard ready for a standard paste. There’s also a Direct Paste option, that pastes into the foreground app. That requires a helper app to get around sandboxing issues (apps in the Mac App Store are not allowed to communicate with other apps), which you are prompted to download if you switch on the option. I chose not to.

Finally, you can right-click on an item to open up a Share menu.

paste-sharing

Conclusions

I’ve adopted it as my standard clipboard manager. The visual nature of the app makes it really quick to identify the item you want to paste, and looks attractive into the bargain. When delving further back into your clipboard history, the ability to simply start typing your search term makes it really quick to use.

At its standard price of $9.99, it feels a little steep for such simple functionality, but for the sale price of $2.99, I’d say it’s a no-brainer.

Paste is currently on sale for Independence Day for $2.99 from the Mac App Store.

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