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The Shadow Knows (Mac OS X clipboards)


© May 2019 Anthony Lawrence

After writing up How I use Jumpcut and pbcopy for Power Pasting, I went searching for similar utilities in Linux. I haven't found any yet - I'm sure they exist, but Google doesn't want to give them up easily. However, while wandering around aimlessly looking for those, I did come across another Mac OS X copy and paste utility: Shadow.

This one has some interesting twists. First, it lets you create multiple clipboards. That makes it very easy to store the common pastes you may want - new Apple-C's go only to the "System" clipboard by default. You can change that to stick pastes into the selected clipboard; either way you have great control for saving cuts for later (possibly MUCH later) use.

I like the multiple clipboard idea a lot, although I found it a little confusing at first when I wanted to retrieve text. After calling up Shadow, you select the desired clipboard and highlight the text you want. The instructions tell you to press "Enter" to move the text to the System clipboard (which means it is available for your next Apple-V) or to press "Shift-Enter" to paste immediately. That works as advertised, but you need to use the right-hand Shift key and there is a significant delay before the paste actually happens (keep in mind that this is beta software so we shouldn't get too upset about that right now).

Perhaps even more interesting to some is that you can share clipboards with other people on your network - other Macs running Bonjour and Shadow, that is. I have no personal use for this, but I can see that it could be real handy in a collaborative environment.

You can use Shadow right along side JumpCut - just use different hot keys to activate them. Any Apple-C's go to both utilities. I like JumpCut for its quick response, but I might use the multiple clipboard feature of Shadow to store the less commonly used but still useful snippets I want. Yes, I know about OS X text snippings; I just never became fond of them. However, nothing stops me from using those too..

I'm still looking for similar tools in Linux; any hints will be appreciated.


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

Take Control of iCloud

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course

Photos: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Preview




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