How to copy, reuse and even share multiple clipboard items in OS X

Using the free (and beta) app Shadow, you can keep multiple items in your clipboard and bring them back for reusing. More than that, you can even share your clipboard across your network. Keep reading for an overview..

From the Shadow web site –

Shadow is the brand new clipboard utility for Mac OS X. Clipboard managers have come and gone on the Mac, but Shadow brings a new concept – Copy on one Mac, paste on another! Using Apple’s Bonjour technology, a super-fast multithreaded server, and a wickedly simple interface, Shadow will change how you use your Mac workgroup. Shadow also provides a multi-item clipboard for each Mac it’s installed on. If that was not enough, you can add more clipboards if you want, name them whatever you want and store all your clippings in your own categories. You can then decide if you want to share a particular clipboard. If you want to share it with some people, but not others, you can password protect them too! So, even if you only have one Mac on your network, you could still find Shadow invaluable.

  1. Head over to the Shadow public beta page and download it. Unzip the file, and drag to your Applications folder. Launch it from there.
  2. The main Shadow window will appear. The left pane keeps track of your clipboards (you have have more than one, so you can share one or more and keep one or more private). The right pane displays the contents of the selected clipboard. Before you go to far, click the “pencil” button to set your Sharing preferences.

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  4. The default clipboard (System Clipboard) can’t be renamed. But it can be shared. If you’d like to set a password (probably a good idea if you use public WiFi very often) – this is the place to do it.

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  6. Now when you copy things – text, files, etc, they’ll be available for reusing via Shadow. You’ll notice in the screenshot below that I have the a character copied to my clipboard. That’s because as soon as I launched Shadow, the a key stopped responding. Once I quit, I was able to use it again. After re-starting it, the a key worked and so did Shadow. Remember, it’s beta software.

    To re-use an item in your clipboard, select it and hit return. Shadow will disappear, and that item will be loaded into your clipboard and ready to paste.

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  8. To set a hotkey and adjust other settings, select the Shadow icon in your menu, and Preferences… from the drop-down list.
  9. Click inside the HotKey pane and enter the keyboard combo you want to use to activate Shadow.

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  11. The UI tab allows you to disable hiding after selecting an item in your Shadow clipboard, and to change the highlight color.

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  13. The Advanced tab allows you to set a limit for the number of items in your clipboard history.

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