Freeware / Windows · December 19, 2006 3

Empower your Clipboard with Ditto

For a long while I’ve been plagued by the limitations of the Windows Clipboard. First of all you can copy only one object at a time (once you copy a second one, it replaces the first) and absolutely no retentivity. For instance, if I needed to copy a couple of things over and over again, I’d no way of making them stick to the clipboard and switching between them while pasting. This gets extremely annoying/frustrating at times – specially during forum moderation.

There are loads of Clipboard Enhancement Utilities that allow you to store multiple items.. namely CLCL, Clipboard Magic, Clipboard Recorder, Clippy 2001, DzSoft Paste & Save, and Yankee Clipper III etc. However, most of these have big limitations when it comes to the number of items you can store and/or the type of data stored in the clipboard.

If you’re willing to shell out about $34.95 you can always get ClipMate, which is the leading shareware in this category. Now, that’s now what we want, do we ?? 😀 A free, preferably open-source option seems a much more viable option, albeit without compromising on the features. What we need is an all rounder Clipboard enhancement solution and Ditto provides you with just that.

Ditto is an extension to the standard windows clipboard. It saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you access to any of those items at a later time. Ditto allows you to save any type of information that can be put on the clipboard, text, images, html, custom formats, …..

Ditto relies on the fast & compact SQLite embeddable database engine to store an unlimited (or user-defined) number of clipboard items. A simple hotkey (Ctrl + ` by default) brings up the Ditto window which lists all the copied items till date. You can scroll through the list and perform quick-searches to get to any particular item too. You can even neatly categorise the copied items into folders of your choice.

Ditto Screenshot

You can assign hotkeys for the first 10 copied items too making pasting them a breeze. Ditto captures every kind of data from the clipboard – be it formatted or unformatted text, graphics, files – virtually anything.

The location of the SQLite database can be specified from the Ditto configuration panel – enabling you to maintain the database at an alternate location. This means, in case you need to reformat the partition containing Windows and/or your Program Files directory – none of your clipboard data is lost. Once you reinstall windows, you can make Ditto point to the old database location and all your previous items are back in a jiffy.
Moreover, Ditto doesn’t limit the copying to a single computer. If you’re on a network, you can setup Ditto to transmit and share your copied items with others on the network (running Ditto of course). Copied data is transmitted in encrypted form for added security. In effect, your clipboard is reflected on whichever computer on the network you want making Ditto a truly unique solution. Here’s the standard list of features from their site:

  • Easy to use interface
  • Search and paste previous copy entries
  • Keep multiple computer’s clipboards in sync
  • Data is encrypted when sent over the network
  • Accessed from tray icon or global hot key
  • Select entry by double click, enter key or drag drop
  • Paste into any window that excepts standard copy/paste entries
  • Display thumbnail of copied images in list
  • Full Unicode support (display foreign characters)
  • UTF-8 support for language files (create language files in any language)

Note: Ditto requires DAO to be installed.

This tool is a hot favourite of mine and another of the must downloads.