CopyLess: Your Clipboard’s Best Friend

The clipboard in your Mac can work for many things. Sure, its main intention is just to allow you to move text or files from one place to another, but you can also use it along with a note taking app or a simple text file to keep up with links, text and files that you would like to use later.

Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to have an app that could automatically track everything that you store in your clipboard, and keep it all organized? That’s what CopyLess is all about. Let’s take a closer look.

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CopyLess

CopyLess

CopyLess

CopyLess is an app that can extend the functionality of your clipboard, by storing up to 100 of the items that you’ve copied recently, and keeping them tightly organized inside the app, where you can preview, delete, or copy them again. It has support for pretty much any type of file that the system clipboard supports.

The app comes in two versions, a light and a paid version. The light version is free, but it only allows you to store 10 of your most recent items and 3 of your “favorite” items. The paid version removes these limitations, but costs $6.99 on the Mac App Store.

Interface

Interface

Interface

CopyLess runs discretely in your menu bar, keeping an eye out for what you’ve copied and storing it inside it for you to access later. If you click the menu bar icon, you can find a few buttons for pausing clipping, accessing the preferences and bringing up the main window of the app.

This main window holds all of the items you’ve clipped in a list, with each element being identified by the name and/or content of the copied content, and the icon of the app where it was originally clipped from. There’ll also be a small icon signalling which item is currently in the system’s clipboard. As you hover over each item you’ll see a “clip” icon popping up, with which you can bookmark content that will be stored in a separate “Favorites” list.

Along with the list you can also find a navigation bar with some buttons for pasting content into the app, copying the selected item to your system’s clipboard, previewing the contents of the selected item (with Quick Look), deleting items from the list, and copying items in plain text. There’s also a handy search bar for quickly looking up your clipboard items.

Other Features

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts

Under the settings you can find a few extra features that CopyLess has under its sleeve. First off, it lets you customize a number of things, like the number of items that you would like the app to store (up to 100), as well as adjust a few behavioral and aesthetic settings for the app’s main window (transparency, compact view, etc.).

It also lets you set universal keyboard shortcuts for pretty much anything: opening up the main window of the app, activating the “plain text” feature, and direct-pasting from one of the 10 most recent elements or from your Favorites list. Then there’s a “ban list”, for specifying apps that you would like CopyLess to ignore.

Uses

Uses

Uses

CopyLess’ developer highlights the fact that it’s really easy to copy and paste pieces of information between one app and another with their app. You can just copy the parts that you would like to move from one place to the other, and then just drag and drop them from CopyLess into the new spot, instead of going back and forth between the two apps. That’s one of the many uses you can give to this app, but I found it useful for other tasks too.

In the time I used CopyLess while preparing for this review, I found myself using it as a quick go-to for saving things: instead of having to go out of my way to copy content to Evernote or Wunderlist, CopyLess provided a really simple way of saving any kind of things without having to lose focus on what I was doing. You can even type anything in whatever textbox you have around and copy it quickly to automatically save it as a “reminder” in CopyLess.

In general, keeping a history of everything that you’ve intended to share, move or copy in your computer is quite useful. There’s plenty of situations where you can lose content just because you forget to save it somewhere and then go ahead and overwrite it in the system’s clipboard.

Competition

CopyLess isn’t the first app to complement the Mac OS system’s clipboard, but it sure does a great job at it. A simple search in the Mac App Store will reveal dozens of similar apps, and we’ve even covered a bunch of them before.

However, CopyLess differentiates itself from the competition in a few aspects. Its main strength is all the customization that it gives you access to: having a keyboard shortcut for quickly pasting your bookmarked content can be a serious time saver if you use it wisely. And the price isn’t too bad either: The free version might be enough for most people, but if you really want to unleash the full potential of CopyLess, the seven dollar paid version is totally worth its price.

Conclusion

I can’t stress enough how useful this type of apps become once you’ve used them for a little while. Having access to everything that you’ve copied recently is immensely useful for many reasons. First off, it prevents content from getting lost once you’ve copied over it in the system clipboard; but it also helps you keep an organized history of everything that you’ve done, so that you can use it to your advantage as a content saving app.

CopyLess does a great job at what it intends, and its many features like favorites support and useful customization, make it worth the price for me. Depending on what use you think you might get out of it, you could do with the free version, or go the full way the $7 dollars for it.

But what do you think? Do you use a clipboard manager, which one, and what do you use it for? Let us know in the comments below!


Summary

CopyLess extends the functionality of your clipboard by saving up to 100 of your clipped items, and giving you an organized view of them, as well as providing keyboard shortcuts for accessing bookmarked content.

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  • David

    I use CuteClips. It doesn’t look as nice or as full-featured as CopyLess, but it gets the job done: I can perform multiple copies in one application (or webpage), then paste them all in what ever order I want. There are more features to the program, but that’s all I use it for.

    I got CuteClips through a bundle – I checked their webpage and was surprised to see that it costs $15. If I didn’t already have it, I’d probably choose CopyLess instead.

    • David

      Actually, in looking it over, the free version of CopyLess seems functionally equivalent to CuteClips – with the added benefit of the better interface and application tracking. I’ve downloaded the “lite” version and will use it in place of CuteClips to see how it goes. I don’t have a use for storing 100 items, but if I find it superior to CuteClips – even if for nothing more than the interface – I may junk CuteClips entirely and go with the paid version of CopyLess.

      Thanks for the review.

  • Paul

    ClipMenu is my choice and it’s free! http://www.clipmenu.com/

    • Tim

      +1 for ClipMenu. It’s awesome. Been using it for years.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com Jim

    The problem I have with almost all these clipboard managers is that they only work with text, and the basic image formats supported by Quartz (JPG, GIF, PNG, PICT, etc.)

    If you use an application like Adobe InDesign, the app doesn’t copy images placed inside native ‘objects’, or image/object/text groups, etc.

    In fact, the only one I’ve found that works for these sort of apps is PTH Pasteboard (which is butt-ugly, but offers keyboard shortcuts and a ton of other features, and works like a charm). Unfortunately, it’s $25. http://pth.com/products/pthpasteboard/

  • rtfy

    Having tried several dedicated clipboard managers, I find the clipboard function in Alfred the most useful and easily accessed. And Alfred nimble and useful in so many other ways . . . both brilliant and attractive.

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