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XP Clipboard Viewer

Revised 3-30-15 to add info about Windows 7 & 8

Note: this info applies to windows XP only. See comments at the bottom for Windows 7 & 8 info.

A viewer asked: In windows XP where does it put the data when you do a ctrl+c? It is held in a place in Windows called the clipboard. You can view what is in the clipboard with a program called Clipboard Viewer. It looks like this:

You can see that I copied the sentence A viewer asked: In windows XP where does it put the data when you do a ctrl+c? from the first paragraph. For most cut,copy, paste operations, the viewer is not needed but if you like to monitor what is in the clipboard, you can. For example, I just tried to run a program & made a mistake. I copied the error message into the clipboard and it dynamically shows what I copied as the next piture shows:

In Previous Windows programs, the viewer was accessed from the start menu under accessories. In XP, it is no longer there.

Well it seems things changed in XP from what us old folks were used to. In XP, the clipboard & viewer are still a part of the Windows Components that we always knew, however there are some changes.

The Clipboard is still a basic component of Windows as always. What has changed is how to view it. The program may be installed, but no shortcut to the viewer is provided.

First check to see if it is installed. Click Start, Run & type clipbrd & click OK. If it is installed, you will see a box labeled ClipBook. No idea why they changed the name after all these years.

Now if it is installed, you just need to make a shortcut to it. The old location for the viewer shortcut was in the Accessories menu. You can put it there or any of a number of other choices such as directly on the start menu, on the desktop or the Quick Launch tray or any other menu location of your choice. And of course you can move it around or copy the shortcut anytime.

If it is not installed, follow this procedure to install it:
1. Open the Control Panel. Open Add/Remove Programs. Select Add/Remove Windows Components. Highlight Accessories & Utilities. Check the box Clipboard Viewer. (If already checked, it is installed. Do nothing) OK out. You may need your XP disk. The following figures show the process.

If your Control Panel looks like this,
Click "Change to Classic View"

Select Add/Remove Programs. Give it time to search for programs.

After it completes, click the Add/Remove Windows Components in the left column

If the first item is Acessories and Utilities, click Details. If it is not the first item, find Accessories & Utilities & click it. Then click Details.

If Accessories is highlighted, click Details

Look for Clipboard Viewer. If the box is checked, you have it installed. If not, then click the box & the OK. You may be asked for your XP CD.

Once you have the Clipboard installed, it will be a file found in the hard drive at C:\Windows\system32\clipbrd.exe

There are many ways to make a shortcut. I'll describe a couple of them.

1. Close all Windows. Click Start/Search. Select All files & folders. Type in clipbrd & click Search. Make sure the window is not maximized. When the file is found (it will be in C:\Windows\System32), right drag it to the desktop or the Quick Launch tray or the Start button & let go. Choose Make shortcut here.

2. You can use the shortcut Wizard as follows: Right click Start. Choose Properties. Choose Classic Menu, click customize. Choose Add. In the typing box, type C:\Windows\system32\clipbrd.exe & click Next. (you can use the browse feature, but typing it is easier) In the next window, choose your menu to put the shortcut into. Accessories is the normal location, but it is your choice. Next you need to type a name. The default is the name of the file. You can type any name you want. Then click finish & you are done.

Some facts about the clipboard. This is the holding cell for items that are Cut or Copied. A Cut item is held until Pasted. A copied item is held until replaced or the computer is shut off. The Windows clipboard holds only one item. If a second item is sent to the clipboard, the first one is deleted. This is not to be confused with the MSOffice clipboard which can hold from 12 to 24 items depending on the version you use. This started with Office 2000. Previous versions used the Windows clipboard. The Office clipboard uses the Windows clipboard for the last item you put into it. Using Windows clipboard viewer will show only that last item. If you want to see others in Office, you need to use the clipboard toolbar. For details on this function, use Office Help.

Windows 7 &8 do not include the viewer. The Windows Clipboard is very basic in nature and does not offer many features. As a result, many free Clipboard alternatives like ArchiveClipboard, Enhanced Clipboard Manager, CopyCat, Clipboardic, Orange Note, Ditto, Clipboard Magic, etc, are available on the Internet. Just Google "clipboard viewer" for up to date programs.

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