Paste HeaderThe Mac’s copy and paste function is generally not something I think about. Sure, I use it. In fact, I use it every single day. It’s just that I never have to think about it. It’s a universal constant. No matter what machine you’re on or what you are trying to accomplish, copy/paste always works the same way. It always does the exact same thing and with the exact same limitations. Dmitry Obukhov’s Paste seeks to change that.

Paste UI

The traditional copy and paste command will net you one section of text, or a picture for that matter, and drop it into whatever you are working on. This works well, but what if you need multiple sections of one document, or you need to utilize multiple sources? In these cases, copy and paste comes up short. Tabbing back and forth between several windows gets tedious, not to mention the time it wastes. This is where Paste comes in.

When you copy a second item with Paste active, nothing is replaced. Instead, Paste adds both entries to your history. From there you can activate Paste either by using its default shortcut of Shift-Command-V or by clicking on Paste’s status bar icon. Once you’ve done that, Paste will display your currently selected window along with all the items in your history.

Everything you capture is displayed with a large preview and shows what app it was grabbed from. This, along with Paste’s search function, makes finding specific items a breeze. Double click on the entry you want and then paste away. I highly recommend enabling “direct paste” by installing the helper script. This allows Paste to insert anything with a simple double click.

Paste Options

Paste tries to grab everything, which is both a blessing and a curse. There are some proprietary formats that Paste is simply unable to figure out. My favorite video editing software is a prime example. When I need to make a quick copy of a clip, Paste will do its best to add the clip to its archives as well. This results in an unusable snippet clogging up my Paste queue.

Luckily, you can create rules within Paste’s settings that stop it from copying information from a specific app. This works well, but if you ever end up needing a section of text from an app you’ve banned, you have to jump in and out of Paste’s settings to sort everything out. It would be nice if Paste simply recognized unreadable formats and left them alone.

Because its use case is so specific, it’s hard for me to give Paste a blanket recommendation. Some people simply have no need for this kind of functionality. If you are at all interested in clipboard management, however, I strongly recommend giving Paste a chance. It certainly won’t revolutionize the way you do things, but it is by far the best option on the market. Paste is available right now for $4.99, 50% off its eventual full retail price. I would highly suggest picking it up now, as the specificity of the app makes $10 a bit of a steep asking price.

  • coLin