Category Archives: Clipboard

Copy Paste – Part 11 – Why do we need 24 clipboards?

In the earlier post, we saw how to get up to 24 clipboards. But why would you need so many of them?

On the face of it, this sounds like an overkill. We are happily using ONE clipboard for years. So it is looks like a useless feature.

Key Learning: There is nothing like a useless feature

This is a very important thing to remember. Adding a feature is a very complex and costly process. Microsoft is not going to add a new feature if it was not serving any purpose.
Those of you who understand programming know that behind every feature there is a need, a problem or a use case. Unfortunately, when you use a product developed by someone else, the feature is visible first and the underlying need may not be apparent.

So what do we do? We do it in two steps.
First, we learn the functionality – what does it do? In this case we already know that. At this stage you know the technical feature. But that is NOT called knowledge. That is partial knowledge.
The next step is more important. You must find the underlying need or problem it is trying to address. Why do you care? Simple! Because it may be your need. If you do not discover the need, you may never use the feature in spite of understanding how it works technically.

Finding your needs behind every feature is called Applied Learning!

Of course, there may will be features which you do not need in your current context. But in any case, if you know when they are useful, you will be able to use them if the need arises in future.

Multiple Clipboards: Usage Scenarios

Word: Executive Summary

Executive Summary  contains key sentences which summarize details from the document. We write Executive Summary AFTER the rest of the document is created. Here is how you can do it faster.

  1. Write the document
  2. Activate Office Clipboard
  3. Move through the document, select key sentences and copy
  4. Continue the process till end of the document (or 24 clipboards)
  5. Go to Executive Summary and choose Paste All
  6. Each copy will be a separate paragraph
  7. If you want to combine these paragraphs into one paragraph, follow this sub-task
    1. Select all the Executive Summary
    2. Press Ctrl H (Find – Replace)
    3. Type ^p^p in the Find textbox
    4. Type ^p in the Replace textbox
    5. Click Replace All
    6. We will discuss how this works in a separate article (Word Find and Replace is a treasure. Very powerful, but very rarely used appropriately)
  8. Now your Executive Summary is ready

Excel: Combine Tabular Data

Very often we get tabular data from multiple files or sheets (regions, locations, months,etc). How do you combine this into a single master data sheet?

Copy – Paste to Master, Copy – Paste to Master, Copy – Paste to Master and so on.

Now you know what to do

  1. Enable Clipboard
  2. Copy  – Copy – Copy
  3. Go to destination
  4. Paste ALL

PowerPoint: Collect Pictures and arrange them using SmartArt (Picture Layout)

This is a very powerful method. Let us say you are browsing for various products and you want to capture many images and put them on one slide. Another scenario would be logos of your customers.

Here is how you do it.

    1. Start PowerPoint
    2. Activate Clipboard
    3. Go to browser and copy various images as required. Right click the image and choose Copy (CTRL C will not work here as it is a web page and the focus may be ambiguous)image
    4. In PowerPoint add a new slide
    5. Choose Paste All
    6. Unfortunately that does not solve your problem
    7. All images will be overlapping one anotherimage
    8. But don’t worry. PowerPoint knows your problems.
    9. While all the pictures are selected, just choose Picture Tools – Picture Layout and choose a layout you want. (You can hover mouse over each to temporarily draw the picture layout and choose the best one. You can also do it later)clipboards Powerpoint
    10. Now, depending upon the overall area occupied by all selected pictures, PowerPoint will layout the pictures automatically
    11. Resize the area as desiredimage
    12. Now it is a SmartArt object
    13. You can click on Design and change the layout if needed
    14. Finally, you will need to add captions for each picture
    15. DO NOT click in the textboxes to add them.. there is a small edit arrow (double or single arrow) on the left margin of the SmartArt bounding box
    16. Click that and add titles

Can you think of more usage scenarios?

If you find more scenarios, please post them here. I will also learn something new.

Next Article

There is more to copy paste and the series is not ending any time soon. But I am sure you want some variation. So next article will be something different. We will continue the Copy Paste series later.

Copy Paste – Part 10 – How to get 24 clipboards

The limitation

All of us know that there is only ONE clipboard. WRONG! There are actually 24 clipboards if you use Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

When you copy something, whatever was already there in the clipboard gets overwritten. If you want to change that behavior you must activate these 24 clipboards.

Activating 24 clipboards

It is simpler than you think. Just click on that unseen, unnoticed yet extremely powerful arrow at the corner. Technically these guys are called Dialog Launchers. Why? Because these activate the dialog related to the name written next to it.

Just click on it and a new pane (docked window) will open on the left side of the application.

Activate 24 clipboards

This shows the clipboard contents. If the clipboard has something in it, it will be shown. If not, the pane will be empty.

empty clipboard

Now onwards, whenever you copy something, it will accumulate – it will NOT overwrite the existing clipboard.

Whenever you copy, notice what happens at the bottom right side of the screen – it shows you a small popup which counts how many clipboards are colledted (1 of 24, 7 of 24 and so on).

Try this NOW

  1. Open any Word Document
  2. Open the Office Clipboard
  3. Select a paragraph (triple click selects a paragraph, in case you did not know)
  4. Copy it
  5. Notice that it is shown in the clipboard

image

  • Now open an Excel file
  • Copy some data
  • We have not opened the Clipboard in Excel, but still it is active
  • You will see a notification at the bottom right of the screen (notification area)

 

image

  • Now open some web page
  • Copy something
  • Now go to File Explorer and copy a file
  • If you feel like, open some non-Office products and copy something
  • Finally go to Word
  • You will notice that all these copied items are there24 clipboards
  • Now open PowerPoint – notice that we have not copied anything from PowerPoint
  • Open the Clipboard in PowerPoint
  • Notice that all the clipboards are available in PowerPoint as well
  • Go back to Word
  • Click on each item to paste it
  • Or choose Paste All and see that all the items are pasted in the order in which these were copied
  • Amazing! Is it not?

    More details

    Some kind of copying cannot be added to the clipboard – like copying files. In that case the popup will indicate the problem.

    image

    Notice the options

    There are a few options. I will discuss these options in the next articles. But why don’t you figure it out yourself, in the mean time.

    I will also show you practical usage scenarios of this powerful feature.

    Before you ask, it has been there for many years. It is just that nobody noticed it – like thousands of others!