How to make copy and paste 100 times faster? Take a look at this 5MB small tool!

Starting from Copy and Paste
In a previous article titled “My Top 10 Most Used God level Tools,” I mentioned the clipboard enhancement tool – Ditto!

If there is any operation that is most frequently performed when using a computer, it must be copying (Ctrl+C) or pasting (Ctrl+V).

In fact, the principle behind the copy and paste operation is the use of the clipboard.

The clipboard can be understood as a cache area in the operating system. When we select content and press the copy key, these contents are filled into this cache area. After pressing the paste key, the contents in this area are called and output to the specified selection area.
Whether it’s a computer or a mobile phone, almost all operating systems provide clipboard functionality.
So, here’s the problem: Usually, the clipboard only provides the most recent save record.

So, this leads to a lot of repetitive work, the most typical scenario is like this:

You need to process a large amount of information or data, many of which are reused.
When using data A, copy and paste it.
Next, data B, also copy and paste.
Then, you need A again, and then you need B.
In scenarios like this, every time you use duplicate data, you need to copy and paste it.

Is there a simpler way?

The answer is yes, this article will provide you with a Windows based clipboard reuse tool called Ditto, which I have been using for over 10 years.

This article will provide you with three parts to benefit this artifact:

Introduction to Ditto
Ditto usage process
Tips for using Ditto

  1. Introduction to Ditto
    Ditto is a clipboard management tool in the Windows operating system, with an installation file of only 5MB and minimal resource usage during use.

More importantly, such a artifact is actually free!
The core function of Ditto is to expand the clipboard, which originally could only save records once, to hundreds or even thousands of records, and provide many very practical functions.
With Ditto, you can quickly reuse your clipboard like this——

  1. Ditto usage process
    As a newcomer, how should I use Ditto? You can refer to this process checklist.

Step 1 Install Ditto

There are regular installation versions and portable versions that can be used by extracting the installation files.

When installing, please choose the 32-bit or 64 bit version carefully.

Step 2 Simple settings
After installing Ditto, we need to make some simple settings for it.

Start Ditto, you can find it in the bottom right corner of the taskbar, which is the icon that looks like a quotation mark. Right click and select “Options” to open the Ditto settings menu.

Explain these options:

Runs at system startup. It is recommended to turn it on so that as long as it is turned on, Ditto will run.
The maximum number of saved copied items. You can understand its meaning at a glance. I set it to save the last 1000 copied records.
Language. You can switch the display language of Ditto to Chinese here.
Display font. You can set the font for displaying text in Ditto here.
Next, switch to the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and set the shortcut for opening the Ditto clipboard – simply click on the text box and press the shortcut you want to set. My shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+C.

Here, you can also use the Windows logo key and check the checkbox behind it.

OK, simple setup completed!

Step 3 Using Ditto
After setting up Ditto, as long as it is running, it can save all the projects you have copied. These projects include text, files, images, and other content.

So, how to quickly use them?

Press the shortcut key you just set, such as my shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+C, and the “Quick Paste” interface of Ditto will appear——

This displays all the saved copy records, and you can output the desired content by double clicking on the desired entry.

In addition, if you are careful, you will find that the 10 recently saved entries all have a numerical number in front of them. This means that they are the most frequently used content recently, so you can quickly output them using the shortcut key “Ctrl+corresponding number”.

During the process of using Ditto, you may also encounter the following situations:

I once copied a paragraph and was able to remember some of its content, but flipping through it one by one would be a waste of time.
It’s okay, just open the Ditto panel and enter the keywords. Ditto will automatically search for them, and then choose to use them.

The above process is basically the scenario where Ditto is most commonly used. Congratulations, you have taken the first step towards efficient use of the clipboard.

Want to continue advancing? Looking down~

  1. Tips for using Ditto
    Next, I will share with you some very practical “dirty tricks” in Ditto.
  2. Clear formatting and output plain text
    If you are copying a piece of text from Word or a webpage, it is likely that it has formatting, such as bold, text color, and so on.

At this point, what if you only want to paste plain text?

You can select the corresponding entry in Ditto, and then press Shift+Enter to output in plain text mode.

  1. Quickly save copied content as a file
    Whether it’s text, images, or files, you can quickly save them as files by selecting and dragging them.

Among them, multiple entries are selected by holding down the Ctrl (discontinuous multiple files) or Shift (continuous multiple files) keys, similar to selecting files in Explorer.

Especially for those who need to save a large number of screenshots, this technique is really amazing!

  1. Merge and paste
    Ditto provides the function of merging and pasting. You can use the method from the previous tip to select multiple items and then press the Enter key to achieve it.
  2. Grouping clipboard contents
    In Ditto, you can group the most commonly used content.

This is very suitable for users such as operations and customer service who often need to use fixed content. You can organize a list of the most commonly used materials, put them in Ditto, and establish corresponding groups for long-term storage and use.

It is worth noting that for each clipboard entry, you can set its properties by clicking the right-click menu (or pressing Alt+Enter).

In the property panel, if it is frequently used content, please select “Prohibit automatic deletion” to prevent automatic deletion when the saved record is full or when the retention period expires.

Here, you can assign a separate shortcut key to it, so that pressing the shortcut key will automatically paste and output the content.

In addition, you can also set up quick paste text for commonly used content, and then quickly use it by searching for “/q Quick Paste Text”, such as:

  1. Special pasting
    Ditto also provides some post-processing pasting for text formatting, called “special pasting,” which mainly supports these processing methods:

For example, if I copy a piece of English text and want to paste it, capitalization all letters or capitalization the first letter of a word can be done as follows:

  1. Other techniques
    Ditto also provides more techniques, such as historical LAN synchronization, but it is not commonly used, so it will not be shared in the article.

There are also some small features, looking forward to your exploration.

  1. Summary
    It has been over ten years since I first used Ditto.

Do you still remember the inspiration Ditto gave me as a tool at that time:

For repetitive operations that need to be performed at any time, we have become accustomed to using the most primitive and clumsy methods to implement them, and have forgotten to think about whether there is a more convenient method.
Many times, what we lack is not the method to solve problems, but the insight to discover and focus on problems.
Above, the clipboard artifact Ditto is shared with you, hoping it can make you copy and paste more elegantly.

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