Increase Clipboard’s Memory

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I read that the latest version of Microsoft Word contains a very sophisticated Clipboard that allows users to copy many different parts of a document and then selectively paste them into another document. I wish I could do that with my older version of Word, in which I can make only one selection for the Clipboard . Do I have to upgrade to get that one feature or do you know some way to do it in my old version?
A. You’re lucky. There is a way, and I must confess I learned of it only after I upgraded because I, too, had wished I could make multiple selections in Clipboard .

Before showing you the trick, let me demonstrate how it works in Word 2000 and later, and maybe you will want to upgrade.

For illustration, I copied the first few words of your question by highlighting them, pressing Ctrl+C and then doing the same thing several more times with a few more words.

After the second Ctrl+C, the Clipboard popped up on the right side of my screen with the copied words; and each subsequent group of copied words kept being added to that list (see left).

When you’re ready to copy a selection to a different part of your document or a new document, all you have to do is click on a selection and it gets copied to the last place you put your cursor. You have to agree that’s pretty neat.

Now, if you still aren’t convinced the super Clipboard is worth the upgrade, here’s the trick for doing almost, but not quite, the same thing in earlier versions of Word. The function is called the Spike—named after the old-fashioned paper holder. But like the Spike and unlike the upgraded Clipboard , the words you gather are not copied ; instead, they are cut and then pasted into your target document.

To launch the Spike, begin by highlighting each snippet of text you want to cut and paste and press Ctrl+F3 after each selection. You can do that up to 12 times, and Word will hold all your selections in memory; but it will not display the contents as you go along as does the upgraded Clipboard .

When you are ready to paste the information into another document, press Ctrl+Shift+F3, and all the accumulated information—not just the first or last selected snippet in the Spike—will be pasted in the document at the point where your cursor is situated.

However, that action also will erase everything in the Spike. If you want to retain the contents in the Spike for multiple pastings, type the word spike and then press F3.

Now, you have to admit, that’s not bad either.

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