How to Best Manage the [System] Clipboards (Or to Choose the Best Clipboard Management App)?

I'm using three clipboards:

  1. the clipboard in Keyboard Maestro
  2. the clipboard in BetterTouchTool
  3. Pasta

I used to use the one in Keyboard Maestro most often. But now, for light copy and paste, I prefer to use the Pasta clipboard. The setup in Pasta shows the latest 9 items and I can easily navigate through them to move one of them to the front.

I also started to use the one in BTT because it has a larger box to show the content of the item in the clipboard. The filter option buttons also have button names. So it is convenient to use.

But the "Delete Past Clipboard" action deletes only the clipboard items in that of Keyboard Maestro.

Is there a way to sync the deletion among all three?

Or is there a better way to manage clipboards?

Right. Only the system clipboard is a real pasteboard. The others are just figurative clipboards that save and load through the system clipboard.

Not unless BTT and Pasta can be scripted to do this. (I'm not using either, so I can't look myself.)

Clipboard management is totally up to you.

I use LaunchBar for most of my daily stuff and Keyboard Maestro for more heavy-lifting – and when I need to sync to my other devices I fire up Paste.

I use all three for different things and try to synergize their strengths rather than make them work similarly. But there are inconveniences to be sure.

One nice thing about having more than one clipboard app is that a drastic mistake in one can often be remediated by another.


Simple answer: No.

As @ccstone has explained, each clipboard manager keeps and maintains its own clipboard history which is normally not accessible by other apps.

I try to minimize the need for manual maintenance of clipboard histories.

  1. I set a limit to a small number of clipboard items to retain in each app
  2. I minimize the number of clipboard managers I use (I use only 2)
  3. In my KM Macros, I generally clean-up the KM Clipboard History by deleting any entries made on a temp basis during the macro.
  4. I have set my LaunchBar clipboard history to always paste only plain text, which I often need.

I try to apply the "KISS" principle as often as I can: "Keep It Simple Stupid".

Thanks, @ccstone and @JMichaelTX.

It seems the BTT clipboard is not scriptable.
The interesting thing is that when I delete the current clipboard item, BTT detects that the clipboard has changed, it will add the clipboard item -1 to its clipboard history...

That's no surpise.

The current clipboard is the system clipboard.

When you delete the system clipboard Keyboard Maestro pops it off the clipboard stack and replaces it with item 2 in the stack.

This can be a bit confusing, because the current clipboard is clipboard 0 when you delete a past clipboard – but the Clipboard History shows it as clipboard 1.


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@peternlewis, I totally agree with this. I suspect many new users find this very confusing.
So let me repeat my request of some time ago to change the displayed number of Clipboards in Clipboard History to start with zero.


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