Quick way to exclude copy from clipboard history


I use the clipboard history quite a lot in my day to day, so I think it's great. However, in some cases it causes problems due to a large amount of data being copied (especially in Excel). I've tried looking for some way to control in a simple way whether or not the stuff I copy should be included in the Clipboard History or not without much success.

Any suggestions? Either a custom macro that executes a copy of what I've selected, but without it being processed by the Clipboard History, or some way to easily exclude/turn of Clipboard History temporarily.


There is no current way to temporarily disable the clipboard history.

You can delete a clipboard history element easily enough (eg Delete Past Clipboard: 1) which would keep the items from filling up the clipboard history, but would not avoid them being stored in the first place.

Other than that solutions are more permanent, you can exclude Excel from the clipboard history in the Excluded preferences in Keyboard Maestro, or you can disable the clipboard history altogether, but both of them are semi-permanent.

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Thanks for clarifying! Before I go ahead and figure out a way to create a macro to add/remove Excel from the exclusion list for the Clipboard History.. the reason I'm looking into this is because when I copy large amounts of data my Mac goes into this spinning-ball situation for a little while. I've assumed that the Clipboard History actually consumes resources when I copy, but this assumption could be completely wrong?

Is there any reason to think that the clipboard history should have an impact on the Mac's performance when copying large amounts of data?

No, you are mostly right. The issue is that Excel, for reasons know only to Microsoft, add to the clipboard flavors for about a dozen different images of the data when you copy it (PDF, PNG, TIFF, etc, etc), and Keyboard Maestro records them all, and the combination of that makes for spinning wheels.

It will, but in this case, the large amounts is exacerbated by being duplicated many times over.

I may try to add some special casing to Excel in a future version to have it explicitly ignore the duplicated image flavors since they really don't add anything to the clipboard value.

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That would be great! Thank you so much for the quick clarification!

Adding a special case for Excel will be a good addition. I have the same problem.