The Best Clipboard Manager for Mac [2018 Reviews]
Utilities • Sept. 15, 2018
It’s pretty hard to think about using computers without the copy-and-paste functions. And, Clipboard stores everything you copy from the Internet, documents or elsewhere.
As it happens, however…
Did you ever copy one thing, then you got distracted and copied another one, so you lost the first?
Do you ever want to copy multiple items before pasting them somewhere?
If you’re like most Mac users then the answer to these questions is a loud “yes!”
What you need is a supercharged clipboard that enables you to allows you to keep track of everything you copy and that’s where the third-party clipboard manager comes in.
Where the standard Mac clipboard is that you can only copy and paste one element at a time, the third-party dedicated Clipboard Manager automatically stores a history of all the things you’ve copied.
You can copy…copy…copy then paste…paste…paste at your convenience.
There is an awesome bunch of clipboard managers you can check out. In this post, we have made a list of the best clipboard manager for Mac, so that you can start saving time and boost your productivity.
How we chose the best clipboard manager for Mac
While choosing the best clipboard manager for Mac, we had a few factors in mind. They are:
- Simple to use: We wanted a tool that can be easily used and managed. Of course, we were looking for innovative designs as well as the traditional menu-bar-based designs.
- Performance: The performance of the clipboard manager should be top-notch. It should be able to do copying and pasting in a second or less. If it takes more time, the whole purpose of having such a tool would go in vain.
- Customization: As always, we love customizable tools when it comes to selection. So, we have chosen clipboard managers that offer a standard form of customization. For instance, you should be able to select the number of clipboard entries you want to display.
- Integration with macOS and iCloud was also a consideration. The clipboard manager should have an easy way of multi-device syncing as well. Last but not least, using the tool should feel like using a built in macOS feature — or at least near to that.
With these factors in mind, we have selected the best clipboard managers for macOS. Of course, we have a top pick and trustworthy contenders. Shall we have a look?
Our top pick — Paste
Paste is our top pick when it comes to the best clipboard managers for Mac. It’s a wonderfully popular tool that lets you keep history of what you’ve copied to the clipboard. Paste will help you to “never lose anything you’ve copied”. Powered by an intelligent copying and management system, Paste for Mac is a huge boost to productivity as well.
Installing Paste on your Mac is like a piece of cake. You will be up and running in no time as well. Just like the most of clipboard managers we’ve seen, Paste does not have a large footprint either. You will be able to use the tool without interfering with other apps. Because of the same reason, you will have no trouble when you want to past things to heavy-duty apps either.
Like we’ve seen in other clipboard manager software, Paste does not have a window-based interface. Instead it works from the menu-bar-based icon and the dedicated UI. You can click on the icon or press the Keyboard shortcut to launch the Paste interface. Once launched, you can do the needful for pasting whatever you like on the screen.
We would not call the UI minimalistic, though. That having said, you will be able to see an amazing boost in terms of productivity at the end of the day. Once you have learnt the shortcuts, it’s very easy to launch Paste app and use the clipboard data. Altogether, the whole User Interface of Paste is something intuitive. You do not need lengthy documentation to understand what something is about.
You would not know Paste is there — unless you need it.
Once installed and launched, Paste will start recording the clipboard data. By default, the tool will be keeping an unlimited record of what you copy to the clipboard. You can launch Paste via Cmd+Shift+V and see what’s in the clipboard memory. You can swipe sideways to see what you had copied in the past. The best part is that Paste also shows where you have copied things from.
The data representation is mainly visual. For instance, the tile would have a small icon of the app where you copied the text/content from. As you can see, I’ve copied some data from Google Chrome while others are from Word and Text. You would also see that Paste keeps record of things that I had copied five months back in time.
That having said, Paste does not want to be the dictator who watches everything you copy. There are ways to control how Paste works and what kinds of data are stored and accessed. If you are not concerned about all that, you can keep using Paste seamlessly. Either way, you are going to save a lot of time and boost your productivity.
As we said earlier, Paste lets you customize how the tool works. Of course, not many of you want Paste to record passwords or anything confidential. This is where the Preferences section comes in.
By default, Paste will prevent copying passwords and sensitive data. It would also prevent copying automatic generated content. This gets rid of most of the headaches you know. If you need something more, you can also whitelist some apps on Mac. If done so, data copied from those apps will not be recorded by Paste. By default, Keychain Access is on the list, but you can always add more.
There are other forms of customization as well. For instance, you can change the default paste type — plain text or rich text. Similarly, there are options for turning off sound effects and others. But, most importantly, you can change the keyboard shortcuts for accessing Paste. It’s also one of the very few clipboard managers to have that feature.
We can also say that Paste for Mac is one of the most customizable clipboard managers for the platform.
iCloud Sync is one of the celebrated features of Paste. It means you will be able to sync the clipboard data with other Apple devices, like your iPhone or iPad. This feature is really easy to use as well. You just have to download and install the Paste app for iOS after enabling iCloud Sync feature in the Desktop app. Once it’s set, all the clipboard data will be in one place.
We should also talk about the overall integration aspect. You can simply use Paste as though it’s a native app for Mac. There is no need to worry about glitches or bugs. The best part is that you can have a more seamless workflow with the macOS and iOS apps in the right place.
So far, we have seen how Paste performs as a standard clipboard manager tool for Mac. Now, we should get a quick look at the advanced features offered by the tool.
Probably the best feature in Paste is the ways of content organization. Thanks to the visual design, it is easy to navigate through clipboard content. In addition to this, you can create different categories for storing the specific type of content. For instance, Paste lets you build dedicated categories for Code Snippets and Useful Links. These can be synced to your iOS device as well.
There is also an intelligent Search feature in Paste, which is helpful. If you have many clipboard entries in the whole list, you can perform a search to find the exact entry that you are looking for. In addition to this, we’ve to count on features like Quick Look and Multiple Paste options. These can save you a lot of time more often than not.
Availability and pricing
As of now, Paste is available for both macOS and iOS. If you are looking for the maximum productivity, you’d need to install the software on both devices. As we said earlier, you have to enable and set up iCloud Sync as well. You can get the program from official App Stores or the official website of Paste app for Mac.
Coming to the pricing part, Paste for Mac costs $14.99 on the Mac App Store and is also one of the apps in the Setapp service which costs $9.99/month. On the other hand, Paste for iOS is completely free to use. That having said, for the Mac version, you can get the free trial. There is also an option to avail student discounts if you’re interested and eligible.
Other apps we had considered
As we said, Paste was not the only choice we had in the product category. We actually tested more than 15 clipboard manager software for Mac. And, now, we will look at some of the worthy contenders in the list.
CopyClip is the best option if you are looking for an ultra-simple clipboard manager. As it happens, this tool can only store and let you access text-based content. That is, if you copy an image, it would not record the same. If you are okay with that limitation, it’s great to check out CopyClip for Mac. Just like we had seen in the case of Paste, CopyClip does not have a fully-fledged window. Instead, you can click on menu bar icon to launch the program.
Once enabled, CopyClip will start recording everything you copy to clipboard. That having said, you can pick the number of entries that should be shown in the interface. You can also decide how many entries CopyClip should keep in the memory. The Preferences section is so cool that you have almost full control. As we did in the case of Paste, CopyClip also lets you whitelist some applications. The clipboard manager would not be recording content from those apps.
There are some features we didn’t like, but you can disable/enable them as you wish. For instance, CopyClip plays a notification sound when something is copied. If you find that annoying, simply disable the feature to get going. So, even though it seems a bit limited, CopyClip is not so. Last but not least, CopyClip is completely free to use and you can download it from App Store. We repeat, the only problem is that you cannot store media-based content in clipboard memory.
Are you looking for an open-source clipboard manager that does not compromise features? Make sure that you check out Clipy for Mac. It blends the same simplicity we have seen in CopyClip with the additional tool facilities. For instance, you will be able to store media content and text content in the clipboard memory. It is an awesome feature many a time. Talking about installation and set-up, Clipy is as easy as a tool ever can get.
Coming to the interface, Clipy resembles CopyClip, you know. Once installed, you can see the icon for data management. The difference here is that Clipy has a dedicated window for data management and category set up. If you have stored many things in the clipboard and want to check them out, the window will be very useful for sure. It also has a dedicated feature for storing Snippets. You can store all the necessary snippets in a dedicated folder.
Despite the simple footprint and minimal resource consumption, Clipy is one of the most customizable tools for clipboard management. You can easily set up triggers, extensions and whitelists for seamless collection of data. When it comes to the case of Snippets, Clipy even lets you import and export data. Altogether, for a completely free and open-source tool, Clipy is the best choice out there. It does not compromise features even while keeping things look simple.
Unclutter deserves a special mention in the list, although it’s not a fully-fledged clipboard manager for Mac. It’s actually a productivity-focused bundle that has many features. And, seamless management of clipboard content is one of the available features. In light of our experience, however, the tool is quite great if you are looking for overall productivity boost. Unclutter also works seamlessly and you will have a central space for keeping your files, clipboard data etc.
Here is the thing: Unclutter is going to help you take care of the whole data management part. For instance, in the case of clipboard data, it will be automatically recorded. You can easily browse through the entries and copy the required ones to continue. Because you may have something important to store, there is also an option to drag the content to other sections as well. With Unclutter, it will be easy to re-access content that you’ve stored via clipboard.
We should also encourage the wonderful User Interface of Unclutter, you know. You can launch the interface by swiping down from the menu bar. Coming back to the clipboard management section, Unclutter lets you favorite certain entries and access them easily. At the end of the day, you would not mind using the extra set of features offered by Unclutter. And, as we said earlier, it does not consume much resources either. It’s available for $9.99, but you can check out the Free Trial first.
The Bottom Line
After checking out all these aspects, we believe Paste is the best clipboard manager for Mac. Of course, you are paying for it, but the rates are reasonable as well. And, when you get Paste for Mac, you are also getting an ultra-powerful clipboard manager for iOS — with multi-device data sync. Altogether, if you value your time, you owe it to yourself to be the next Mac user to start saving time and become more productive with Paste.