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How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

One of the benefits of Office 365 is that it has an in-built clipboard. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Click the clipboard launcher in the lower right-hand corner of the paste box in the Home tab in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  2. Copy the text or item you want to paste
  3. See it in the list, and click the paste button

Applies to All Windows 10 Versions

One of the benefits of Office 365 is that it has an in-built clipboard. If you copy and paste items while writing documents, creating spreadsheets, or presentations, the software remembers what you last did, and will keep the item across any of the other Office apps you have or decide to open.

This makes life much easier if you’re looking to go back in time and copy something you might have forgotten about when you started a document. In our latest Office 365 guide, we’ll show you how you can do this and use this clipboard to your advantage.

How to cut and paste items from the Clipboard

To make cutting and pasting items from the Clipboard easier you’ll first need to find it from the Home tab in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. You’ll notice a launcher icon in the lower right corner of the paste box, so be sure to click this to pop out the clipboard. You can then select the text or graphics from within your document you want to copy and press Ctrl+C.

Your selections will appear in a list on the left side of the screen over time and you can paste an item by selecting it. When you’re finished you can click the (X) button in the list to close it out. You’ll even notice a little preview of photos or charts that you might have copied.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to delete items from the Clipboard

If your clipboard is getting too full, you can easily delete items from it. To do this, all you need to do is head back into the Clipboard following the steps above. You can then click the arrow next to an item and choose Delete. If you want, you can also click Clear All to clear out the items.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

There are many other options too

Once you finish exploring the Clipboard, there are some other options that you can check out. You may look to the bottom of the screen and press the Options button. From here, you’ll be able to control some of the following items:

  • Show Office Clipboard Automatically
  • Show Office Clipboard When CTRL+C Pressed Twice
  • Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard
  • Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar
  • Show Status Near Taskbar When Copying

Keep in mind that after you open the Clipboard, it will also store content that you’ve copied or cut from anywhere. You also can set the clipboard to store content but remain closed, as long as you have an office program running. However, once you close out an Office 365 program, all clipboard content will disappear and it will be emptied.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Try out the Windows 10 Clipboard History as an alternative

Now that you’ve mastered the Office 365 clipboard, there’s also an alternative that you may consider using. If you’re up and running with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, you can view your clipboard history. This needs to be enabled from the System Settings by searching for Clipboard and enabling the feature. Once you do, you can hit the Windows Key and V together on your keyboard to see your keyboard history, regardless of which app you’ve copied content from.

@howtogeek
Aug 30, 2016, 10:24 am EST | 3 min read

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Your computer’s “clipboard” is where content that you cut or copy is temporarily stored. Microsoft Office has its own clipboard, however, that’s more powerful.

The Windows clipboard only stores the last item you copied. However, the Office clipboard stores up to 24 text and graphical items from Office documents and other programs. You can paste the items into any Office document in any order, which can be really useful when working on a large document.

To use Office’s clipboard, first select the text or image you want to add to the clipboard and copy (Ctrl+C) or cut (Ctrl+X) it. The text or image is copied or cut to both the Windows clipboard and the Office clipboard. Copy or cut any other information you want to add to the Office clipboard. When you copy or cut multiple items, only the last item you copied or cut is available on the Windows clipboard. But, all the items (up to 24) are stored on the Office clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

By default, when you copy information, a notification displays in the lower-right corner of the screen showing you the item number out of 24 you just copied or cut. You can turn this notification off if you don’t like it, and we’ll show you how later in this article.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

To open the Office clipboard and access the items you copied or cut, make sure the Home tab is active, and then click the “Clipboard” button in the lower-right corner of the Clipboard section.

By default, the Clipboard pane is anchored to the left side of the Office program window.

If you click the Paste button on the Home tab or press Ctrl+V, you paste the contents of the Windows clipboard, not the Office clipboard. To paste an item from Office’s clipboard, simply click on that item on the Clipboard pane.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

NOTE: You can detach the Clipboard pane from the Office program window and move it wherever you want. To do this, click and hold on the Clipboard pane’s title bar until the cursor becomes a four-way arrow. Drag the pane wherever you want to put it. To anchor the Clipboard pane to the right side of the Office program window, simply drag it there until it snaps into place.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

You can also click the down arrow on an item and select “Delete” to delete an item from the clipboard.

You can also use the Office clipboard to copy and paste items from other programs. Maybe you want to collect some text and images from other programs and paste them into parts of a Word document. For example, we copied a sentence from a Notepad file…

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

…and it was placed on the Office clipboard, in addition to the Windows clipboard. Then, we put the cursor in our Word document where we want to paste the text from Notepad and clicked on the Notepad item on the Clipboard pane to paste that text.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

You can also paste all the items from the Office clipboard at once into an Office document.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

The items are pasted in the order they were copied, first to last. The items are pasted as one paragraph, as shown below. We turned on non-printing characters in the example below to show the paragraph mark at the end of all the items we pasted from the Office clipboard.

Sadly, you cannot reorder the items on the Office Clipboard pane.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

There are some options on the Office clipboard that allow you to customize the behavior of the clipboard. When an option is on, a blue box with a check mark displays to the left of the option. Selecting an option toggles that option on or off.

  • Show Office Clipboard Automatically: Displays the Office Clipboard pane when you copy more than one item. This option is not on by default.
  • Show Office Clipboard When CTRL+C is Pressed Twice: Enables or disables the ability to display the Office Clipboard when you press Ctrl+C twice. This option is not on by default.
  • Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard: Automatically copies items to the Office Clipboard without displaying the Clipboard pane. When you select this option, the Clipboard still stores content copied or cut from anywhere. This option is not on by default.
  • Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar: Displays the Office Clipboard icon in the notification area of the Windows taskbar when the Clipboard is active. This option is on by default.
  • Show Status Near Taskbar When Copying: Enables or disables the notification box that appears in the lower-right corner of your screen that says “Item collected” when copying or cutting items. This option is on by default.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

To remove all the items from the Office clipboard, click “Clear All”. When you clear the Office clipboard, the Windows clipboard is also cleared.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

To close the Office clipboard, click the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the pane.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

The items on the Office clipboard stay there until you exit all Office programs or delete the items from the Clipboard pane, as we described earlier. You can also use the spike to copy and paste text in Word. The Spike operates differently from the Office clipboard and you can read about how it works and how to use it. You can also move or copy content in Word without affecting the Office clipboard or Windows clipboard at all.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

There’s a very good chance you use your operating system’s clipboard on a daily basis, even if you’re unsure what a “clipboard” is! The clipboard is where data “goes” when you copy or cut it and where data “comes from” when you paste it. If you use Windows, the clipboard you use on a day-by-day basis is likely Windows’ own. In terms of functionality, Windows’ clipboard is very basic; however, the Microsoft Office clipboard is far more advanced and makes working within the Office suite much easier.

How Is It Better?

When you copy or cut data in Windows, it will store it on its own clipboard. From here you can paste that data wherever you like, as much as you like. The moment you copy or cut something different, the clipboard is wiped clean and the new data replaces it. This is fine for basic migration of data, but it’s not so great if you want to manage copying and pasting multiple chunks of data at once.

The Microsoft Office clipboard is a little different. When you copy data to the Office clipboard, it takes up one of twenty-four slots that Office has on its advanced clipboard. This means you can copy twenty-four different items and they won’t erase one another; they’ll each reside in their respective “slot,” ready to be pasted whenever you need them.

How Do I Access the Clipboard?

You might have used Office for years and not known about its advanced clipboard. That’s because it’s not 100% intuitive on how to activate it. With a few easy steps you can get the most out of this great (yet hidden!) feature.

First of all, let’s bring the clipboard out of hiding. On the Home ribbon, under the Clipboard category, you should see a tiny box on the bottom right. Click this.

The clipboard will appear on the left.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

This is where all your copied and cut data will be kept. If you’ve copied multiple items before opening this clipboard, only the most recent entry will be present. This is because the Office clipboard doesn’t activate until you open it for the first time each session. If you want to change this, you can make the Office clipboard store data even if you don’t open it, which we’ll cover later.

Using the Clipboard

If you leave this clipboard open, you’ll notice that when you copy or cut data, it will pop up within the Microsoft Office clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

If you click on each entry, it will paste it into the document where Word’s cursor is. Pasting an entry won’t clear it from the list, so feel free to use each one as much as you like. Even better, if you open another piece of software within the Office suite, your clipboard will follow you. This makes the Office clipboard a very useful tool if you’re always carrying data between suites. Here, we can take what we copied from Word and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet via the Microsoft Office clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

If you find yourself importing data from programs into Office, the clipboard can keep track of that, too. Here we copy the phrase “Browser Autofill Features” from a web browser, which Office detects and puts on its own clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Options

If you really enjoy the Microsoft Office clipboard, there are additional settings in the Options button at the bottom.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Show Office Clipboard Automatically is ideal if you see yourself using this feature a lot. Enable this and it’ll always show when you open Office, ready to use.

Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl + C is Pressed Twice is the ideal choice if you’ll use this feature every so often. It’ll stay hidden when you don’t want it, but when the need arises, a double-press of the copy shortcut will bring it back out.

Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard will allow you to copy items into the Office clipboard even if you haven’t opened it during a session. This is a good option to tick if you’re always accidentally overwriting text on the clipboard when using Office. With this option on you can simply open the clipboard and retrieve previous data.

Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar will put an icon on your taskbar when the Office clipboard is active. You can right-click this icon to perform basic actions, such as viewing the clipboard or preventing it from collecting data.

Show Status Near Taskbar When Copying displays a notification at the bottom right every time you copy something, showing how much room there is on the clipboard. A good option for power users!

Clever Clipboard

While Windows’ default clipboard can be useful, Office builds upon it with a whole host of features. Now you know how to access this special clipboard, what it can do, and how to make the most of it.

Do you use the clipboard often? Do you see this feature being useful in your daily life? Let us know below.

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Most computer users don’t know where is clipboard on Windows 10 and clipboard is a useful feature for computers and smartphones. Meanwhile, on Windows PC, when you copy or cut, regardless of whether the data is text, hyperlink, image or etc, a copy of the data is stored in an unseen portion of the computer’s memory. The location where the data that you copy or cut is stored is known as the “Clipboard” of the computer. In this guide, you will learn how to find, enable, and use clipboard on Windows 10.

Clipboard History

Clipboard history first appeared in the October 2018 update of Windows 10 (Version 1809). Clipboard history currently supports text, HTML, and photos smaller than 4 MB in size. Larger objects in history won’t be held.

The history of the clipboard stores a maximum of 25 entries, with the oldest items disappear as new ones appear. Also, unless an item is attached to the clipboard, the history list of the clipboard will be displayed.

How to Find & Enable Clipboard on Windows 10

Step 1. Open the Settings app or simply press Windows + I.

Step 2. Click System.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 3. Click Clipboard from the left-hand side pane.

Step 4. Find the section called “Clipboard history” and toggle the switch to enable Clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to View Clipboard History in Windows 10

Once you have turned the Clipboard history on, you can view a list of items you have copied recently while using any application by keyboard shortcut. Simply, press Windows + V simultaneously and after that, a small window is going to pop up. The most recent items you have copied are at the top of the list.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to Use Clipboard on Windows 10

So, by now you have learned how to enable Clipboard and how to view clipboard history by pressing Windows + V on Windows 10. So here’s how to use a clipboard (Copy, Clear all, Delete, and Pin) on Windows 10.

Step 1. To copy an item, simply click any item in the Clipboard history list and paste it into an open application like Word, Sticky Notes and etc.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 2. To remove any specific items from Clipboard history, click on the three dots next to the item you’d like to delete. Select Delete.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 3. If you want to remove all the items from the clipboard history, click the three dots menu and select Clear all.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 4. You can also pin an item on the Clipboard history list and it will stay on the list even if you reboot the computer or click a Clear All. For that, click on the three dots menu and select Pin.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

How to Disable Clipboard on Windows 10

Step 1. Open the Settings app or simply press Windows + I.

Step 2. Click System.

Step 3. Click Clipboard from the left-hand side pane.

Step 4. Find the section called “Clipboard history” and toggle the switch to the left to disable Clipboard on your Windows 10.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Once you disabled the clipboard history, you can still view clipboard history by pressing Windows + V but it won’t show you the recent copied or cut items because the feature is disabled.

Wrapping Up

That’s it. This is how you can find, enable, and use clipboard history Windows 10. Remember that If you opt to enable this option, make sure you understand the possible security risks as well. For example, if you are one of those that normally copy confidential information such as passwords, addresses, names, etc and everything you copy to the clipboard would be stored in plain text, so everyone with access to your machine would now be able to display this information simply by using the Windows + V. You can also download Clipboard from the Microsoft Store as well.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

All text that you copy or edit in Word 2019 is stored in a place called the Clipboard. This is the usual cut/copy/paste bin for text, but in Microsoft Office, the clipboard is more powerful and enhanced than in other Windows programs. Specifically, you can use the Clipboard task pane to scan items that have been cut or copied and paste them back into your document in any order. So, in this guide, you will learn how to access and use clipboard on Microsoft Word 2019 on Windows 10.

Meanwhile, the Office clipboard, however, holds up to 24 text and graphics objects from Office documents and other programs. You can paste items into any Office document in any order that might be very useful when working on a large document.

Furthermore, It synchronizes it with all Office applications. This means which, without being required to copy from the folder, you can insert clipboard fragments in an MS Word paper into an MS PowerPoint presentation. You do not have to copy it to your clipboard if you need to reinsert the same snippet. In the MS Office, you can check and insert your clipboard history.

Ms. Word

Microsoft Word is available for Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, Android, and Apple iOS as well as WINE on the Linux operating system. Word also called Winword, MS Word, or Word, Microsoft Word It’s a Microsoft published word processor. It is one of Microsoft Office’s productivity applications. It was first released in 1983, originally developed by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie.

In the meantime, Microsoft Word allows you to create files, articles, letters, and summaries of professional quality. Microsoft Word has features including spell check, grammar check, text and font formatting, HTML support, image support, advanced page layout, and more, unlike a plain text editor.

How to Access and Use Clipboard on Microsoft Word 2019

Note : The following steps also apply to Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint as well. Because whatever you copy will appear to Microsoft Office clipboard history and you can access clipboard within the Home tab on all Microsoft Office suite apps.

Step 1. Open Microsoft Word 2019.

Step 2. To find or access clipboard on Microsoft Word 2019, click the Home tab and select the little launcher icon next to Clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Clipboard on Microsoft Word 2019

A tab will open on the left showing you the last 24 items you copied to your clipboard.

Step 3. To copy an item from the Microsoft Word clipboard history simply click on the item and then item automatically will be pasted into your Word document.

Alternatively, click the down arrow icon next to each item and select Paste.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 4. To delete an item from Microsoft Word clipboard history, click the down arrow icon next to each item and select Delete.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 5. Click Clear All to clear everything out of the Clipboard.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 6. You can also Paste all the items from the Office clipboard at once into an Office document.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 7. By default, the Clipboard pane is positioned to the left side of the Office program window. You can move the Clipboard pane from the Office program window and move it wherever you want. To do this, click the down arrow next to the close button and select Move.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Drag the clipboard pane wherever you want to put it.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 8. To close the Office clipboard, click the x button in the upper-right corner of the pane.

How to Set Options for Microsoft Office Clipboard

There are some options on the Office clipboard that allow you to customize the clipboard behavior. When an option is enabled, a checkmark displays to the left of the option. Selecting an option toggles that option on or off.

1. Show Office Clipboard Automatically: Displays the Office Clipboard when you copy more than one item.

2. Show Office Clipboard When Ctrl+C Pressed Twice: Displays the Office Clipboard when you press Ctrl+C twice.

3. Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard: Automatically copies items to the Office Clipboard without displaying the Clipboard task pane. When you select this option, the Clipboard will store content copied or cut from anywhere.

4. Show Office Clipboard Icon on Taskbar: Displays the Clipboard icon in the notification area of your Windows taskbar when the Clipboard is active. This option is on by default.

5. Show Status Near Taskbar When Copying: Shows the number of items you’ve collected in the bottom-right corner of the Word window. This option is on by default.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Clipboard on Microsoft Word

Wrapping Up

This is how you can access and use clipboard on Microsoft Word 2019. The items on the Office clipboard stay there until you exit all Office programs or delete the items from the Clipboard pane.

Each time you copy something to your clipboard, it’s automatically saved to the MS Office clipboard. Actually, you don’t have to paste the item inside a presentation or document. You don’t even need to turn to one of the Office settings. You’ll get a warning at the bottom of your screen that informs you that an object has been copied.

Modify text using either keyboard shortcuts or your mouse

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Kevin O’Keefe / Getty Images

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When you work with text or objects in Microsoft Office programs, cut, copy, and paste to edit or move things around.

These instructions apply to all currently supported versions of Microsoft Office for the Windows desktop.

How to Cut, Copy, and Paste in Microsoft Office

Here’s an explanation of each tool and how to use it, as well as some tips and tricks you may not be aware of.

Use the copy feature to duplicate items. First, click the object or highlight the text. Then select Home > Copy. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl+C in Windows) or right-click and select Copy. The original item remains, but now you can paste a copy elsewhere.

Use the cut feature to get rid of items. Using the cut function is different from using the delete or backspace key on your keyboard. Think of it as being temporarily saved as well as removed. In order to cut something, first click the object or highlight the text. Then select Home > Cut. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl+X in Windows) or right-click and select Cut. The original item is removed, but now you can paste it elsewhere.

Use the paste feature to place items you have copied or cut. Click the screen where you want to place the object or text. Then select Home > Paste. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl+V in Windows) or right-click and select Paste.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Highlight any block of text then press F2, which acts as both copy and paste. After pressing F2, place your cursor where you would like your text moved to, and press Enter.

Toward the side or bottom of the pasted item, a small Paste Options icon sometimes appears with options such as keeping formatting or keeping only text. Experiment with these options, as the results can make your projects that much easier by eliminating some of the formatting differences between two different source documents, for example.

Speed up your text selection. Use your mouse or trackpad to draw a large box around a group of text. Try holding down ALT as you draw the selection to make this process more precise. In some Microsoft Office programs, hold down CTRL then click anywhere in the paragraph or sentence to select the entire text. Or, triple-click to select an entire paragraph.

Question

I know that Microsoft Word is able to have more than one thing copied into the clipboard, but how do I access all the items that have been copied?

Answer

This question was answered on January 6, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

When text or images are selected then copied, they are sent to an invisible memory space in the computer called the ‘clipboard’ The standard clipboard that is built into Windows can store one item at a time, so every time a new item is copied, it overwrites what was previously stored.

An updated version called the ‘Office Clipboard’ was introduced with the release of Office 2000 and XP and is capable of storing up to 12 items This additional memory space is extremely helpful when you are pulling information from various sources for use in a single document.

For instance, if you need to copy a section from an e-mail message, several web sites, a couple of documents and a spreadsheet, you can actually copy what you want from each item one after another then paste them into the destination document, without having to go back and forth.

To select text or images or both, simply click and drag the mouse over the desired area to highlight the content Once you have highlighted, you can click on the ‘Copy’ icon or use the Ctrl-C key combination or click on the ‘Edit/Copy’ menu to make a copy to the clipboard up to 12 different times.

Here are some other keyboard shortcuts for cutting and pasting:

– Ctrl-A will select everything on the page

– Ctrl-X will cut out the selected content and place it on the clipboard

– Ctrl-V will paste the most recent item from the clipboard

To access all of the information that is stored on the Office Clipboard, you must activate the clipboard toolbar by clicking on the ‘View’ menu then on ‘Toolbars’.

Once the toolbar is visible, click on a blank area of the destination document, then select an item to paste or click on ‘Paste All’ if you want everything on the clipboard inserted.

The various items are represented by icons associated with the applications from which they were copied.

If the content is text, you can see the first 50 characters of the content by floating your mouse over the top of the icon If the item is an image, it will simply be labeled ‘Item #’ or ‘Picture #’ (where # indicates the copy order).

To clear all of the items from the clipboard, click on the icon farthest to the right on the Clipboard toolbar that looks like a clipboard with a big X on it.

If you attempt to copy more than 12 different items to the clipboard, a warning message will appear asking you if you want to overwrite the first item.

The Office Clipboard can copy from any source but can only paste items into Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

If you have an older version of Office or want to expand the capabilities of the Windows clipboard in programs other than in Office, you can download a free utility called Clip Magic at cyber-matrix.com/clipmag.htm.

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on January 6, 2003

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How to enable/show Clipboard in Outlook?

When copying or cutting multiple pictures, pieces of text, etc., the copied or cut pictures and text are stored in the Clipboard, and we can use them in any Office applications, including the Microsoft Outlook. In this article, I will show you how to enable or show the Clipboard in Microsoft Outlook.

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Enable or show Clipboard in the Message window in Outlook

When composing an email message in Microsoft Outlook, you can easily enable or show the Clipboard with clicking the launcher at the bottom-right corner of Clipboard group on the Message tab. See screen shot below.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Enable or show Clipboard in the main window in Outlook 2013

Some Outlook users may require enable or show the Clipboard in the main window. There is no Clipboard button showing in the Ribbon. However, we can add the Clipboard button into the Quick Access Toolbar of Outlook 2013.

Step 1: Click the drop down button in the Quick Access Toolbar, and then select the More Commands from the drop down list. See screen shot below.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 2: In the Outlook Options dialog box,

(1) Click the Choose commands from box, and then select the All Commands from the drop down list;

(2) In the Commands list, click to highlight the first Clipboard.

(3) Click the Add button.

(4) Click the OK button.

How to use microsoft office’s built-in clipboard

Step 3: Now you get back to the main window, click the Clipboard button at the Quick Access Toolbar, and the Clipboard will come out immediately. See screen shot below:

The clipboard is a set of functions and messages that enable applications to transfer data. Because all applications have access to the clipboard, data can be easily transferred between applications or within an application.

The clipboard is user-driven. A window should transfer data to or from the clipboard only in response to a command from the user. A window must not use the clipboard to transfer data without the user’s knowledge.

A memory object on the clipboard can be in any data format, called a clipboard format. Each format is identified by an unsigned integer value. For standard (predefined) clipboard formats, this value is a constant defined in Winuser.h; for registered clipboard formats, it is the return value of the RegisterClipboardFormat function.

Except for registering clipboard formats, individual windows perform most clipboard operations. Typically, a window procedure transfers information to or from the clipboard in response to the WM_COMMAND message.

This section discusses the following:

Clipboard Commands

A user typically carries out clipboard operations by choosing commands from an application’s Edit menu. Following is a brief description of the standard clipboard commands.

Cut Places a copy of the current selection on the clipboard and deletes the selection from the document. The previous content of the clipboard is destroyed.
Copy Places a copy of the current selection on the clipboard. The document remains unchanged. The previous content of the clipboard is destroyed.
Paste Replaces the current selection with the content of the clipboard. The content of the clipboard is not changed.
Delete Deletes the current selection from the document. The content of the clipboard is not changed. This command does not involve the clipboard, but it should appear with the clipboard commands on the Edit menu.

Clipboard Sequence Number

The clipboard for each window station has an associated clipboard sequence number. This number is incremented whenever the contents of the clipboard change. To obtain the clipboard sequence number, call the GetClipboardSequenceNumber function.

Clipboard Viewers

A clipboard viewer is a window that displays the current content of the clipboard. The clipboard viewer window is a convenience for the user and does not affect the data-transaction functions of the clipboard.

Typically, a clipboard viewer window can display at least the three most common formats: CF_TEXT, CF_BITMAP, and CF_METAFILEPICT. If a window does not make data available in any of these three formats, it should provide data in a display format or use the owner-display format.

A clipboard viewer chain is the linking together of two or more entities so that they are dependent upon one another for operation. This interdependency (chain) allows all running clipboard viewer applications to receive the messages sent to the current clipboard.

The following topics are discussed in this section.

Clipboard Viewer Windows

A window adds itself to the clipboard viewer chain by calling the SetClipboardViewer function. The return value is the handle to the next window in the chain. To retrieve the handle to the first window in the chain, call the GetClipboardViewer function.

Each clipboard viewer window must keep track of the next window in the clipboard viewer chain. When the content of the clipboard changes, the system sends a WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD message to the first window in the chain. After updating its display, each clipboard viewer window must pass this message on to the next window in the chain.

Before closing, a clipboard viewer window must remove itself from the clipboard viewer chain by calling the ChangeClipboardChain function. The system then sends a WM_CHANGECBCHAIN message to the first window in the chain.

Display Formats

A display format is a clipboard format used to display information in a clipboard viewer window. A clipboard owner that uses a private or registered clipboard format, and none of the most common standard formats, must provide data in a display format for viewing in a clipboard viewer window. The display formats are intended for viewing only and must not be pasted into a document.

The four display formats are: CF_DSPBITMAP, CF_DSPMETAFILEPICT, CF_DSPTEXT, and CF_DSPENHMETAFILE. These display formats are rendered in the same way as the standard formats, which are: CF_BITMAP, CF_TEXT, CF_METAFILEPICT, and CF_ENHMETAFILE.

Owner Display Format

For a clipboard owner that does not use any of the common standard clipboard formats, an alternative to providing a display format is to use the owner-display (CF_OWNERDISPLAY) clipboard format.

By using the owner-display format, a clipboard owner can avoid the overhead of rendering data in an additional format by taking direct control over painting the clipboard viewer window. The clipboard viewer window sends messages to the clipboard owner whenever a portion of the window must be repainted or when the window is scrolled or resized.