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How to use the 'Office Clipboard' for more than one item.

Posted By : of Data Doctors on January 6, 2003

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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?


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

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of Data Doctors on January 6, 2003

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