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I thought about writing a utility to do this, but decided to look around for one first. There are dozens of clipboard managers and clipboard-related programs, but I haven't seen one that does exactly what I want.

I want a program that will "monitor" the system clipboard and anytime it sees new text appear in the clipboard, it will paste the plain, unformatted text into a window or file.

I have a collection of documents, some of them PowerPoint presentations, that I need to scrape the text from into a text document. I can select the text, copy, then go into Word and "Paste Special/unformatted text" or just to Notepad and paste, but that requires a lot of keystrokes and application switching.

What I'd like to be able to do is fire up a utility and let it run in the background then be able to highlight text, press Ctrl-C, and have the utility automatically append the copied text to a text window or a file until I tell it to stop.

I was thinking of just writing a console app to do this and redirecting its output to a file, but a Window app would be OK as well - just so I can scrape unformatted text from multiple sources and assemble the text into a new document quickly and easily.

Any suggestions or ideas before I go off an spend as much time writing the utility app as it would take to do it by hand?

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4 Answers 4

So far Ditto seems to be working for me, but it's kind of awkward to use. Very non-standard interface, but I think I have a set of options that will work.

Would still love to see any better suggestions!

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In autohotkey:

^c::
    send ^c
    clipwait
    clipboard = %clipboard%
    FileAppend, %clipboard%, c:\File.txt
return

Should I think perform this task. Might have some trouble with linebreaks.

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This looks intriguing, but what language is this? –  CMPalmer Oct 8 '09 at 17:48
1  
Damnit, sorry. Autohotkey, it's a lovely scripting language based around hotkeys, –  Phoshi Oct 8 '09 at 18:12

CLCL is my preferred clipboard manager.
It also keeps its history on file (without sqlite).

image

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Macro Express Pro will be able to do this for you.

It has a very nice graphical language that allows you to drag sequences of commands onto a list.

I've been using it for about 5 years, it powerful enough to do just about anything you can imagine, including this task.

Suggest setting the "activation" to "clipboard", add a command to copy the contents of the clipboard to a variable, then switch focus to your target program, paste it in, then switch focus back.

I've just finished writing a big a big macro to do the same thing as you're describing, to copy text from a web page into a document for safe keeping whenever I hit a hotkey.

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