I have tried 10 different Windows clipboard managers and none recognize certain automation data in an audio program (specifically automation node values in Cubase 8). InsideClipboard by NirSoft is a program that supposedly shows exactly what is currently in the clipboard. And yes it works with text, images, file lists and even XML audio clip data in Cubase. But my automation data, which I can successfully paste with ctrl+v, is shown as EMPTY in InsideClipboard.

Then, if in InsideClipboard I choose File/Clear, ctrl+v won't anymore work in Cubase. So InsideClipboard is able to clear the data but it still shows it as empty.

What I'm trying to accomplish is I want several contents of clipboard which I can recall with a script. But I can't recall any because no clipboard manager seems to recognize the data.

In theory simple but it's been a struggle. What's a clipboard manager that actually supports anything inside the clipboard?

By the way I noticed that if I copy a small image area in Photoshop, then InsideClipboard will show things like the size of the image etc. But if I copy a huge image area, it will be shown just as CF_METAFILEPICT with no details. But it is still shown. With my Cubase automation data it is just empty.

2 Answers 2


As you can register you own clipboard format or use private clipboard format (application specific) writing a clipboard manager which recognize all clipboard formats might be a bit difficult ;)

I guess that you automation data clipboard format can be a private format. If you can find its ID and it is in CF_PRIVATEFIRST (0x0200) to CF_GDIOBJLAST (0x03FF) range it is private.


Handle to a metafile picture format as defined by the METAFILEPICT structure. When passing a CF_METAFILEPICT handle by means of DDE, the application responsible for deleting hMem should also free the metafile referred to by the CF_METAFILEPICT handle.

and as far as I know NirSoft I guess that if you report a bug they fix it. I guess that in other managers this huge images are displayed correctly - if not it might be a meta-data corruption.

As you can clear clipboard with WinAPI EmptyClipboard() function, don't expect to see any data pasted back if you doing it.

  • Thanks. Is it theoretically possible that a clipboard manager could save (as a "raw" data file) whatever is in the clipboard? I mean, I don't need the clipboard to understand the content, just to save it and recall it when necessary. I don't know how to find out the ID you mentioned. :( A clipboard manager called Ditto would support adding a custom type like CF_WHATEVER.
    – Jim Hoyle
    Dec 20, 2015 at 19:23
  • @JimHoyle Isn't any of clipboard managers you use display Format ID of clipboard content? If you know or may try to interpret your automation data clipboard format you can give it a try. You should try to convert this specific format to looking compatible standard clipboard formats first.
    – g2mk
    Dec 20, 2015 at 19:49
  • Unfortunately I have no idea how to access the data in any way except in Cubase. None of the clipboard managers display anything when the automation data is copied. No ID, no sign of anything, no empty row, nothing.
    – Jim Hoyle
    Dec 20, 2015 at 20:27
  • @JimHoyle Try copy a Cubase automated data and paste it in Windows Notepad - what is the result? If nothing is returned then you probably don't extract any data from Cubase format. I'm not aware any method other than reverse engineering which might help you.
    – g2mk
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:13
  • Indeed, nothing appears in Notepad when pasting the automated data. Ok, thank you for the information.
    – Jim Hoyle
    Dec 20, 2015 at 22:19

The problem is that not all programs put stuff you have copied on the Windows clipboard. If Cubase, or any other program, has something you copy and paste, and that data is of no relevance to any other software, why would they go to all the hassle of putting it on the Windows clipboard when they can just do it internally within the program?

Clipboard managers like Spartan, which is the best by the way....


Only capture what is on the Windows clipboard.

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