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In Windows XP there was a feature where you could paste anything from the clipboard (text or image (not image files, but actual image content, e.g. a copied selection from mspaint)) directly into a directory and it would create a file with the clipboard content in it, named Scrap that would look like this:

enter image description here

I tried this in Windows 10 but it doesn't work anymore, e.g. I cannot paste a selection from mspaint, that I copied, directly into a file directory. Did they get rid of this and if not, how to do it?

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  • 14
    Yes, a lot of cool OLE features have been removed the last two decades. I miss them too. I remember how impressed I was with all the OLE integration in Windows 95 and apps from that era. Jul 15 at 20:16
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    You could probably come up with an AutoHotkey script to do this for you.
    – Samuel
    Jul 15 at 22:06
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    Interesting, I used XP for a long time and never knew this.
    – Herohtar
    Jul 15 at 22:20
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    Apple also had this for a while in MacOS. I don't remember which was first (although historically Windows has been the copy-cat).
    – Barmar
    Jul 16 at 13:52
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Scrap files were removed since Windows Vista. From Windows Confidential: Scrapping the Scraps:

Given the history of scraps, the shell team set out to remove the feature from Windows Vista®. In order to do this, the team had to research how popular scraps were in the real world. So the shell team asked the product support group to call up the group's logs to see how many people called with questions about scraps. The theory was that a popular feature gets support calls and unpopular features don't (because nobody is using them). Scraps in particular don't exactly fall in the "blatantly intuitive" category of features, so a small number of calls couldn't be explained away as, "Well, the feature is so obvious that nobody needs to call to get help with it!"

The answer came back from the product support group. In the past year, the group received a total of four calls. And all of them were of the form, "I created this strange file. What is it and how do I get rid of it?"

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    TIL. I actually wish I had known this. As a developer, I rather constantly have a need to create a new file from clipboard content, and so have to open up insert ide or text editor or whatever here and then paste, save as, navigate to a directory... Ah well.
    – phyrfox
    Jul 15 at 23:12
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    "a popular feature gets calls" - oh, the language I uttered when I read this! Broken features get calls. Is this why they dropped notepad ?
    – mckenzm
    Jul 16 at 1:28
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    @mckenzm Yeah, according to those developers notepad must be removed from windows :). Who knows how many apps and features were dropped for similar reasons. Jul 16 at 5:07
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    @mckenzm this is why they added all those telemetry "features" into Windows 8+
    – user11153
    Jul 16 at 8:56
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    Microsoft's logic for determining what is popular or not reminds me of the WWII survivorship bias around bombers. But then, Microsoft has been run by incompetents for a while now.
    – Ian Kemp
    Jul 16 at 9:29
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Look into PasteIntoFile: an open-source software that precisely adds this functionality.

Copy something to your clipboard, right-click in any folder in Explorer, and choose "Paste Into File". Then type a filename and hit Enter, and you got a file!

enter image description here enter image description here

It works for different content types (incl. text and images) and automatically suggests an appropriate file extension.

Diclaimer: I am just a user of the software project and not affiliated with it in any other way.

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