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?


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!


In autohotkey:

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

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

  • 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).



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.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.