A clipboard manager is a
computer program In imperative programming, a computer program is a sequence of instructions in a programming language that a computer can execute or interpret. In declarative programming, a ''computer program'' is a Set (mathematics), set of instructions. A comp ...
that adds functionality to an
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Mi ...

operating system
clipboard A clipboard is a thin, rigid wiktionary:board, board with a clip at the top for holding paper in place. A clipboard is typically used to support paper with one hand while writing on it with the other, especially when other writing surfaces are ...
. Many clipboards provide only one
buffer Buffer may refer to: Science * Buffer gas, an inert or nonflammable gas * Buffer solution, a solution used to prevent changes in pH * Buffering agent, the weak acid or base in a buffer solution * Lysis buffer, in cell biology * Metal ion buffer * ...
for the "copy and paste" function, and it is overwritten by each new "
copy Copy may refer to: *CopyingCopying is the duplication of information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a res ...
" operation. The main task of a clipboard manager is to store data copied to the clipboard in a way that permits extended use of the data. Clipboard managers enhance the basic functions of
cut, copy, and paste In human–computer interaction Human–computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of Computing, computer technology, which focuses on the Interface (computing), interfaces between people (user (computing), users) and ...
operations with one or more of the following features: * Multiple buffers and the ability to merge, split, and edit their contents * Selecting which buffer "cut" or "copy" operations should store data in * Selecting which buffer(s) "paste" operations should take data from * Handling formatted text, tabular data, data objects, media content, and
URLs A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), colloquially termed a web address, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it. A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (U ...

* Saving copied data to long term storage * Indexing or tagging of clipped data * Searching of saved data Sharing clipboard contents remotely is sometimes done with pastebins.

Copy history

Some clipboard managers allow the user to keep multiple clipped objects, available for later use. Some keep a clipping history by automatically making a new buffer for each new cut or copy operation. Some applications have an internal copy history feature. This has been a standard feature in
UNIX Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast t ...

editors like
emacs Emacs or EMACS (Editor MACroS) is a family of text editor A text editor is a type of computer program that edits plain text. Such programs are sometimes known as "notepad" software, following the naming of Microsoft Notepad. Text editors a ...

for some time. Recent versions of
Microsoft Office Microsoft Office, or simply Office, is a family of client software In computing, a client is a piece of computer hardware or software that accesses a service made available by a Server (computing), server as part of the client–server mo ...
have included the "Office Clipboard", a built-in clipboard manager, which operates as long as one of the Office suite applications is open.

In different systems


The default
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor Notable clipboard software include:


Manager Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit, non-profit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources. Management includes the activities ...
Data management software