Frank writes: I just read your tip about viewing what’s on the virtual clipboard. However, the article just related to Mac. How can you view on a Windows PC?

Hi Frank! I wish I could tell you there’s a simple “Show clipboard” menu item in Windows as there is on a Mac. Alas, that isn’t the case.

Back in the day, Windows XP (remember that?) had a handy program called ClipBook Viewer that let you take a peek at the Windows clipboard.

But Microsoft dropped the ClipBook app around the time Windows Vista launched, and while you can find ClipBook as a free download on a smattering of websites (such as this one), you certainly won’t see it sitting on your Windows 7 or 8 hard drive.

That leaves us with looking for a third-party alternatives to the gone-but-not-forgotten ClipBook. You’ll find a handful of Windows 8 apps in the Windows Store (including the free Clipboard++ and the $1.49 Visual Clipboard), while Lifehacker has a nice roundup of five top Windows clipboard managers.

Once thing to keep in mind with third-party clipboard apps (both for PC and Mac, by the way) is that they typically boast features well beyond the capabilities of the Mac’s bare-bones “Show clipboard” command.

Some will let you edit your clipboard items, while others will let you clip multiple items at a time, allowing you to pick and choose which item to paste.

Good stuff—and once you get the hang of the powerful features in the best clipboard managers, you may find yourself wondering how you ever lived without them.

Hope that helps, Frank. Still have questions? Post them in the comments below, or drop me a line.

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