Save.Me takes clipboard management to a whole new level

It’s no secret that the Windows clipboard is, well, just a little limited. Copy a snippet of text from your web browser, say, and you’ve already reached the clipboard’s capacity: copy another and the first will be removed, lost forever, a real annoyance if you need it later.

There are plenty of clipboard extenders around to try and address this problem, of course. Basic examples might save clipboard text. Most will save text and images. But Save.Me is rather more ambitious, with the program aiming to save absolutely everything: text, images, URLs, files, folders, it’s all preserved for speedy access at a later date.

While this sounds like it might be quite complex, it’s surprisingly easy to get started with Save.Me. The program comes in the form of a single portable executable, so there’s no installation here, no concerns over adware. Just launch it, use your PC as normal, and Save.Me will be running in the background, capturing whatever you might copy to the clipboard.

When you decide you need to recall some previous item, launch the program from its system tray icon and you’ll initially be presented with a Search box. If you remember some word in an image name, say, or text snippet, enter it here and you’ll find the item immediately. Otherwise, click on the "Default" view and you’ll see every logged clipboard item in chronological order, allowing you to manually review everything you’ve been doing.

The amount of information you get as you look back is one of Save.Me’s big advantages. While other tools just tell you that a particular item was an image or a block of text, say, here you’ll see it’s been given a meaningful name (the text itself if it was just a single line, say). You’ll be told when it was saved to the clipboard. The application responsible. And a preview window tries to tell you more: all the text, an entire image, even a web page (if the clipboard item was a URL).

And because your clipboard items are saved to disc, the records will persist across reboots, which means Save.Me might become a useful way for some people to organize information (whatever you’ve uncovered in some research project, for instance). So choose the Logbook View, for instance, and you’ll see a calendar; clicking on any day then gives you access to whatever you copied to the clipboard at that time.

Of course this also has an impact on disk space, but if that’s an issue then there are many alternatives. You can tell the program exactly what you want it to keep, for instance: maybe just URLs, text and graphics. You might allow it to save files and folders, but only below a certain size. And there’s also an option to zip up data, if you need it.

While for the most part this works very well, Save.Me also has plenty of issues.

A Sidebar is supposed to help you access saved items, for instance, but it wouldn’t properly display on our test PC.

As we tried to review our clipboard items there were occasional pauses, with the program taking 10-15 seconds to render one or two blocks of text.

And some areas of Save.Me just haven’t been fully thought through. Paste a web page URL to the clipboard and the program will try to preview that page, for example. But if you paste a file URL to the clipboard then it’ll also try to fetch that file, resulting in a "Save As" dialog and an attempted download -- probably not what you wanted, at all.

Save.Me needs more work, then. But it’s already a very promising tool, ready for immediate use in simple applications, and if you’re looking for a way to get more from the Windows clipboard then the program can definitely help.

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