Clipboard multiple layers deep

I have a suggestion that would greatly help those of us using DTPO for academic work. We need the ability to copy and paste disjointed information between documents so that we wouldn’t have to switch back and forth between the documents many times. For example, I might want to copy an URL using Cmd-C, then a picture using Cmd-C again, then a few words using Cmd-C again, then the hyperlink to the document using Ctl-Opt-Cmd-C, then move to the new document and paste each one of these data individually using Cmd-V, Cmd-V, Cmd-V, Cmd-V. It would be similar to the function of the Hewlett-Packard calculator. I think they call this “the Stack.” The data would be pasted on a first-in, last-out basis.

The Clipboard is a service at the operating system level, not something DTPO controls. However, there are numerous utilities that do exactly what you want. Search for “clipboard” at and you’ll see dozens of options - some free, some not. Everyone has their favorite - I happen to like PTHPasteboard.

A multiple clipboard utility may be the answer to your wishes.

Be aware, however, that such utilities ‘hack’ the operating system, and if poorly written or if outdated after Apple issues an update or upgrade to OS X, may cause stability problems.

Having seen a number of user issues related to installing hacks during my 6 years of working with DEVONtechnologies Support, I urge special caution in choosing hacks. A Web search by name will reveal that some clipboard extenders have caused operating system errors.

Hacks to the operating system, promising convenience to the user by changing features, functions or the appearance of the operating system, have been around a long time, since the original Mac OS. I’ve been bitten badly by hacks I installed in the past (so that any time-saving or convenience was paid for a thousand-fold by the work and time required to correct problems).

The number and popularity of hacks to OS X - and the number of resulting instability problems - reached its peak during the Tiger operating system. Because so many of these were badly written and tested by their developers, Apple has since added restrictions to modifying OS X, and has implied that it may try to prevent hacks altogether if such problems appear again. That would be a shame, as some hacks are indeed well written and are useful.

My current attitude is that I try to keep OS X as stock as possible, with very few hacks installed, that I’ve monitored over time and that haven’t caused any problems. The payoff is that my Macs don’t have problems, and my DEVONthink Pro Office databases never show errors when I run Tools > Verify and Repair, and I don’t have to resort to backups (although I continue to back them up redundantly as insurance, because Bad Things such as a disk failure, a burglary or a fire can and do happen to people).

Thank-you for your replies. I agree that stability is the most important attribute, especially with databases. I’ll make this same suggestion over at Apple and hope they take it seriously. It would be a great feature for their OS.