The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Clipboard managers

remembering 2 things at once

Usefulness: 🔧 🔧 🔧
Novelty: 💡
Uncertainty: 🤪 🤪 🤪
Incompleteness: 🚧 🚧 🚧


Various of these raise security questions, i.e. in CopyQ there is no way of marking passwords on the clipboard as secret unless they come from certain password apps, and that is quite tedious, and presumes you aren’t using a command-line password manager, or a browser plugin.


App launcher Zazu offers a clipboard manager.


diodon (Ubuntu unity, therefore obsolete).

Shared clipboards

You want to copy and paste between devices? If you are only using Apple devices this is easy via “Hand off”. Otherwise…

Share clipboard

Share clipboard runs a custom local network service to share across desktop and mobile platforms. It’s not clear to me how secure this is, since there is no apparent encryption from threading the docs. Are you cool with anyone on your local network reading any data you send? At least it’s probably not transmitting your passwords across the whole internet.

Ever wondering if it’s possible to copy text from an iOS device and paste it to another iOS device? Or even copy text back and forth between your iOS device and your PC/Mac/Linux computer? Yes, you got the answer, Share Clipboard makes all these possible!

There is a JS/node version for Windows/linux plus apps for macOS/iOS.


Cross-platform clipboard manager CopyQ (Cross-platform means desktop, not available for smartphones) offers syncing via file on disk. If you have secure sync this might be attractive to you. It even provides a circuitous way of getting data to smartphones, maybe.



Copy text from your PC to your Smart device’s clipboard, and Paste text from your device’s clipboard to your PC, instantly! All you need is the PC application, and the Android application on your device. No sign-in required!

Text can be copied over any network. As long as your PC and Smart device both have internet connections, you’re good to go. Alt-C uses Google Cloud Messaging with SSL connections to copy the text.

Note google cloud messaging is deprecated which is possibly an indication of undermaintenance.

Supports everything apart from iOS.


A sometimes-recommended Windows one I haven’t used is clipman

command-line clips

As mentioned elsewhere but collated here.


cat foo | pbcopy


Easy …and yet! Needlessly doesn’t do what you expect per default!

The command is xclip, which per default copies your data into pneumatic pipes, or somewhere else I do not know how to retrieve it from The argument you need to actually use what you copied into normal apps is -selection clipboard. See stackexchange.

cat foo.txt | xclip -selection clipboard
xclip --out -selection clipboard > file.txt

I can never remember this half way through a pipe when I need it, so I put this in my bash profile.

alias pbcopy "xclip -selection clipboard"
alias pbpaste "xclip --out -selection clipboard"

This is easier in principle in fish, which automagically copies using a decent default command for your particular OS via

cat foo.txt | fish_clipboard_copy