Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double-Secret Hidden Clipboard

Much of the time, when you copy and paste text or graphics, you do so one time. However, you might have occasion to copy the same text or graphic in different places in the same document.

Each time you copy text to the clipboard, Word adds the clipping to a hidden clipboard. If you click the drop-down arrow (dialog launcher) in the lower right of the Clipboard group on the Home tab, you'll see all of the items you copied or clipped. You can add as many as 24 clips to the clipboard.

Here's an example of when I've used this option. I have a relative with intestate letters that has a long list of heirs. If I copy the details including the list of heirs, I can place copies with text for one of the heirs and add a ... before their name and a ... after their name. I can delete all the names before the ... and after the second...  I have a subset of the list of heirs with an indication (...) of an incomplete list. Presenting the intestate letters in this abbreviated fashion cuts down on the length of my document without losing all of their details. I make sure that the document includes a complete list in at least one location in the document.

Using the Clipboard
  1. Open the document where you want to use repetitive text.
  2. Open the Clipboard pane. 
  3. Copy a piece of text (or graphic) to add it to the Clipboard.
  4. Click in the body of your document where you want to add repetitive text. 
  5. In the Clipboard pane, click the snippet of text your want to add. Word adds the text (or graphic) where your cursor is located. 
Deleting Entries on Clipboard
  • To delete one entry, point your cursor at the entry. Word outlines the entry and shows a drop-down arrow. Click the arrow and select Delete
  • To delete all entries, click the Clear All button at the top of the Clipboard pane. 
Exploring the Options
  • Click the options at the bottom of the Clipboard pane.
  • Click the Show Office Clipboard Automatically option if you plan to use the pane often.
So now you know the location of the double-secret hidden clipboard...but more important, you know how to use it. 


  1. Thank you for clarifying the mystery of the 'clipboard'!!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. Hi Theresa--I'm glad you found the post helpful. When I pick something to write about, I never know when I'm striking a chord until someone adds a comment. So thank you for writing.


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    1. Thank you for writing. I hope you find something useful in all of my ramblings about MS Word.