Sunday, June 15, 2008

Extending cut-and-paste: editing clipboard contents

Being able to edit the items in the clipboard contents window.

Why want this, rather than just editing the text before you cut/copy it, or after you've pasted it?

You might not want to modify the source text, or you might think of the modification after you've copied the text.

There's several reasons why you might want to modify it in the clipboard before you paste it. That can be conceptually simpler. It's a distinct operation that you can get out of the way first, before you paste the text in and then see it there with all of the surrounding text.

Or you might not be ready to paste it yet -- you might be wanting to make some more changes to the other document first, but you've got the changes you want to make to the clipboard item more immeidately in your mind.

Or if you want to paste that modified text multiple times. I've come across situations like these.

This is all affordances stuff.

The clipboard window could provide pretty lightweight editing capabilities. Ideally, there'd be a way you could open the content for editing in the default application for handling that sort of content. (With the way Windows works, this'd probably be a bit awkward - it might have to save the content in a temporary file, have the person edit that, and then the clipboard load this back up again). That's how you could edit images on the clipboard if you wanted to.

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