Manage your clipboard items in Mac with Shadow

I use Cut, Copy and Paste commands a lot, and computer’s basic clipboard ability to hold only one item at a time really annoys me. That’s why one of my must have applications is clipboard manager. It allows me to copy as many items to my heart content without having to worry about losing any entry.

There are several choices of clipboard managers for Mac users. We’ve discussed clipboard managers for Mac before. Jumpcut was my long favorite manager and it’s a pretty amazing one if I may add. It’s small, fast, and it does the job well. True that Jumpcut can only handle text, but my needs are simple.

So it’s a bit hard for me to switch to other application. But Shadow changes everything. It can do everything every other clipboard managers can do, and more.

Let’s peek at what lurks behind the shadow.

First step into the shadow

Just like most of other clipboard managers, Shadow will reside in the menubar. It can be summoned using configurable shortcut key.

To set the key combination, open Shadow preferences menu by clicking the menubar icon and choose “Preferences”.

shadow open preferences

Go to the “General” tab, click inside the HotKey field and hold down your chosen key combination.

shadow preferences general

And while you’re at it, why don’t you choose the Advanced tab and click on the “Start on login” button to make sure that your clipboard is available all the time. Here you can also decide how many items that Shadow should hold inside the clipboard.

shadow preferences advanced

Please note that even though you can set as many clipboard items as you want, the bigger the number, the bigger space you need to hold the items. So, those with limited hard drive space please beware.

Walk in the shadow

Using Shadow is as simple as letting it running in the background and quietly collecting clipboard items. You could do the usual Cut-Copy-Paste routine: cut or copy an item and directly paste it. But you can also use past cut or copy items to be pasted.

To do this, you have to bring Shadow window upfront (either by clicking its item in the menubar or by using the hotkey),

shadow window

Choose one of the past items using the up and down arrow, and use Shift + Enter to paste it.

By default, there’s one clipboard that comes with Shadow called “System Clipboard”. You can’t modify nor delete it but you can choose to share it with others by clicking Edit (pencil icon).

However, the Shadow’s true power lies in it’s ability to create multiple clipboards and share them to other computer within the networks. To add more clipboards, open Shadow window and click on the plus (+) button below the window.

shadow add more clipboard

A new clipboard options window will appear. Fill in the clipboard name and choose whether you want to share the clipboard to others by ticking the checkbox. There’s also an option to password protect the connection should you need the extra security. The password allows you to choose which clipboard to share to which person.

shadow new clipboard

The ability to store as many items as you want in the clipboard and to add as many clipboards as you want bring about new problem: information overload. When Shadow has stored too many items, using the clipboard will become difficult and impractical.

Luckily Shadow comes with search ability. All you have to do is put the search string, hit Enter, and all the clipboard items that match your query will appear. Choose the one that you need and press Shift + Enter.

shadow search

Have you tried Shadow? Do you know other free alternatives to clipboard manager for Mac? Share using the comment below.