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The most useful tool that you probably don't use (AKA clipboard manager)

Practically every developer I know don’t use any form of clipboard manager. Yet, being used to them, I know how much valuable they are for my day-to-day productivity.

How common is for one to copy something, for later use, then to override it with another content before pasting. Like, if you’re refactoring something and then you cut a section of it to place in another function. But then, you accidentally override it with another selection. Your code is gone and you have to undo your changes in order to get it back.

Or if you did some change in a function tree hours ago and it has to be repeated in this new section you’re looking. You’re sure you copied that content from somewhere but it’s boring to go to look for it again.

To solve those classes of problems and a hole collection of related ones people created clipboard managers. And the one I appreciate the most is CopyQ.

CopyQ runs as a daemon and every time I hit Super+c it shows a popup with the history of my clipboard (bind the stroke with the copyqshow command). By typing enter I get the last result, by typing some string it will filter the results with that content. Beyond that, CopyQ is multi-platform, open-source, has a cli version, vi key bindings and solarized colorscheme.

It’s also possible to write plugins for CopyQ. I once wrote one to use as a snippet manager, to paste pre-defined values based on binded keys (like my address, CPF, Id). Notwithstanding later I dropped it for a simpler version in bash that you can find here.

I sincerely believe that this kind of small improvements in little areas of our work spaces are the one’s that enable the 10 times better programmer sort of thing. So I hope to have made a good case for Clipboard managers. You should at least try it, sure it will not cost anything. On arch is as straightforward as:

yaourt -Sa copyq

That’s all folks.