Windows optimize

Extend Windows XP's Clipboard with Network Clipboard and Viewer

If you have ever copied something to Windows XP's Clipboard while working on one computer and then wished that you had the same thing on the Clipboard on another computer on your network, Greg Shultz has a solution for you.

If you have ever copied something to Windows XP's Clipboard and then wished that you had the same thing on the Clipboard of another network computer, check out Network Clipboard and Viewer from Interdesigner Software Development. Once you have installed and properly configured this tool to work with your computers, user accounts, and firewall, the Network Clipboard and Viewer is easy to use.

The computer where you install the tool becomes the server. You can use it to send the current contents of the Clipboard to another computer, as well as retrieve the Clipboard's contents from another computer. In addition to this base feature, the Network Clipboard and Viewer has a host of features and settings; for instance, the extensive Help system includes step-by-step tutorials and a FAQ.

You can download Network Clipboard and Viewer and experiment with it using the 30-day free trial. If you decide to keep it, you can register the single-user edition of the software for $24.95, or additional users at extra cost.

Note: This tip applies to Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

Miss a Windows XP tip?

Check out the Windows XP archive, and get more hands-on Windows XP tips.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

40 comments
edodaniel@
edodaniel@

Remember the old Clipboard Viewer? It's also called the ClipBook Viewer in Windows XP. The ClipBook Viewer shows you the information you have copied to the Clipboard. You can store information permanently in your Local ClipBook and share it with other users. The Local ClipBook opens when you start ClipBook Viewer. The ClipBook Viewer isn't listed in the Accessories folder on the Start menu in Windows XP, so you might want to create a shortcut to it on your desktop: 1. Right-click your desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut. 2. In the location field, type C:WINDOWS\system32\clipbrd.exe. 3. Click Next to give it a name, then click Finish and you're all set.

together.better
together.better

here's a free way to do it: use skype on both machines.

CoolJ345
CoolJ345

This feature used to be included in Windows with the Clipbook Viewer. The utility is still available in XP, too bad the sharing was disabled.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

I'd rather have a clipboard that was native to Win XP that had multiple entries, so the cut/paste of this action didn't override the contents, or so I could retrieve an entry from five operations ago. I mean, this is an interesting idea, but as others have said, it's a possible security risk and it's probably not useful for work. As for home, it's of even less use there. A utility that will transfer clipboard contents between user accounts, THAT might be useful.

tundraroamer
tundraroamer

I extend mine all the time. Copy and paste into an email or notepad (for clean text only translation) and either save it as a draft or email it to myself. Next place I log on, its right there where I left it.

Rickster06
Rickster06

Nice if you don't have internet on network!

wescrook
wescrook

I recently was able to grab a password from a Helpdesk guy who was remoted into a machine I was working on. He typed the password (perhaps it was hard to remember?) into notepad (or similar) on his computer and I saw him PASTE it into the password field. So as soon as he was done, I opened Notepad, Pasted again, and Voila! I had the local admin account password! I can see where this tool could cause similar problems! NO THANKS!

aureolin
aureolin

JASH - Just Another Security Hole. Get a remote desktop or VPN solution that supports remote clipboard.

vacuole
vacuole

TechRepublic should be ashamed for suggesting this garbage.

ktunison
ktunison

I fail to see how this can be worth purchasing. Between logging on to a machine remotely and having the clipBook service, or using the Clip command from Server 2003 (both free and part of the O.S.) you can achieve the same results (use a network share). In a business, I would consider this tool a major security risk. There are other approaches that can be had (that don't limit you to using pay-for software) like a floppy disk, usb key, or file transfer. If you really want to see a nice push-pull network program, check out EagleVision 2. Developed by Calstate, it uses modified VNC for a clever (and free) program. http://www.calstatela.edu/its/techsupport/hardware/desktop/winsupport/eaglevision.htm

holmescd
holmescd

Normally I wouldn't touch software with accompanying text as poorly written as this. I refer to their website, not the text from TechRepublic. The grammar used on their website is terrible, but since you recommend it I assume that you've actually tried it. You did actually try it, right?

okn916
okn916

Could have been useful if it kept a history of more than just one clip! Might have even replaced Notepad to a certain extent(I sometimes use it for reminders or the occasional rough note) but considering it involves the running of two (three really) extra services I dont think I'll bother. But I see how it could be used securely across a network (it is encripted is'nt it)? All I would like is the ability to choose from say the last few 'copies', - not too much to ask is it?

danny2001s
danny2001s

We all know ClipBrd.exe is included with Windows XP. The point is: do you know how to enable it to share a local clipboard to a remote computer? If you found the way, please share with us, and securing the data transfer with encryption is a must, I don't think Windows' ClipBrd (seems to act just as a Clipboard Viewer) uses encryption.

danny2001s
danny2001s

I'm afraid of your recommendation. Does Skype use 128bit encryption for this kind of transfer? Is an automated process or manual? Certainly some corporate networks does not allow use of Skype, Messenger, etc., of course that's another problem.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

there was an error in transmission (browser reports it couldn't find the site) but then there were two of the same... weird, and now I don't seem to be able to delete the duplicate, only change it

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

Skype? Would you please explain. (Moodmessage perhaps? Although I hesitate to set up Skype on a second machine just to verify that guess.) I use FolderShare (see post "Ditto!" in response to post "Save your $$$") but as I said in there it can be slow. It works best with a folder already set up with files and sub-folders you think you might need, not as an "on-the-fly" clipboard.

danny2001s
danny2001s

Could you please explain what do you mean about "transfer clipboard content between user accounts"? Do you mean, user accounts in the same computer? With Network Clipboard I can set a list of granted computers and users (windows accounts), on different computers.

okn916
okn916

This is exactly the sort of thing I mean, and was what I had with a certain Firefox Add on. I would just like the same functionality within windows - not just in the browser. Personaly I'm not fussed about the network function.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

I think that only works if you have roming profiles enabled. I can't see how it would work on other machines without that enabled. But then I've been accused of being hidebound anyhow. ;-)

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

And here I thought I'd see some nifty tip... instead there's $$ involved. Ouch. I envisioned something akin to YC3 but across the network. But, you might want to try FolderShare (from Microsoft of all things.) It's sometimes a bit slow, depending on traffic I think, but it has the advantage of being free and you can have access to a whole lot more than just text files and e-mails. It works on a Mac as well (as in from OS X as well as Windows.)

okn916
okn916

Can any one recommend similar programs as I find the standard clipboard a bit limiting - I did have a good widget with Firefox (when I was using it) but now I'm on Opera - ? Although I am on a home network, the network function is not really of much use to me.

danny2001s
danny2001s

That's the default behavior of the program: automatic share of clipboard to computers. Sensitive users can disable this auto-share option, you also may define a security list of computers allowed to receive clipboard if auto-send is enabled. To extend security, a Users list is available (granted or denied access). Also you may set your own password to the program, and even disable your "local server" at all to avoid any connection to your computer. The data is sent/receive secured with 128bit encryption (this is enabled by default for clipboards with text content). I really don't understand some opinions, seems like never did a serious try, and I'm convinced about all TechRepublic's recommendations.

GreyTech
GreyTech

Maybe of some use on a home network but I would think it a security risk in a commercial environment. It takes 2 seconds to save such a clip and move it to where it is needed by any number of secure means.

TheRealPauper
TheRealPauper

I agree with all previous posts ... not worth the 30 day trial much less paying for.

danny2001s
danny2001s

When you install Network Clipboard and Viewer, one of the defaults is: show the 5 last used clipboards on System Tray. When you move the mouse cursor over those icons, you'll see a preview of the saved clipboard, you can use that clipboard again with just one click on that icon. If the icons are too much for you, you can disable them using the popup menu when right-click any of the NC's extra icons on System Tray. Sure there are methods like using Notepad to transfer text using a file from one computer to another, but this requires to open Windows shares, and are not encrypted at all... is this not more risky? And let me know, if you select some cells on programs like Excel, try to pass all cells formats and contents with Notepad... you'll only pass text!, Network Clipboard and Viewer will transfer my clipboard content exactly as is, so with just one command I can easily send a block of Excel (for example) to other network computer, and the user at remote computer just have to Paste it on Excel, nothing more! Is incorrect your assumption about "just one clipboard is saved", the quick access to last used clipboards is complemented with the "History" command, where you can see all your Local Clipboards, Network Clipboards, and create your own folders to just drag and drop some important clipboard contents for quick view/use. Even have a special "Vault" folder where you can drag and drop sensitive clipboard content, automatically encrypted with 128bit secure encryption. This "History" can be configured to be automatically cleared (deleted) from your system. Also, in the File Menu (under Misc) and at the Toolbar, you have few extra tools, like "Pad", looks like a Notepad replacement for small notes. One of the features I like most, is the "Auto-Clear Clipboard Content". Network Clipboard will automatically clear my clipboard content every one minute, just in case I forgot to lock my workstation when looking for coffee :) I'm in control of who and when I send my clipboard content, that's it.

rocketmouse
rocketmouse

"You can share ClipBook pages with others who have ClipBook Viewer installed on their computers, and they can share their ClipBook pages with you." (see more in Help, Contents from ClipBook Viewer) I didn't try this as it does me no good with its requirement that other computers have the ClipBook Viewer installed. -rocketmouse-

danny2001s
danny2001s

Following all recommendations on your link, the ClipBrd.exe still acting just as a clipboard viewer. I'm unable to use the options "Share" or "Send" under Windows XP Pro. The services are started, no errors at all. I found many posts about ClipBrd sharing was disabled by Microsoft, so if your tip is not wrong, how to enable it?

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

Yes, user accounts on the same computer. Say, working on XP Pro, Admin copying text from a file he has access to that has to be set up under the user account to work right, and being able to transfer the contents of the clipboard from the Admin account to the user account. Only on demand however, it would be terrible to have the user get the Admin password because they weren't attentive.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

It's called Populist. Written for NT, but works fine on XP. 15 entry clipboard, small memory size, right click access from the system tray to all the entries on the clipboard, and dropping a shortcut in the startup menu will launch it on login or system startup (depending on the folder you put it in). Don't know about if it would transfer over to other user IDs, but I used this program years ago, and it still works fine.

Joy Phillip
Joy Phillip

Well, I used to use a freeware clipboard called ClipMagic, it works pertty well, but it had a problem that it took up a lot of resources. So I dumped it. My ideal is a small nativie program that can handle about 10 or 12 entries, HTML, Text, Pictures, or whatever. Don't really need more than that.

shawki_rashed
shawki_rashed

evening: yes you are i agree now with the globe marketing enflashing it is problem now were days commercial environment not just do that but they make you bay there product by force and if not they try to miss up your network some time you don't even trust the security net because they do spay in you circumspect is needed in this days some security spay is working subjector throw vestibule data you can not see it or some time even the pc wont know is there commercial environment get wit on this days and inconstant categories it a wolf in the network the aim selling product by force and spy in you .we need security flock that we can trust in database network

danny2001s
danny2001s

Thanks for your recommendations, now I understand why the ClipBrd isn't working at all in a regular Windows XP System. I'll not test your suggestions because I must follow security schemas on my corporate network and enabling NetBEUI protocol is not an option (insecure, easy to capture packets, etc.). I don't have license of Windows 2000 Server, so it is not an option too. I tested the free program you mentioned on your post, I appreciate your effort but this free program you recommended is really a high security risk. Anyone can get sensitive clipboard from my computer and I just get noticed when it was happened! Also, uses broadcast method (easy to intercept and hack) and does not encrypt anything!. Apparently is just oriented for TEXT clipboards, any other formats are not supported. Another big issue with that free software is that it really disturb my clipboard tasks. For example: if I copy a screenshot, is like the Windows' clipboard viewer is unable to access de clipboard if this "Remote Clipboard" is running ("Cannot open clipboard" error). I was unable to transfer a "simple" block of Excel cells.... thanks, but I need more, much more. I'll keep Network Clipboard and Viewer.

edodaniel@
edodaniel@

You do have to have the previously mentioned Services running and keep in mind that the ClipBook Viewer is a NetBIOS-based application. Your Windows systems must be running the NetBEUI protocol for the ClipBook Viewer to function correctly and it isn't installed by default. Support for the NetBIOS Extended User Interface protocols (also called NetBEUI or NBF) in Windows XP has been discontinued. If your configuration requires temporary use of NetBEUI for Windows XP, follow these steps: To install the NETBEUI protocol: Locate the Valueadd/msft/net/netbeui directory on your Windows XP CD. 1. Copy nbf.sys into the %SYSTEMROOT%SYSTEM32DRIVERS directory. 2. Copy netnbf.inf into the %SYSTEMROOT%INF directory. 3. Open the Network connection properties for your local area network and use "Install..." button to add NetBEUI protocol You may not want to jump through the hoops, but yes, it does work. You may have an easier time just using the CLIPPOOL.EXE that came in the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit if you have the kit. If not this is also freely available: http://www.softro.ro/files/Remote_Clipboard/caracteristici.html

danny2001s
danny2001s

What exactly did you do to work with ClipBrd on networked computers? I know how to enable those services, all services enabled (ClipBook, DDE and DSDM), just in case firewall disabled, ClipBrd just shows my Active Directory computers list when use the Connect command... it "connects" but can't view or access remote clipboard.... I can't even share my own clipboard (simple text)... I'm unable to found any sort of encryption schema... So far, I found many papers about ClipBrd's sharing is disabled since Win2000... It just works as a Viewer.... Did you really send and receive clipboard content AS IS between two networked XP computers?

edodaniel@
edodaniel@

running -- Clipbook Server which depends on Net DDE which depends on Net DDE DSDM. (take a look here: http://www.ss64.com/ntsyntax/services.html ) With SP2 Microsoft set those services to disabled, but that certainly does not prevent you from doing so. Click on Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools then Services to enable them - I suggest setting them to manual. If you aren't familiar with services I suggest you might look at this link as it also tells how to easily determine dependancies. http://www.techspot.com/tweaks/winxp_services/print.shtml You don't need it but you might find this educational: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/193888/en-us

okn916
okn916

Tried this one - seems very comprehensive, much more than I need, couldn't really get on with it - Problem is now that I can't launch paint. Well I can but it just immediately uses up all of my memory and I can't even close paint because of this! I'm sure it was this utility because things went a bit strange after I tried to use the capture a screen region facility, that was just about the time that I decided I'd had enough. Any suggestions/Help much appreciated.

Grayson Peddie
Grayson Peddie

Not trying to be an English police, but I'm having trouble reading your post. :(