Jumpcut: a clipboard-buffering tool editors will love

I installed Jumpcut after a tragic case of stupidity led to my losing a bunch of text I’d cut. Before I could paste it, I got distracted and copied something else, overwriting the text on my clipboard.

Jumpcut offers clipboard buffering: it stores up to ninety-nine clippings, so you can paste something you cut a while ago, even if you’ve since cut or copied something else. Although I installed it as insurance against my cut & paste brain farts, I discovered that the application is enormously useful for editing. It lets you cut or copy noncontiguous chunks of text and then paste them somewhere else, in any order and as many times as you need.

Last week the Chicago Manual of Style tweeted about Microsoft Word’s spike feature, which lets you cut several separate chunks of text and paste them all at once, but Jumpcut is better: Word’s spike allows only cutting, whereas Jumpcut allows both cutting and copying, meaning you don’t have to destroy your source document. What’s more, Jumpcut works across applications, so you can copy content from your web browser or a PDF and paste it into Word. I’ve been using it for only a week, but Jumpcut has already proven to be a huge timesaver by helping me replicate chapter headings in backmatter, add cross-references to an index I was editing, and copy quotes for a paper without having to bounce around between applications.

Best of all, Jumpcut is free.

Once you have Jumpcut installed, you can access your most recent clippings from the Jumpcut logo on the menu bar using your mouse, but you can also bring up your clippings with the shortcut key Ctrl + Option + V and then, holding down Ctrl + Option, use the arrow keys to scroll through them and select the ones you want.

Jumpcut is available for Mac only, but Windows users could try some of these alternatives. I haven’t used any of them, though, and can’t vouch for them. If you have any experience with them, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Jumpcut: a clipboard-buffering tool editors will love”

  1. Gee, Iva, you had me right up until the moment you said Jumpcut only works on a Mac! Thanks for the blog post, though. I’ll look at some of the other options you pointed us to.

  2. Hi Iva! For copying noncontiguous text on a Mac, I’ve been using the command key, just holding it down while I select separate chunks of text using the mouse/trackpad. (Works in Word, web browsers, TextEdit, and… Eh? Not PDFs? Darn.) I think Ctrl will work for PCs.

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