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Archive your pasteboard using Flycut

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

I often find myself wishing that I could retrieve something that I had cut or copied earlier in the day, or maybe even longer ago than that. So I decided to make an archive of my pasteboard, and store it on Dropbox so I can easily retrieve something later.

There are lots of programs out there which will offer to save your pasteboard or do all sorts of complicated things with it. I was looking for something simple, and I found just what I wanted in Flycut, a free program based on an older app called Jumpcut which hasn't been updated since January 2009.

Configure Flycut

Flycut is available for free from the Mac App Store and requires OS X 10.6.6 or later. After downloading it, launch it and set the preferences as shown here:

You can set it to "Remember" anywhere from 10 to 99 entries, and display five to 99. Set those to whatever you like.

The most important part is to make sure that you choose "After each clip" for the "save" frequency. Everything else relies on that setting being correct.

Download and install a shell script is a shell script which automatically saves your pasteboard to a file anytime the pasteboard changes.

Download it, make sure it is executable (chmod 755 and move it to /usr/local/bin/

By default, your clipboard will be saved to ~/Dropbox/TEMP/ If you want to change that, edit the DIR= line in The folder will be created if needed.

Also, if growlnotify is installed, the script will show the current clipboard via Growl whenever it changes. If you do not want Growl notifications, set GROWL=no in (look in the file, you'll see where to make the change).

Last but not least: launchd

  1. Download com.tjluoma.flycutmonitor.plist and copy it to ~/Library/LaunchAgents/.

  2. Edit the line which begins with /Users/luomat/Library/ and change luomat to whatever your username is on your Mac. (If you do not do this, nothing will work.)

  3. run launchctl load com.tjluoma.flycutmonitor.plist or log out and then back in.

To test it, simply cut or copy some text

You should see a new file created in the folder that you specified, and a Growl notification should appear, unless Growl is not installed or disabled.

One final note: I do not recommend having Flycut save its settings to Dropbox, but if you do change that, be sure to change the appropriate line in the com.tjluoma.flycutmonitor.plist file from:

~/Library/Application Support/Flycut/com.generalarcade.flycut.plist



where ~ is the full path to your home directory. (Do not use a literal ~ in this case, it will not work.)

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