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ShowClipboards for macOS

This is a tool for macOS developers.

It's useful to view and test the pasteboard (clipboard) contents, including the drag pasteboard.

See also

I have also made a free command line tool for the same purpose:

Fetch NSPasteboard Items

Main Windows

When launched, it shows the clipboard contents as presented by these APIs, in separate windows:

  1. Scrap Manager (Classic Mac OS API, not present in the 64 bit version of this app)
  2. Carbon Pasteboard API
  3. NSPasteboard API

The contents automatically update when the clipboard contents change, e.g. by a Copy operation.

Selecting a row shows its value below.

Double clicking a row copies it to the clipboard.

You can drag items onto either window's listbox (tableview) to view the dropped content's "NSDragPboard".

UTI Converter

Cmd-T opens a window that lets you enter either a 4-char OSType value (e.g. "utf8"), a UTI (e.g. "public.utf8-plain-text") or a NS type (e.g. "NSStringPboardType"), and the other fields automatically update with the corresponding values.

You can also test UTI conformance by entering it into the "ConformTo?" field. E.g, if you enter "public.text", a "Yes" or "No" will appear right of it to indicate whether it the above values conform to this type.

Multi-item text testing

A clipboard can contain multiple text items, and if it does, an application that takes the value from the clipboard should use all the values.

While Apple's TextEdit and the NSTextField control handle this correctly, as do BBEdit and iClip, some editors, especially those using the Carbon API, forget about checking the extra items.

If you care to support this, use the "Add Multi-Text Item to Clipboard" command from the Testing menu. This will add three plain text items to the clipboard, and your app should then process all three when reading the clipboard.

Creating custom clipboard items

Cmd-N opens a window in which you can manually add pasteboard items by specifying their UTI and optionally providing a textual value.


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Current Version: 2.3 (64 bit Intel & Apple Silicon)

Older version 1.2 (32 bit), with support for the classic Scrap Manager API (does not run on macOS 10.14, though!):

Page last modified on 2022-10-21, 22:46 UTC (do)
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