QClip is a clipboard extender for Windows, similar to that found in the Microsoft Office suite, with the exception that it can copy and paste data to and from any other program, arbitrarily. The program monitors the standard Windows clipboard and copies any data it sees there into a queue. You can then access the data later on through hotkeys defined by the program.

QClip is designed with a minimalist approach - it has no UI to speak of, uses few system resources, and does not impact the registry.

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QClip is copyright 2006 Aaron Curtis, and is distributed under the GNU General Public License. For details, see the file license.txt included in the QClip archive.


QClip requires no installation; simply place the executable in your favorite direcory and run it. The program will happily run from flash drives and the like. Optionally, if you would like QClip to start automatically at Windows startup, you may also place a shortcut to the executable in your Startup folder.

QClip does not modify the Windows registry; rather it stores all configuration data in an .ini file in the same directory as the executable (this file is created automatically). By default, the application will also create the file autosave.qcl, which stores clipboard data between sessions.

Basic Usage

When launched, QClip will place an icon in the system tray. Right-clicking the icon will allow you to exit the program or acess the Preferences dialog. Most interaction however, is done through keyboard shortcuts.

Whenever you copy data to the Windows clipboard, QClip will add it to a queue. You can then "pop" data from either end of the queue by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F (for the most recent item) or Ctrl-Alt-B (for the oldest). This will remove the data from the queue and paste it into whatever application has focus. For example: Highlight some text and press Ctrl-C, then highlight some more and press Ctrl-C again. Repeat this a few times. Now open Notepad and press Ctrl-Alt-B a few times. You will see the various text items appear in the order you copied them. Pressing Ctrl-Alt-F would have pasted the text in reverse order.

You can also "peek" at data in the queue using Ctrl-Alt-Shift-F and Ctrl-Alt-Shift-B This will paste data from either end of the queue without removing it.

Another way to access clipboard data is to press Ctrl-Alt-V. This will create a popup menu, showing every item currently in the queue, as well as any user-defined "common items". Selecting an item will then paste it. Note that when using this method, QClip is only able to display data in simple formats (text, bitmap); other formats will be shown as "Binary Data".

Also note that by default, the queue is limited to ten items, so anything older than the tenth item is lost.

Furthermore, because of the way QClip interacts with the Windows clipboard, the standard Windows paste operation (Ctrl-V) will use whatever data QClip has most recently accessed, either through a copy or a paste.


QClip can save the current queue to a .qcl file, which can be loaded into the program at some later time (this ability is available by right-clicking the system tray icon). So, for example, you could copy a bunch of items, save the queue, then paste them on a different computer.

Another use for .qcl files is to save commonly used items. QClip is able to add items from a user-defined file to the popup menu (see the General Preferences dialog). These items exist in a separate queue from the main one, and are not affected by copy and paste operations.

  • Queue Size - Sets the maximum number of items the queue can hold. Shrinking the queue may cause data to be lost, if the maximum size had been reached.
  • Unlimited queue - If this is checked, QClip will dynamically resize the queue as you copy items, and shrink it as you remove them. The size of the queue is then limited only by available memory.
  • Auto-save and restore the queue between sessions - If this is checked, on exit, QClip will save the queue to the file autosave.qcl. This file will then be loaded the next time the application is started.
  • Preview bitmaps in the popup menu - If this is checked, QClip will attempt to display bitmap data in the popup menu. Otherwise, a general description of each bitmap is given (i.e. height, width, bit depth).
  • Common Items - If these options are set, QClip will attempt to add commonly used data to the popup menu. This can be one of the pre-defined items (the date in long or short format), or a user-created .qcl file.

Nearly all actions in QClip are controllable through hotkeys, though only a few are defined by default (Pop and Peek, Show Popup Menu). To define a new hotkey, simply select an action from the list, click the "Shortcut Key" box, and press a key combination.


Internally, QClip is format-blind. The Formats dialog exits to allow you to disable certain kinds of data. This is useful because applications often place data on the clipboard in several redundant formats, which can consume large amounts of memory.

The first six checkboxes refer to standard clipboard formats defined by Windows. The last of these, "Other Standard Formats", is a catch-all for a number of formats not in common use. "Private Formats" refers to custom-format data that is not intended to used outside the application that created it. Alternatively, "Registered Application Formats" refers to custom-format data that is meant to be shared among applications. Rich text is probably the most common example.

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