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Weekly Computer Tip # 113
28 May 2005

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quickly displaying the Clipboard Task Pane (Microsoft Office 2002/2003)

Once you get used to it, you'll love the Clipboard Task Pane that Microsoft introduced in Office 2002. It makes it possible to cut and copy (and display!) up to 24 selections from any number of Office documents or other programs and then paste them into any Office document. When you could only cut or copy one selection to the Clipboard at a time, there was little or no need to see the clipboard, but now it's an extremely useful tool, allowing you to see the collected items so you can choose which one to paste.

But what if the Clipboard Task Pane is not displayed? Well, as explained in tip # 107 (http://www.roem.co.uk/tip_107.html) Microsoft seems determined to prove the saying that there is more than one way to skin a cat. And this is no exception ...

  1. Select the Edit, Office Clipboard command OR
  2. Select the View, Task Pane command and choose Clipboard from the Task Panes drop-down menu OR (best of all!)
  3. Press CTRL+C twice

By the way, credit for this great keyboard shortcut goes to Ian Du Quesnay of Newnham College. (Thanks, Ian!)

Obviously, if you first select, say, the piece of text you want to copy, before pressing CTRL+C, the item is copied to the Office Clipboard as well as the clipboard being displayed. Any collected items stay on the Office Clipboard until you exit Office.

But why would you want to use shortcuts? Well, first of all the Repetitive Strain Injury Association (RSIA) in London recommends us to avoid using the mouse as much as possible and experiment reducing the number of clicks. But having recently used my laptop extensively on planes and in hotel rooms I just know that using shortcuts is a far more efficient way to work than dragging that tiny pointer!

Until next week.

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May 2005