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Computing With Bifocals
by Nancy Carroll Gravley

A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....

CopyPaste: A Godsend For Power Users & Novices Alike
December 1st, 1999

In last week's column I mentioned a program called CopyPaste that had been recommended by a reader. I promised to check it out for this week's column. This is a handy-dandy little program. It offers much for the experienced user, but there are aspects of it that would be very helpful to the novice. First of all, the facts. This is shareware and was created by Script Software Int'l. Version 4.4.1 was just released this week. The cost is $15. It works with System 7 and above which makes it applicable to older machines. It took a little more than a minute to download for me.

To get and load the program for a trial period go to and search for CopyPaste. When it comes up on your screen hit download. Remember that you need Stuffit or some like product to successfully download. If you are not familiar with Stuffit you can read about it in my column from December 16, 1998. Once it is downloaded, open the primary folder and move both internal folders to your extensions folder on your hard drive by dragging them. (click once on the folder with your mouse, hold the mouse button down and drag the object to its new destination. Release the mouse button.) If you can't find your extensions folder then use the find option under the File pulldown menu. The final step is to restart your machine.

When your machine is back up and running you will see CopyPaste in the form of a very small box to the left of your screen. Slide your cursor over the box and it will pop open. Move the cursor away and it will close again. So what does it do? The primary thing that it does is allow you to cut and paste more than one thing at a time. In fact, CopyPaste allows you to access and use 100 clipboards instead of just one. To use, highlight the material you want to copy by holding down the mouse key and dragging it from start to end, then hold down the Apple key and the C key to copy the material. Continuing to hold down the Apple and C key, type a number between one and one hundred and release the Apple and C key. The material you have copied will be saved on the clip board you indicated. If you forget which clipboard goes with which number, you'll find each clipboard listed in sub menus under Copy in your application's Edit menu. There is a complete help menu that can be accessed at the bottom of the CopyPaste box. If you place your cursor at the bottom of the help menu and just hold the mouse button down the script will roll slowly so you can read the contents. If you want to see exactly what you have saved on any clip board just click on the text part of the listing in the CopyPaste pop up box, and a box will open up showing you the entire contents.

There are other, more sophisticated elements, but here is the reason I will find it the most useful. This past week I was trying to respond to an e-mail, but my response kept bouncing back to me as undeliverable. Finally I decided to find an earlier message and copy the recipient's address from that message and then copy my message and send it to my friend. I chose to do this because I did not want to send my friend several paragraphs of gobbley goop related to the undelivered message. To accomplish this task I had to open a new message screen in my e-mail. Go back to my mail box and open the earlier message. Copy the correct address. Close the earlier message and open the new one I was preparing and paste in the correct address. Then I had to go to the undelivered message and open it and copy the text of my original message. Close and delete that message and then open the new message once again and paste my text. If I had had CopyPaste I could have eliminated half of those steps. I also think this program would be tremendous help to students doing research.

Other Stuff

I also want to tell you about some nifty modifications that have been made to one of my favorite sites, I have recommended this site a number of times because of the wide variety of clip art available. The folks who manage this site are in the process of updating it and the changes are great. Previously, to search for a specific item it was often necessary to read through a number of text listings to find what was offered. Now each page pops up with thumbnail pictures of each available icon. What a great time saver! Barry's Clip Art is a completely free site which makes me doubly appreciative of all the effort necessary to make these changes.

More Reader Tips

I received more terrific reader suggestions this week. Patrick Ferguson suggested that I remind everyone of a way to prevent problems by planning ahead. He advises "that when registering software or anything that could require a future reference it is best to be consistent. Data bases are notoriously unforgiving. Registering a very expensive piece of software or hardware as R. S. Smith and then trying to get support online or by phone as Rumple Stiltzkin Smythe can be very frustrating. It is such a simple concept that often it is not considered until too late. Along the same lines - make a file for all serial numbers, and customer ID's. Sooner or later you will wish you had."

Patrice also recommends an application called SmartWrap™ 1.6. This application analyzes your text, detects paragraphs and lists within your text, and rewraps your text so it wraps naturally within your document or message. In other words, it all those irritating blank lines and spaces out of copied and pasted material. I regularly have to send myself e-mails from home to work and back again. It drives me crazy when the text gets all out of alignment and I have to take time to fix it. According to Patrick, this program automatically does that for you. This application is $15 and is available at There are versions available for Eudora™ and Eudora™ Light, the Clipboard, BBEdit, MailSmith, CodeWarrier, and for AppleScript Scripting.

John Dove from Texada Island, BC, Canada, wrote to suggest a program called Drop Drawers ($15 shareware). I will check this out as time permits and write about it in a future column.

A reader named MoofMoof (see below) sent me a great tip. This is one of those things that is right in front of your face, but if you don't know how to use it, it doesn't mean anything to you. In the apple menu, there is a handy desk accessory (small program) called Key Caps. To get it you go to the Apple Menu (the pull-down menu at the top left corner of your screen). Hold down the mouse button and scroll down to the one labeled Key Caps. Release the mouse button and Key Caps will open. You will see an image of the key board with each letter or number labeled just as it is on the key board. Just this aspect alone should be useful to anyone learning to type for the first time. However, if you hold down the option key, the key board will change so that it has a whole different set of symbols. For example: ¡ ™ £ ¢ § ° ¶ • ª º – –. To use any of the available symbols, hold down the Option key and type the appropriate symbol. MoofMoof stated that he believes the combination of the Mac keyboard layout and Key Caps is one of the brightest and best designs there is for accessibility. MoofMoof noted the following which is very important. "The caveat, of course, being that the "high ascii" characters are Mac-specific: if you send mail or a text file to a friend on another type of computer, the special characters will most likely come through as strange-looking garbage (though some MIME-compliant mailers are able to encode them in a transportable format)."

Now about that name, MoofMoof. Clarus is a dogcow, or more specifically the Dogcow, and it has been a part of the Apple lexicon since the 80's. Being a Dogcow, the sound he makes is a Moof. The whole story is whimsical and you can read all about it at Any true Mac fanatic should know about the Dogcow.

If you have any tips, suggestions, or other comments about this, or any other Mac topics, send them to me so that I can share them with other readers.

Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.

Post your comments below.
Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.

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