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2/18/2010
06:59 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Google Intros Cloud-Based Clipboard For Docs

This week Google quietly rolled out a new feature within Google Docs. It is offering a Web-based clipboard that will let users copy-and-paste content between Google Docs. It also manages to keep Web formatting intact.

This week Google quietly rolled out a new feature within Google Docs. It is offering a Web-based clipboard that will let users copy-and-paste content between Google Docs. It also manages to keep Web formatting intact.Copy-and-paste is one of those life-saving tools from time to time. I use it multiple times per day. It's the fastest, easiest way to transfer content from one place to another. It can be flawed, though. Depending on where you copy from (i.e., Web sites), you can lose valuable formatting that renders the content unreadable or unusable. That's what makes Google Docs' new Web-based clipboard function so interesting.

Google writes in a blog post, "This new clipboard temporarily stores items you've copied in the cloud, then allows you to paste them with proper formatting into other Google Docs. The new web clipboard lets you copy content between documents, spreadsheets and presentations more easily and with improved fidelity, and this is just our first step. Note that while items in your web clipboard are available across browsers and across sessions, they do expire after a month."

Normally, clipboards are maintained in local memory on a user's computer. Depending on what system and what apps a user happen to be running, only one item can be stored in a clipboard at a time. Some apps support several items within the clipboard, such as Microsoft Word, for example. Putting a machine to sleep or shutting it down typically erases the contents of the clipboard, however.

It's neat that Google will stored clipped items for up to a month. That gives users flexibility to retrieve content later, when needed, and not immediately.

Right now, the feature only works in Google Docs. It would be nice to see Google expand this clipboard to other services, such as Gmail, Reader, Picasa and so on.

Be sure to check it out.

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