Differences Between
CopyPaste Pro & CopyPaste

What is CopyPaste?

The Mac OS was the first consumer computer to have a clipboard. The Mac in 1984 had one clipboard which was a great innovation. Today it still has one clipboard. That clipboard is what allows a person to copy from one document and then to paste in another app or document. People use it all the time without thinking about it.
CopyPaste was the first app (1993) to add multiple clipboards to Mac OS. CopyPaste also added a way to make the system clipboard and all the additional clips visible. The app allowed saving all copies or cuts, displaying them in a menu and the ability to use them again at any time. Actions were added to act on clips. More features were added over time. There have been different version created and updated over time. The two current versions of CopyPaste are described below.

CopyPaste Pro

This app has had many incarnations, a slow steady organic evolution and been around for many years. It was written in Objective-C. CopyPaste Pro has grown a large following, is solid and loved by many users.

Required OS

Mac OS 10.15 to 13+

CopyPaste (new)

This app is the newest in the CopyPaste family. It is not an upgrade, it’s totally new as it’s completely rewritten from scratch in Swift, Apple’s latest language to code apps. It has a new user interface (UI), new abilities and many new features 

Required OS

Mac OS 12 to 13+

Visual Differences Between

CopyPaste Pro & The New CopyPaste Icons

Icons for CopyPaste Pro & CopyPaste 2022

mac copypaste logo clip clipboard copy paste history time machine scripts toolsmac copypaste logo clip clipboard copy paste history time machine scripts tools
Older ‘CopyPaste Pro’New ‘CopyPaste’
CopyPaste for Mac Manual Page 1 copypaste helpCopyPaste for Mac Manual Page 2 copypaste help
Older Menubar iconNew Menubar icon

For the new CopyPaste the icon at top-right is the file icon. At bottom-right is the new CopyPaste menubar icon.

Its important to realize that these 2 apps are both very similar and very different. Showing features in a list doesn’t do either of them justice. You can describe a strawberry as tart, sweet, red, heart shaped, juicy, etc but you don’t know a strawberry till you taste it. The same is true for these 2 apps. In addition to browsing this list, we recommend trying (tasting) them to really know ‘grok’ them.

Comparing Specs For
CopyPaste Pro and CopyPaste

FeaturesCopyPaste Pro (2007)CopyPaste (2023)
App Iconmac copypaste logo clip clipboard copy paste history time machine scripts toolsmac copypaste logo clip clipboard copy paste history time machine scripts tools
Menu Bar IconElementor #117604 1Elementor #117604 2
Multiple Clip Manager (saves history clips, custom clip sets)only limited by RAM memoryonly limited by RAM memory
Saves All Clips (saved in history and custom named clips sets)Yes, after purchaseYes in 1 month trial and after purchase
Clip Sets (custom names, more permanent clips)Yes,Yes, unlimited, easy access, editable, available in menu and Clip Browser. Move clips from History to any Clip Set.
Clip History (remembers every copy or cut)YesYes
Clip EditorNoYes, built in
Clip Actions (transforms clip)23 actions42 actions
TriggerClip (type a few chars to paste any clip)NoYes, available to use with any clip in any Clip Set
Clip Browser-beautiful, visual display of clipsHorizontal BrowserHorizontal and Vertical Browser, Colorful, Informative, Add Title, Add Trigger, Tap-to-Paste, Drag&Drop, Actions, TriggerClip, Instant Access, Built in SwiftUI
Clip Manager (edit and move clips to different Clip Sets)NoYes
Clip VisibilityPreview in the menupreview text and images in Clip Browser and menu by holding shift key
Clip Append-hotkey to select and add multiple selections to one clip.YesYes
Backup Clip Sets & ClipsNoYes, backup data daily, weekly and monthly
Emoji PanelNoYes - copy emojis to clips
Control activity of pasteboard types via prefsNoYes
Move Clips Between Clip SetsNoYes by dragging between different Clip Sets in Clip Manager
Regular copyYesYes
Augmented copyNoYes
Regular pasteYesYes
Augmented pasteNoYes
Paste From Any clip in any Clip SetYesYes - via tap to paste and drag & drop.
Paste clip by tapYesYes
Paste clip by numberNoYes - paste via the clip number.
Paste multiple clips by sequenceNoYes - paste a sequence or non-consecutive selectable group of clips
Paste as plain text by hotkey or all the time (pref)by hotkey and all the timeby hotkey, by action and all the time (option)
Open URLs with hotkeyNoYes - command key and click to open url in clip.
Preview URL In ClipNoYes - in menu hold down shift key and hold cursor over clip. Clip Browser allows previewing all clips at any size.
Network with iPhone/iPadNoComing

Clips are encrypted and only available on the Mac you are logged into using your AppleID.
Respects Password Manager DataYesYes
StorePlum Amazing StorePlum Amazing Store
Web PageCopyPaste ProCopyPaste

General Observations

The new CopyPaste is not an upgrade like the many previous upgrades to CopyPaste because this time it was totally rewritten and rethought. We changed a lot of things like, name (back to just CopyPaste), user interface (ui), behavior and features. 

1. The older CopyPaste Pro is solid and dependable. It’s been tested and used by a LOT of people. It’s a very useful and a popular app. In the future we might make small changes to it but it’s hard to make major changes like we have with the new CopyPaste. Keep CopyPaste Pro around till you are fully comfortable with the new one.

2. The new CopyPaste which is now available is still being developed and evoleving into new areas. It is not an upgrade. It’s quite different. The new CopyPaste will be able to network with iCloud, other services and the first CopyPaste for iOS to share clips and other info. It’s written in Apple’s new language Swift. It supports a lot of new foundational technologies (like networking, concurrency, Swift, iCloud, iOS, etc) which only could be done to a totally rewritten and new app. We hope to have a version for iOS soon which will synch with the Mac version. Thats why there will continue to be CopyPaste Pro (to maintain and slowly increment the classic version) and CopyPaste (to break new ground with new design, new features and a Mac and iOS version). 

Buying the new CopyPaste supports it’s continued development. We’ve been working on both now for years and will be working on them for many more. There’s lots of good things to come…

If you test both at the same time, it’s best to run only one at at time. Quit the one you are running and launch the other.

 Learn more about the new CopyPaste by browsing the manual at this link. The manual is very comprehensive and might scare some people. But the reality is you can just put it in the app folder and just use the CopyPaste menu till you get up to speed on all the other features. Take it a step at a time. It’s worth it!


Please if you have any question on the above let us know.

History of the Clipboard

CopyPaste is an app created in 1993 by Peter Hoerster. CopyPaste is the first app by at least a decade to add multiple clipboards to the Mac OS. In the first version 10 clipboards (clips) were added since that time more clips were added and now are only limited by the amount of memory in the computer. CopyPaste is the trademark for the name of the app.

It turns out to be useful to have more than one clipboard. So, CopyPaste became very popular. There have been many major and minor versions of CopyPaste in the years since it was first created. Currently there are 2 versions. One called ‘CopyPaste Pro’ which has been available since 2007 and is still available for sale and is actively used by MANY users. The newest member of the family is called, ‘CopyPaste’. Below we discuss how these 2 are different.

* The clipboard is a buffer that some operating systems provide for short-term storage and transfer within and between application programs. The clipboard is usually temporary and unnamed, and its contents reside in the computer’s RAM.The clipboard provides an application programming interface by which programs can specify cut, copy and paste operations. Larry Tesler in 1973 named it cut, copy, and paste and coined the term “clipboard” for this buffer, since these techniques need a clipboard for temporary saving the copied or cut data. At Xerox Parc they invented the process of copy and paste thru use of a clipboard

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