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PasteAsFile: save your clipboard contents directly to a file with this simple Windows extension

28 August 2012, Mike Williams

Getting text or images into the Windows clipboard is generally very easy; pressing Ctrl+C or choosing a right-click option is probably all you need. Getting it out again can be more a hassle, though. If you’ve just pressed PrtSc to capture the current screen, for instance, then you may need to launch a graphics program, paste the screen grab there and click File > Save to get it to disc.

Fortunately there is a simpler way. Install the free-for-personal-use Paste As File and you’ll be able to save the contents of the clipboard (image or text) directly to a file with a couple of clicks.

The program works by adding a “Paste As File” option to the right-click menu for Explorer folders. So once you’ve captured the screen, for instance, just browse to the folder where you’d like to save the image, right-click the background, and select Paste As File.

The program detects the file type and generates a default name - all you have to do is click OK

The program will then display a Save dialog, with a default file name based on the current date (“Clipboard_20120828”, for instance). You can click OK to accept this, or enter something more meaningful.

And Paste As File will also try to determine the file type, so that it gets the right extension. The program directly supports all the main image formats – JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF, TGA, PCX – as well as RTF and plain text files. The only minor complication with the latter is that the program doesn’t try to identify what sort of text file it is, so you may have to manually change the extension to HTML, CSS or whatever.

The program has one possible annoyance, in that it’s not possible to save your clipboard contents to anything other than the current Explorer folder. And so you must browse to the location you need before launching Paste As File, which is a little inconvenient.

On balance, though, Paste As File is still rather more convenient than having to launch an application just to save your clipboard contents, and as a result the program will be a positive addition to most people’s systems.

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