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Advanced > Templates

Templates allow you to paste a clip along with other attributes of the clip such as the date/time that it was captured, the source of the data, URL, etc..  It works like a "mail merge", where you have a layout file with "tags" that determine where the various fields of the clip will appear in the "output", in this case, the text actually pasted into the target.

Let's look at an example.

Suppose you are copying contact information from a web page, and need to paste into a document, along with the date/time and URL that the data was copied from.

Here is a sample data record:

Asprin - good for headaches, fever, blood thinning. 
Hard on stomach.


And you would like to paste it into a Word document, showing not only the clip, but the source, and date/time that you captured the data.  You may desire a format like this:

Words of wisdom found on site: http://www.quackrx.com/asprin.htm
Added to my ever-expanding knowledge on: 9/2/2005 11:59:02 PM
Here is the sacred text:

Asprin - good for headaches, fever, blood thinning. 
Hard on stomach.

Recorded into the almighty "winword" on this date: 9/3/2005 08:59:02 AM


You would likely use a template similar to this one:

Words of wisdom found on site: #URL#

Added to my ever-expanding knowledge on: #DATE# #TIME#

Here is the sacred text:




Recorded into the almighty "winword" on this date: 



This silly example demonstrates the versatility of the templates. The complete list of replaceable "tags" is:

#DATE# - date of capture
#TIME# - time of capture
#CREATOR# - source application
#TITLE# - clip title
#URL# - URL that item was copied from, if from a browser, and IF URL can be determined.
#CURRENTDATE# - right now
#CURRENTTIME# - right now
#SEQUENCE# - sequence number - 1, 2, 3, etc..RESET from the templates menu.

How it works

Unlike QuickPaste Format Strings, which send additional keystrokes to the target application before and after the clip is pasted, templates are pre-assembled before being transferred to the system clipboard.  So in the example above, the URL, date/time, etc., along with the text of the clip, are all "merged" into the template, and then the whole thing is then placed onto the clipboard. Then it can be simply pasted into any program, without the complexity and compatibility issues of sending dozens of keystrokes.

The advantage is that it's a much more reliable method of transfer - it's just using the clipboard, like any other clip. So you don't have "runaway macro" situations, or keystroke compatibility problems. The disadvantage is that it cannot append any special navigation keys, such as tabs or ENTER keys.  So, some users may still need to rely on the QuickPaste formatting strings, or a combination of both.

Making your own templates

The templates are just text files, residing in the "templates" diretory beneath the ClipMate program directory. ex: C:\Program Files\ClipMate\Templates

Just create a text file in that directory (use the handy "open directory" option on the template menu), and it will show up on the "templates" list the next time you start the program.  The name of the file becomes the name of the template. Use one of the example templates as a guide.  With the above example, you could have saved this file as "medicine_wisdom.txt", and it would have shown up as "medicine_wisdom" in the menu, after refreshing the list.


Add the Template button to one of the toolbars, such as the ClipMate Explorer toolbar.  There is a drop-down arrow, which brings up a menu listing the templates available. Select one, and it is "in effect" until you select another, or quit the program.  When you select a clip, it's "merged" into the template, and placed onto the clipboard, ready for pasting. It's compatible with QuickPaste, PowerPaste, and even "exploding powerpaste". But it's only effective on "plain text".  More complex formats like HTML, RTF, Bitmap, Etc., will not be applied to the template.


Q: I see "URL", etc., when pasting. Why?

A: You may have inadvertently turned the template feature on. Turn it off.


Q: The "source URL" isn't showing up. Why?

A: Source URL will only be populated when copying from a web browser that is capable of supplying the "URL" in the HTML data.  Current versions of Internet Explorer and FireFox provide the URL in the data if you capture HTML.  Opera doesn't provide it in the data, but can (usually) provide it via DDE, if you enable the DDE option in ClipMate's Tools | Options | Advanced dialog.