Understanding Clipboard Formats

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The Windows Clipboard can simultaneously hold the same data item in many different formats.  To ensure compatibility and interoperability with as many applications as possible, most software packages will provide data in several formats.  There are extreme examples, such as Microsoft Excel, which often provide as many as 21 Clipboard formats, representing the same item of data!

Analysis shows that not all formats are viable, once the host application loses ownership of the Clipboard.  Many of these formats simply evaporate, and others become invalid.

Furthermore, many of these data types become quite large and can quickly become a drain on resources.  For example, if you copy a screenful of spreadsheet cells you could end up with a 2MB BITMAP and a large PICTURE drawing of your cells, along with your textual data!

To top it off, many of these formats aren't usually provided at the time of the copy.  Instead, applications will simply inform the Clipboard that they CAN provide these formats.  Think of it as a sort of "advertising".  When an application actually asks for the data in a particular format, the Clipboard informs the host application that the particular format is requested, and the host application then provides the data.  This process is known as "Delayed Rendering", and can cause ClipMate to appear to dramatically increase the time needed to copy data.

So far, it sounds like a lot of bad news.  Will ClipMate's new features bury you in data that you don't want, and make it take longer to copy data?  The answer is NO!  ClipMate's Application Profile facility allows you to determine what formats will be retained, and which formats will be ignored.  The filtration can be defined globally, or by application by application, to give you the flexibility that you need.


PICTURE (Metafile)
HTML Format
Rich Text Format
Private Formats, such as WordPerfect
OLE (Object Linking and Embedding)
Conducting The Format Viability Test