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Review of:
ClipMate 4.5
 
by Timothy K. Hoke, Alamo PC

A couple of years ago I gave up on IBM's OS/2 and joined the ranks of Windows 95 enthusiasts. However, as much as I like Microsoft's operating system, I have never cared for its clipboard feature. 

Why so? Because the clipboard in Windows 95 is just plain dumb! It has short-term memory. It is just not intelligent enough to remember more than one clipboard item at a time. This is particularly irritating to me. I am constantly researching various sources. When I find something useful, I copy and paste my findings into a document. How frustrating that Windows 95 only permits copying and pasting one item at a time! Often I am not ready to use something when I copy it, but do want it handy when I need it. 

Enter ClipMate 4.5. Try this dandy utility and you will understand why the April 8 issue of PC Magazine featured ClipMate as one of the Top Freeware/Shareware utilities, saying: "ClipMate 4 . . . rectifies one of Windows 95's biggest shortcomings." It has not only solved all my clipboard problems (except finding the right stuff to copy), but has enabled me to do things more easily than I would have ever thought possible. It not only remembers my text files, but graphics files as well! 

 Installing ClipMate is slick as a whistle. I downloaded the file off Thornsoft's web site and ran the install program with no hitches. Once it installs, an icon appears on the lower right side of the screen. Activate the icon and a small, unobtrusive ClipMate window appears. You are now in the multiple cut and paste business! Across the top of the window appear File, Edit, Configure, Select and Help. Positioned just below them are eight icons which patiently await your every cut and paste bidding. 

ClipMate has many handy functions. One I particularly like is the ability to glue multiple clipboard items together, then paste them as a unit into a document. This saves one the trouble of going back and forth from ClipMate to the document. Version 4.5 features several new functions. QuickPaste allows one to paste while working within an application. Press CTRL+SHIFT+Q and up pops the QuickPaste menu. There I just did it. Wow! In the top left of my document a list of my most recent items copied awaits my choice. I double clicked on one and it immediately pasted into my document at the point of my cursor. 

There is also a new, industrial-strength print engine which allows intelligent word-wrap, bitmap scaling, margins, font selection for text items, and multiple clips per page. I especially like print preview. Got a local area network? Need to work closely on a project together, or do you want to share copied information? Well, in version 4.5 you can now share information via the clipboard in the network. I also like being able to remove carriage returns when using ASCII documents which have hard breaks at the end of each line. Another cool feature for those who use fax modems is the ability to store a facsimile signature to insert into FAX documents. 

For the life of me I can't understand why Bill Gates has not wised up and bought this handy utility to include with Windows 95. I'm even more amazed that he is not going to include it with Windows 98! Bad move, Bill. But I am thankful that the nice, inventive folks at Thornsoft Development will keep filling the deficiency of Microsoft's operating system. If you buy only one utility in 1998, let it be ClipMate 4.5. 

What does it cost? Well, if you are willing to dispense with the manual and diskette (you really don't need them), just download it off the Internet for a mere $20. That's right, twenty bucks! Or, if you must have the manual and diskette, it's only five dollars more. Interested? Then why not visit Thornsoft's website at www.thornsoft.com and download a trial version? Use it for 30 days and see if you like it. After that, you can continue to use it for free if you can stand the irritating reminders that you should register the product. But I'm betting you'll be so pleased with ClipMate that you'll gladly pay for it. Did I mention that shipping is free in North America? These are nice folks. You'll enjoy doing business with them. 

 Tim pastors Faith Presbyterian Church and is a long-time board member of Alamo PC. Currently he serves as president-elect. Along with his wife Cheri and children Andrea and James, Tim has lived in San Antonio since 1990.