Clean That Clipboard Once in a While!


Most Cad users are pretty well versed in using basic Windows commands such as ctrl-c for copy and ctrl-v for paste. It’s quick, easy and convenient to do inside of AutoCAD based software. That being said, it’s easy to forget that we are indeed using Windows commands inside of AutoCAD and as a result, those heavy Cad elements can start to weigh down the Windows clipboard. At this point, some funky behavior can start to occur inside of AutoCAD. So what do we do when this happens? Uninstall/reinstall? Repair? Boo hoo, grab a tissue? No! Clear that Windows clipboard off!

Well, that sounds easy enough. Do I grab some paper towels and some glass cleaner? Maybe get a squeegee? Uh, hold off on those for now. We can handle the job using the keyboard. Since I am using Windows 10 on this machine, I will walk through the process of clearing the Windows clipboard on a Windows 10 machine, but the process is similar on earlier Windows versions as well. Below are the steps and some screen captures to show you how to clear your Windows clipboard.

First, go to the Windows icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen, then right click and select “Run” as shown below.

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Once the Run prompt appears, type in or copy/paste the following; cmd /c “echo off | clip”. Be sure to include the quotes. See the image below.

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After typing this into the Run prompt, you should briefly see a dos-typed window appear and then disappear. If you see this, you have successfully cleared off your Windows clipboard! Very cool!

Now, would it be useful to have a desktop shortcut to be able to do this every so often but without going through all of these steps? If so, keep reading, but if not………….enjoy your clean clipboard!

Let’s create that shortcut. On your desktop, right click and go to “New”, then on the flyout, choose “Shortcut” as shown in the image below.

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At this point, the Create Shortcut dialog box will appear. In the box under “Type the location of the item”, paste in the same thing that you typed in at the run prompt earlier; cmd /c “echo off | clip”. As before, be sure to include the quotes. See this in the image below.

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Once you have that command typed or pasted in, click on the “Next” button. In the next window you will see a box that says, “Type a name for this shortcut”. Type in something like, “Clear Windows Clipboard” and click “Finish” as shown below.

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That’s it! You will now have a shortcut and be able to simply double-click on it from time to time ensuring that your Windows clipboard is clean.

Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.