The Windows clipboard only remembers the most recent thing you copied . This can be very disappointing. Maybe you cut a large block of text intending to paste it somewhere, but without thinking you cut something else, and then realize you’ve just wiped out your first cut. Here are a few possible alternatives for Windows, MS Office, and Emacs.
A few years ago I tried ClipX, a free clipboard history manager for Windows, based on Jeff Atwood’s recommendation. It worked OK at first, but then I had problems with it and stopped using it. It looks like the software hasn’t been updated since 2008. If you know of a better alternative, please let me know. Also, please let me know if you have suggestions for Ubuntu.
(Update: See the comments for numerous suggestions of ClipX-like products. Also, see PHenry’s comment about clipboard history in Visual Studio.)
MS Office has its own clipboard that will store 24 entries. It stores things that have been copied either inside or outside of Office applications, but you can only paste from the Office clipboard using an Office application.
Emacs has a “kill ring” which is essentially a clipboard. It also has “registers” which are like named clipboard items.
Yesterday Emacs Knight posted a handy little bit of code for viewing your kill ring.
(global-set-key "C-cy" '(lambda () (interactive) (popup-menu 'yank-menu)))
If you add this to your
.emacs file, you can type
ctrl-c y to pull up a little GUI menu displaying the contents of your kill ring.
 I’ve heard that Windows actually keeps more clipboard history, but it doesn’t provide a user interface for accessing that history. I don’t know whether this is true. But if it is, you could access the history programmatically. Maybe Office isn’t maintaining its own clipboard but just exposing more of the system clipboard.