Copy something to the Windows clipboard and the data is usually saved in multiple formats. If you've selected a chunk of a web page, for instance, Windows might save a rich text version including formatting and graphics, and a plain text-only version.

InsideClipboard is a portable tool which lists all the formats currently stored in the clipboard, and enables saving the content of a particular item to disc.

While this sounds a bit like a clipboard manager, it's really not. InsideClipboard displays the formats associated with the current clipboard item, and doesn't maintain any history. Previews are text only, too, so clicking an image displays a view of the file contents, not the picture.

The program can be useful to understand more about the clipboard's inner workings. We selected a chunk of InsideClipboard's web page, copied it to the clipboard and viewed it in the program (View > Refresh). We found the clipboard held five items: two plain text versions (CF_TEXT, CF_OEMTEXT), a Unicode text (CF_UNICODETEXT), a Locale value (CF_LOCALE) and most interesting, the HTML used to produce that text on the original page.

If you're interested in that HTML, on anything else, you can either copy it to the clipboard as plain text for reuse elsewhere, or save it as a file.

Developers (or the curious) can also use InsideClipboard to understand more complex clipboard issues. Copying a file to the clipboard generated 12 items on our system, for instance, covering file names, drop effects, shell IDList data and more. Again, you can view any of this with a click or save items as required.


InsideClipboard is aimed at developers and experts who understand the various clipboard formats already, and can use the information to diagnose low-level problems. But there's some value here for everyone, for example in seeing the various formats saved when you copy rich text to the clipboard, or just better understanding how the clipboard works.