Clip Manager 101: How Clip History can save your life

CM101_History_001So let’s say you spent a couple of hours on making a great FileMaker script or layout. You are testing it, making some additional changes and at a certain moment your script is broken. You get a little panic attack. What did I change? Do I have a backup?
If you’re using Clip History, you know exactly what you can do.
In this post, we will explore the Clip History and give you some insights on why we implemented it in Clip Manager.

The Clip History was introduced in Clip Manager 2 and allows the developer to store all FileMaker clipboard clips automatically.

Setting up Clip History
If you want to make use of Clip History, you have to enable it in the preferences. Open the “Clip Manager” preferences and select the “Clip History” tab.

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To enable the Clip History, enable “Record clip history”.

Now let’s have a look at the other settings:

Record layout preview images
When this option is enabled, Clip Manager will also capture the preview of a layout. When you are copying and pasting a lot of complex layouts, you probably want to switch this option off, because it will have an impact on the performance.

Limit recordings to x clips
You can limit the number of clips that will be kept in the Clip History by entering a maximum value here.

Limit recordings to x days
Another way to limit the number of clips that will be kept in the Clip History, is to auto-remove then when they are older then a certain number of days.
Enforce limit on quit only
With this option enabled, Clip Manager will only check and remove the older clips when you are closing Clip Manager.

Vacuum clip history on quit
The ‘Vacuum on quit’ option will optimize the SQLite database for better performance.

Backup
You can setup Clip Manager, so it will automatically create a duplicate of your Clip History database. Clip Manager will only make a backup when the application is running. So if you set it up to backup the database on a daily basis and you aren’t using Clip Manager for a whole week, there will be no backups.

Scan clipboard when in background
To enhance the speed of Clip Manager, we introduced the option to disable Clip Manager to scan the clipboard when in the background.

If you want to use the Clip History, the option “Scan clipboard when in background” needs to be enabled, otherwise Clip Manager will not save anything in the clip history until you switch to Clip Manager. In that case only the current clip will be saved.

By default this option is enabled.

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Exploring the Clip History
So now we are ready to use the Clip History.

Populating the Clip History
1. Open a FileMaker Database with some scripts
2. Go to Script Maker and select a script and copy it.
3. Select another script and copy it
4. Go to layout mode and select some objects and copy them.
5. Switch to Clip Manager and select the “Today” smart folder.

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You will notice that Clip Manager created 3 new clips in the background

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Enrich the clip
Right-click on a clip in the list and choose “Edit inline”. Now you can add a comment without opening the Clip.

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Save your clip
If you want to store a clip for later usage, you can drag 'n' drop the clip to a folder.
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Finding your clips
To easily find the clip you're looking for we provided some pre-defined smart folders.
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Another way to find your clips in the clip history is to use the Quick Search. Note that on Windows you need to click on the search button in the toolbar.

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Clip History in action
I’m using the Clip History on a daily basis, just to be able to roll back if I mess up an existing script or layout.

Example: Editing an existing script.

1. Open the script and select all script steps by using Cmd-A (or Ctrl-A on Windows).
2. Copy the script steps by using the Cmd-C (Ctrl-C) command
3. The clip will automatically be picked up by Clip Manager. You don’t need to switch to the Clip Manager application
4. Now you can edit your script. FileMaker allows you to revert the changes, if you have not saved it yet. The problem is that you can’t test your script without saving it.
5. Test the script.
6. You are noticing that you have messed up the whole script.
7. To revert your script, select all script steps and delete them.
8. Switch to Clip Manager and open the clip in the history
9. Press the “Set” button
10. Now you're ready to paste the original script back.

You'll now understand why it has become second nature for me to copy something first before making a change in FileMaker.

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