six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

Support this Site

Become a Six Colors member and get access to an exclusive weekly podcast, community, newsletter and more.

By Dan Moren

Tapbots releases public beta of Pastebot for Mac

You can never have enough clipboard managers, or so Tapbots—maker of fine software like Tweetbot—believes. It’s launched a public beta of Pastebot for Mac, a clipboard utility that does a lot more than just save your most recent clippings.

The most intriguing feature of Pastebot is its filters: tools that actually transform the things that you’ve copied. Most basically, this could be something like converting rich text to plain text. But more complicated features can change the case of text, or even turn it into an HTML-based list. My personal favorite touch is that the filter window actually shows you a preview of what you’re about to paste, so you’re not surprised by the output.

In addition to coming pre-loaded with those handy filters, you can also create your own custom filters, if there are actions or transformations that you frequently do. For example, I quickly whipped up a filter to paste a URL formatted as a Markdown link. You can even chain filters together if you want to do more complicated formatting.

A simple filter I whipped up in a few seconds.

Pastebot also allows you to create multiple pre-populated custom pasteboards for snippets of text that you frequently paste, whether they be things like addresses and form responses or even chunks of code. You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to those responses. (Granted, that covers similar ground to the Mac’s built-in text expansions and popular utilities like Text Expander.)

For me, the biggest feature that seems to be missing so far—and this is, of course, a beta—is the ability to assign hotkey combinations to specific filters. Currently you spend a lot of time navigating through menus to pick a specific filter, even if you know the one you want. But it’s early days yet, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see such a feature appear. There’s also no sync as of yet, but Tapbots says that’s because it plans to use CloudKit, which isn’t available until the app hits the App Store.

There are plenty of other interesting features, too, such as a built-in Share menu for snippets, the ability to export and share your filters with others, and a blacklist that lets you tell Pastebot in which apps to ignore what you copy.

All in all, even in public beta form, Pastebot for Mac is making a strong play as my new clipboard manager of choice. I’m looking forward to seeing how the beta progresses; you can check it out for yourself at Pastebot’s site and offer up your feedback.

[If you appreciate articles like this one, help us continue doing Six Colors (and get some fun benefits) by becoming a Six Colors subscriber.]

[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]