Phrase Express Macro, Temporary Variable to paste common text

Sometimes I need to copy something to be used repeatedly in the next hour. Mostly for data entry. Say its the word “QWERTY”

But then I proceed to do something else and I override those clipboard contents using CTRL+C.

I want to paste the word “QWERTY” but now I have to copy the word again.

I also don’t want to store the word “QWERTY” for long term in phraseexpress since its temporary

What this macro does is let you set a temporary clipboard “cache” that you can call upon later, and override it with something else when needed

What the macro looks like, its two set of hotkeys

  • One sets the variable clipboard cache (I binded it to CTRL+F1).
  • The other pastes the clipboard cache (I binded it to CTRL+ALT+1 [but set it to not work in])

The actual contents are:

  • {#clipboard -copy}{#settemp -name VariableCacheName -content {#insertclipboard}}
  • {#gettemp VariableCacheName}

How to use it:

(1) Find something you want to cache. Let’s say “QWERTY”
(2) Highlight the word “QWERTY” . Press CTRL+F1 to set it
(3) Proceed to copy and paste whatever you want in mean time
(4) Press CTRL+ALT+1 to paste “QWERTY” as many times as you want
(5) When you want a new word to cache, go to step 1

The good thing about doing this is if you use a clipboard manager like Clipboard manager 2

It doesn’t get treated as a clipboard copy

You can duplicate this macro to stored more temporary variable caches. For instance, this is useful in programming as well, and partially can be used to replace “intelli-sense” in smart-IDE’s. I use this for mostly manual data entry for making dummy data in webdev and some manual data entry in spreadsheets.

If you duplicate this macro, I suggest using the following hotkeys:

  • CTRL+F2 to set, CTRL+ALT+2 to paste
  • CTRL+F3 to set, CTRL+ALT+3 to paste

I suggest using CTRL+F1,F2,F3 etc to set the clipboard cache, since you won’t be setting things nearly as much as pasting

For pasting, I would suggest using some combination of CTRL+SHIFT+ALT and the corresponding number, like 1 for F1

The inspiration for this macro comes from playing competitive RTS / starcraft, where you hotkey your army’s units with ctrl+1 and press 1 to move that selected number of units around. Subsequently, different armies would have different macros binding on the 1,2,3,4,5 keys and binded using CTRL+1,2,3,4,5 respectively


I’ve been playing it around for a little bit longer, I ended up rebinding to the following keys instead:

CTRL+ALT+B to set the bind temporary clipboard cache
ALT+B to paste

I only actually need one set of pastes

For longer text it does have a slight bit of input lag on my PC though, compared to a normal paste


wow thanks this is so functional !! and doesnt need to be applied specifically by the Dyna-team.
that extension is great.

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This is very handy, thanks Vincent!

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Thanks. I use the clipboard cache from Phrase Express a lot, but that Chrome extension offers more control and is potentially for clipping highlights from articles.

I use clipboard manager 2 a lot when I write things on forums, especially on things like reddit

I like to call it my universal “text saver”

Basically, I write my text drafts on whatever forum/app/tool/IDE tool I’m on, I just press CTRL+A, CTRL+C and it stores all those contents inside the clipboard manager

So in the event of a power outage, lost internet connections, application crash, broken PC, etc I will always my saved draft in my clipboard cache

Its great b/c you can instantly save drafts in just two hotkeys. Even if the app / tool you use has no where to save drafts (e.g. this discourse forum, reddit, etc)

Works also as a semi-version control for draft notes, since you can always dig through your clipboard copies if you wanted to revert your drafts to a previous state, etc

I use clipboard manager a lot usually with shareX / screenpresso / gyazo / snagit, because sometimes I’m copy+pasting a lot of stuff while waiting on my imgur URL / image host to be copied into my clipboard

If you want a clipboard that supports images as well, try out DITTO

I use it similar to phraseexpress’s “paste 2nd /3rd most recent clipboard contents” out kind of thing

These are the only settings I’ve changed on there

The reason I do this is because on my shareX program (the thing I upload all my images and gifs to these forums), I have it set to do the following:

(1) Copy image
(2) Copy local image path
(3) Copy Imgur URL

Normally when I upload a file to a FILE UPLOADER, I’ll use the (2) local image path. If I’m pasting on forums I use (3), which is just CTRL+V since its the latest item on my clipboard

If I want an image, which isn’t very often, I use (1). Or I go to my imgur link and just right click → copy image which I find myself doing most of the time.

you could do all of this in phraseexpress but I haven’t bother figuring it out

That’s really fine tuning the clipboard! I don’t often have a need to keep images in the clipboard history, so PhraseExpress is good for me.

Another really useful use for this macro: Creating a temporary ‘instant return’ bookmark.

Unfortunately bookmarking can’t be done via a keyboard shortcut at the moment so this can’t be fully automated via keyboard yet, but the basic steps of said macro would be:

Macro 1: Create temp ‘instant return bookmark’:
Bookmark current list.
Copy current list title to temporary variable.

Macro 2: Use 'instant return bookmark’
Ctrl + O
Paste temporary variable.

This would be used for e.g. a project you are currently working on and want to keep flicking back and forth to.

This is also another reason why it would be nice to have an extra feature to ‘Go To Any list’ (not only bookmarks)

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