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clipboard
Last modified: Monday, September 01, 1997 

A special file or memory area (buffer) where data is stored temporarily before being copied to another location. Many word processors, for example, use a clipboard for cutting and pasting. When you cut a block of text, the word processor copies the block to the clipboard; when you paste the block, the word processor copies it from the clipboard to its final destination. In Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh operating system, the Clipboard (with a capital C) can be used to copy data from one application to another.

The Macintosh uses two types of clipboards. The one it calls the Clipboard can hold only one item at a time and is flushed when you turn the computer off. The other, called the Scrapbook, can hold several items at once and retains its contents from one working session to another.

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