Using ClipCopy

What ClipCopy Is

ClipCopy consists of many different kinds of pre-written copy such as articles, jokes, filler text like quirky facts and quotations, crosswords, etc. Anyone who has an occasional (or, come to that, frequent!) need for extra material for their newsletter can simply copy a ClipCopy item and paste it into their publication. Result? Instant content! Busy publishers will instantly recognize the value of ClipCopy Content Solutions.

What It Is And Isn't For

ClipCopy was initially put together for use in hard copy (i.e. printed on paper) newsletters or similar publications, so anything you read about it in the way of instructions is written from that point of view. However, its usage has expanded quite a way beyond its original purpose and ClipCopy is now found in many different types of publication, especially ezines (electronic newsletters distributed via email). If you find another use for it then that is OK by us except where there is a restriction specifically attached to a ClipCopy item you want to use (but these are very few). For example, ClipCopy can be found used on webpages, printed on tee shirts, in company memoranda, etc!

There are no general restrictions regarding the use of ClipCopy but, as stated above, some minor usage restrictions apply to a very small number of individual items. When this is the case, the limitations are clearly spelled out.

ClipCopy Formats

Notepad
Image via Wikipedia

In most cases, ASCII (.txt or plain text) is used because of its cross-platform versatility. Line breaks are included so that files can be viewed in a browser (although some browsers automatically allow a local application such as Notepad to be used). These line breaks will usually need removing so that you can format the item to fit the area in which you want to use it (see Removing Line Breaks below). Depending on your monitor size and settings you may have to scroll to view the whole file properly in your browser (though another way would be to reduce the viewing font size in your browser's View menu). For more information click on ClipCopy Guidance under Content Advice in the left sidebar.

There are a couple of cases of ClipFillers where ASCII doesn't apply. One is ClipToons, where the .bmp or .jpg format applies and ClipXwords, for which we use Rich Text Format (.rtf).

Finding Files

Members can use the Site Search Engine for best results, or else simply 'drill down' through the hierarchical or grouping structure starting in the left menu. Working Titles are the best guide to the file content. Filenames (all in '8.3' format) can often help in identifying the kind of item a file is. Instructions on how to view files are included on all the ClipCopy pages. If, when viewing a file in your browser, the Back arrow is grayed out, just close the window to continue.

Copying Files

Copy & Paste is usually the easiest way to capture individual items to your own computer. However, some other methods are:

  • Right click on the filename and in the resulting menu click on Save Target As. Be sure to remember where you saved it if you're a newbie. We would recommend saving to your desktop.
  • Use File | Save As once you have the file you want in view. The same comment as above applies.
  • If you have your web browser set up for offline browsing, simply wait until the file is loaded before moving on; you should then be able to view it offline (by using the History feature) because it should be saved in your cache.

Removing Line Breaks

Most ClipCopy files are 'wrapped' at 65 characters a line so that they can be viewed properly in all browsers. In the case of small amounts of text, the easiest way to 'unwrap' them is to simply put your mouse pointer on the first line, press the End key on your keyboard followed by Space, Delete. Then press the Down arrow and do the same again until you've removed all the paragraph marks. For large files though, you need to use a text editor, or you may prefer to use a program like Format-It (see details below).

Using A Text Editor

Notepad for Windows, is not adequate for this purpose. However, there are many fine freeware text editors available on the Internet, most of which will cope with the job quite easily. The one we recommend is NoteTab Light, which is also useful in many other ways and is available for free download at http://www.notetab.com/ntl.php. Once it is installed, which is very straightforward, simply do the following:

  1. Find the ClipCopy item you want to use in your newsletter or document.
  2. In your browser's Edit menu, click Select All, put your pointer in the selected text, right click and Copy.
  3. Paste into NoteTab, highlight the section you want to unwrap (or Select All if you want to remove all line breaks), go to the Modify menu, then the Lines sub menu and click Join Lines.
  4. Save (if you want to keep it) or simply Copy & Paste directly into your publishing application or newsletter editor program.

It is worth using the toolbar icon (Join Lines) for a quick 'one-click' operation.

Using Format-It

This excellent free web-based application is available at http://www.formatit.com and will render text to any specified line length. On the same page, you will find a link to Reformat-It, which completely removes any line breaks. Both have a number of other useful features for those who sometimes need to manipulate text, such as newsletter editors.

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