Use PowerPoint's Enhanced Clipboard to Cut, Copy, Store and Paste Objects
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated March 12, 2021
Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)
There's a hidden tool in PowerPoint that is extremely useful for copying (or cutting) and storing images, shapes or other objects much like a temporary library. The technical name for this tool is the Spike and it is available in various Microsoft Office programs.
The Spike is different from the standard Clipboard which holds only one cut or copied item at a time. With this tool, you can collect multiple objects as you cut or copy them and then paste them on various slides. The trick is to display the Clipboard task pane while you're cutting or copying in PowerPoint.
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Displaying the Clipboard task pane
To display the Clipboard task pane or the Spike in PowerPoint:
- Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
- In the Clipboard group, click the dialog box launcher (the button on the bottom right of the Clipboard group). The Clipboard task pane appears.
Below is the Clipboard task pane in PowerPoint (it can hold up to 24 items):
Adding items to the Clipboard task pane
If the Clipboard task pane is displayed, when you cut or copy a text placeholder or box, shape, image or other object, it will be added to the Clipboard task pane automatically.
The Clipboard below is storing a chart and SmartArt as well as images and shapes:
You can also cut items and add them to the Spike by pressing Control + F3 if the task pane is not displayed.
Pasting items from the Clipboard task pane
To paste items from the Clipboard task pane to slides in Normal view:
- With the Clipboard task pane displayed, display the slide on which you wish to paste an object.
- Click the item in the Clipboard task pane and it will be pasted into the slide.
- Repeat for other items.
To paste items from the Clipboard task pane to masters or layouts in Slide Master view:
- Click the View tab in the Ribbon and select Slide Master.
- With the Clipboard task pane displayed, click the slide master or layout on which you wish to paste an object.
- Click the item in the Clipboard task pane and it will be pasted onto the slide master or layout.
- Repeat for other items.
You can even copy items from the enhanced Clipboard to other presentations
Deleting items from the Clipboard task pane
To delete single items from the Clipboard task pane:
- With the Clipboard task pane displayed, point to the item you wish to delete until an arrow appears.
- Click the arrow and select Delete.
- Repeat for other items.
To delete all items from the Clipboard task pane:
- If necessary, display the Clipboard task pane.
- Click Clear All at the top of the task pane.
Note that when you shut down your computer, the Clipboard is cleared automatically.
Changing the Behaviour of the Clipboard or Spike
You can change the behaviour of this enhanced Clipboard or Spike by clicking Options at the bottom of the Clipboard task pane and selecting other options (such as showing the Clipboard automatically).
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