When you use AcePaste, AceType or the double-click method to paste a clip directly into an application, AceText first scans the clip for parameters. A parameter is a word or alphanumeric sequence between two percentage signs, e.g.: %PARAMETER123%. These parameters are like parameters or variables to be substituted.

When looking for the proper text to substitute the parameter with, AceText first checks if the parameter is a predefined parameter such as %CLIPBOARD%. These parameters are substituted with their predefined value. If the parameter isn't predefined, AceText will scan the active collection for a clip that has its label set to the name of the parameter (including the two % signs). If such a clip is found, the parameter is substituted with the contents of that clip. If the active collection doesn't have such a clip, AceText searches all other collections that you have open. Finally, if no clip can be found, you will be prompted to enter a value for the parameter.

Predefined ParametersSubstituted Text
%CURDATE%The current date
%CURTIME%The current time
%CURDATETIME%The current date and time
%CLIPDATE%The date on the clip
%CLIPTIME%The time on the clip
%CLIPDATETIME%The date and time on the clip
%CLIPBOARD%The text on the Windows clipboard
%CLIPHISTORY1%The text of the topmost clip in the ClipHistory
%CLIPHISTORY2%The text of the 2nd clip in the ClipHistory

How Clips Are Found and Substituted

If the parameter isn't predefined, AceText will scan the active collection for a clip that has its label set to the name of the parameter. Only the collection containing the clip you're pasting is searched. Clips in other collections that you may have open are ignored. There are a number of rules involved with this substitution.

First, the label of the clip must consist solely of the parameter, including its two percentage signs. Parameters are case insensitive, so %PARAMETER% will be substituted with a clip that has %parameter% as its label.

If a clip with label %PARAMETER% has a before and after part, you can insert the "before" with %PARAMETERBEFORE% and the "after" with %PARAMETERAFTER%.

If the clip with the label matching the parameter also has parameters of its own in its text, AceText will substitute those parameters as well, going through all three steps (predefined, clip, prompt). If AceText needs to prompt, it will simply add the substitution clip's parameters to the list of parameters to be substituted for the clip you're trying to paste.

Finally, you can suppress parameters by creating a clip that has both its label and text set to the parameter. If a clip has a label %DONTREPLACE% and text %DONTREPLACE%, then AceText will find this clip whenever another clip containing %DONTREPLACE% needs to be pasted. It will substitute %DONTREPLACE% with %DONTREPLACE%, effectively doing nothing. Though AceText will also try to substitute parameters in the %DONTREPLACE% clip, it will never substitute a parameter in a clip with the contents of the same clip, to prevent an infinite loop.

How AceText Prompts for Parameters

When one or more parameters need to be substituted, AceText will pop up a form listing all the parameters. All of them will default to the value you entered when you last pasted a clip from the current collection using these parameters. You can also access a history list for previously used values. The history lists are maintained separately for each collection, but jointly for all the clips in the collection.

Depending on the parameter's name, AceText will expect a different kind of value. For parameters ending in DATETIME%, it expects a date and time. For DATE% and TIME% it expects a date or time only. For FILENAME% and FILECONTENT% you'll need to type in a path to a file, or select a file by browsing your computer's drives. AceText will then substitute the parameter either with the full path to the file, or the contents of the file. For all other parameters, AceText allows you to type in any text.