Applications Preferences

AceText's AcePaste, AceType and AceEdit commands, as well as its ability to directly send clips to an application, require AceText to interact with other applications. To do so, AceText makes certain assumptions about the application. These assumptions are valid for most, but not all, Windows applications. On the Applications tab in the Preferences, you can configure how AceText should interact with specific applications.

Preconfigured Applications

The only application that's preconfigured when you first use AceText is the password manager KeePass. It has all the options turned off. This tells AceText to ignore KeePass to make sure that it does not accidentally reveal any of your passwords. If you use a different password manager then you should add that too with all options turned off.

Adding Applications

AceText identifies applications by the name of their executable file. E.g. the Notepad application included with Windows is identified by its file Notepad.exe which can be found in the c:\Windows folder. You could configure how AceText interacts with Notepad by clicking the "Add another application" button, and selecting Notepad.exe.

Large applications developed with modular programming techniques may consist of multiple executables. AceText may identify the executable by a different one than the .exe you start it with. To configure such an application, switch to the application by clicking on it, and then switch back to the Preferences screen in AceText. Click the button "Add most recently active application" to configure the application you just briefly switched to. The application's executable file name will be indicated below the button, and added to the list. This button uses the same method as the AcePaste and AceType commands to identify the target application for pasting.

The AceEdit button, the Clipboard tab and the ClipHistory use a slightly different method. They identify the application by checking which executable file last copied something onto the Windows clipboard. Normally this is the same .exe as the application switching method identifies, but it can be different for large, modular applications. To configure a particular application, simply switch to it, copy something to the clipboard in it, and switch back to the Preferences screen in AceText. Click the button "Add application owning the clipboard" to configure the application that you just told to copy something to the clipboard. The application's executable file name will be indicated below the button, and added to the list.

Due to security restrictions, AceText cannot identify applications that are running "as administrator" (unless AceText itself is also running as administrator). AceText indicates such applications with the (as administrator) placeholder. If you want to configure such applications, you'll have to do so on the Windows tab in the Preferences.

Each application can be configured only once. AceText lists them in alphabetic order.

Clipboard Security

The Clipboard Tab in AceText allows you to directly view the contents of the Windows clipboard, and even edit them. There may be situations in which you'd rather not make the contents of the clipboard visible, in case somebody is looking over your shoulder. A particular example are password management utilities that help you remember passwords. Many of these copy the password to the clipboard, expecting you to paste it wherever the password is needed. Obviously, you don't want AceText to show your passwords in plain view. Therefore, you should add your password manager to AceText's list of configured applications, and turn off the "allow Clipboard tab to show text copied to the clipboard by this application" option. If an application is not configured for special treatment in AceText, the Clipboard tab will show whatever it copies to the clipboard.

You should also turn off the "allow the ClipHistory tab to capture text copied to the clipboard by this application" option for password managers and other applications copying sensitive stuff. By default, the ClipHistory tab captures any text you copy to the clipboard, and stores up to 1,000 items. You should also turn off this option for applications that improperly use the clipboard as a temporary holding space, or from which you copy things you never need AceText to remember for you. This helps to declutter the ClipHistory, making it easier for you to find the important stuff that AceText should remember.

Pasting into Applications

In the Operation preferences, you can configure AceText to paste clips directly into the most recently active application when you double-click on the clips. By default, any application is fair game for pasting this way. If you have certain applications that you never paste into from AceText, you can configure them and turn off the option "allow this application to be the last active application that clips are sent to". Then, double-clicking on a clip will never paste into that application. If it is the most recently active one, AceText will paste in the second most recently active one. (And if you disabled that one too, in the third most recently active, ad infinitum.). This option only affects the double-click or Ctrl+Enter direct sending. Even when it's off, you can still use AcePaste, AceType or a simple paste command to paste AceText clips into the application.

When pasting directly in an application, whether because you double-clicked on a clip or used AcePaste or AceType, AceText can perform the paste in two ways. One way is for AceText to copy the clip to the clipboard, and then simulate a key combination to make the application paste the clip. For unconfigured applications, AceText will use this method, and simulate a Ctrl+V keystroke. If you turn on the option to use this method, you can also configure the keyboard shortcut AceText should simulate. This is the shortcut that you would use to manually paste into the application.

The other way to "paste" directly is for AceText to simulate keystrokes for the entire clip. AceText will activate the target application, and pretend that you typed in the whole clip's text on the keyboard. The disadvantage of this method is that AceText can only send up to 5,000 characters this way, because Windows limits the number of keystrokes that can be simulated. This method also doesn't support "before and after" clips. It will combine the "before" and "after" parts into a single block of text when sending such clips.

Grabbing Text from Applications

There are two situations in which AceText will try to grab text from an application. The first is when you use the AceEdit command. AceText will simulate a keyboard shortcut to make the active application copy the selected text to the clipboard, so you can edit it on the Clipboard tab.

The other situation occurs when you try to paste a "before and after" clip into an application that is not AceText-aware using either AcePaste, AceType or the double-click method. Since the Windows clipboard can only hold one bit of text, and not two like "before and after" clips use, AceText can't paste such clips directly. Instead, AceText will simulate a keyboard shortcut to make it copy the selected text to the clipboard. When the application does this, AceText updates the text on the clipboard to put the "before and after" clip around it. Then AceText simulates the paste shortcut as it always does.

For unconfigured applications, AceText will simulate a Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to make the application copy the clip.

Configuring Keystrokes

If you've turned on the AcePaste option, you can enter the keystrokes AceText should simulate to make the application paste the clipboard's contents. By default, this is the Ctrl+V keyboard shortcut, which is the standard shortcut for pasting in Windows applications. Shift+Insert is also a common shortcut. If your application doesn't have a keyboard shortcut, but does have an Edit|Paste menu item, you can enter Alt+E P as the keystrokes. Essentially, you need to enter the keystrokes that you would type when telling the application to paste. If an application can only paste using the mouse, you'll need to turn off the option to simulate the paste command.

If you've turned on the AceEdit option, you can also configure the keystrokes AceText should simulate to make the application copy the selected text to the clipboard. The standard Windows shortcut is Ctrl+C. Another common key combination is Ctrl+Insert. The Edit|Copy menu item is commonly accessed with Alt+E C.

To enter the keystrokes, click on the edit field, and then simply press the keys. E.g. press Ctrl+V on the keyboard to enter the Ctrl+V key combination. If you press multiple key combinations, AceText will add them in sequence. Press Backspace if you pressed the wrong key.

Collection To Open When Using AcePaste or AceType

When pressing the AcePaste or AceType hotkey, AceText normally pops up showing whichever collection it was showing last time you were using it. You can make it open a specific collection when using AcePaste or AceType while working with an application. Simply specify the path to a collection that you have previously saved. You can click the (...) button to select the file. This way you can have one collection for each application, and always have the right collection ready for each application. E.g. you can make AceText open your HTML collection when using your HTML editor.