How to access your Clipboard History with Quicksilver and Keyboard Maestro

In this tutorial, I'll show you two ways to quickly access your clipboard history. The easiest way is with Keyboard Maestro, an app I can't recommend highly enough. If you value your time, it's a must-have app that lets you automate so many things on your Mac.

Once you have Keyboard Maestro installed and running, it automatically starts keeping track of your clipboard history (up to 99 items), and comes with a predefined keyboard shortcut (which you can easily change) that displays that history: shift-control-command-V. Once the Clipboard History Switcher window is up, you can paste any item by selecting it and pressing return or by double-clicking on it. You can also delete items, favorite them, and open them with Quick Look.

Quicksilver also comes built in with a keyboard shortcut for displaying the clipboard history, ⌘L, but it requires you to invoke Quicksilver first, which makes it a 2-step process. Reducing it to one step requires an initial setup on your part:

1) Go to Quicksilver's Preferences (via the keyboard shortcut ⌘, or via the Menu Bar icon, or via right-clicking on the Dock icon)

2) Click on Plugins at the top right, click on All Plugins on the left, then click on Clipboard Plugin to install that plugin, as shown below:

Quicksilver Clipboard Plugin

3) Click on Preferences at the top, click on Clipboard in the left pane, then click on Capture History, and enter the number of items you want to have access to (I chose 50):

Capture Clipboard History with Quicksilver

4) Click on Catalog at the top, Quicksilver on the left, and check Internal Commands on the right:

Quicksilver Internal Commands

5) Click on Triggers at the top, then click on the + button at the bottom and select Hot Key. When the sheet slides down, start typing Show Clipboard until you see Show Clipboard. The next pane should automatically show Run. If not, press the tab key to move to the Action pane, then start typing Run until you see Run. Click "Save".

Show Clipboard Quicksilver Trigger

6) Double-click on None under the Trigger column for your new custom trigger (or click the i button at the bottom). Click inside the Hot Key field (if it's not already flashing), then type in your desired keyboard shortcut.

Quicksilver Hot key trigger to show clipboard contents

To test this new Quicksilver functionality, copy various pieces of text, then type your keyboard shortcut. A window should appear, listing all your clipboard items in reverse chronological order. To paste any item, simply double-click on it. If it's one of the first 10 items, you can also type its corresponding number to paste it. For example, if you wanted to paste the first item in the list, you would press the 0 key on your keyboard.

To dismiss the window, type its keyboard shortcut. If you want the window to hide automatically after pasting an item, go to Quicksilver's Preferences, then click on Preferences at the top, Clipboard on the left, and enable Hide after pasting, as shown in the screenshot for step 3.

I recorded a quick screencast demonstrating how I invoke the clipboard history window, then paste two different items into Sublime Text, once by double-clicking, and once by pressing the number key.