AskDefine | Define clipboard

Dictionary Definition

clipboard n : a small writing board with a clip at the top for holding papers

User Contributed Dictionary



clip + board


  1. A flat piece of rigid material, such as card or plastic, with a clip at one end under which papers can be held.
  2. A buffer in memory where the user can store data temporarily while transferring it from one place within an application to another or between applications.


physical object
in computing: buffer for temporary storage

Extensive Definition

A clipboard is a thin board that is typically slightly larger than a pad of standard sheets of paper, with a large (typically metal) clip at the top. It is used to rigidly support the pad of paper with one hand, while writing on it with the other. Clipboards are typically used in situations where one is not assured of finding good writing surfaces. Another use that was typical before the era of personal computers (which brought about word processing and computer graphics) was to hold pieces of text and art that had been clipped with scissors from one sheet of paper to be pasted with paste onto another sheet. This use provided the analogy and terminology for computer clipboards.
Clipboards can be made of many things. Most common, inexpensive clipboards are Masonite or particleboard. Additional materials include aluminum, steel, acrylic, and even circuit boards.

Police clipboards

Many police officers carry clipboards. Police clipboards are designed for constant use, and are usually made of metal, having one or two compartments designed for filing documents and reports while in transit.

See also

clipboard in German: Klemmbrett
clipboard in Korean: 종이 끼우개
clipboard in Dutch: Klembord (voorwerp)
clipboard in Japanese: 用箋挟
clipboard in Simple English: Clipboard
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