by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 14, 2018)
When anything is copied to the Clipboard, it is internally maintained in a range of formats that the receiving application--the one it will get Pasted into--might be able to deal with. This can be seen from within the Windows Clipboard Viewer (which, unfortunately, is not installed by default in some versions of Windows) under its Display menu. Typically, the types of format in which an object can be maintained include Text (plain text characters), Rich Text (includes the formatting), Picture (think of a Windows Metafile and you won't be far wrong), Bitmap (pixel-based image), and OLE format.
This latter format is of particular interest since the object is maintained as something that is controlled by the OLE server application from which it was copied. For example, something copied from within Microsoft Paint could be pasted as a Microsoft Paint OLE object, a slide copied from PowerPoint could be pasted as a PowerPoint Slide OLE object, and an image (or part of one) copied from PaintShop Pro could be pasted as a PaintShop Pro OLE object. If the item on the Clipboard is pasted into an OLE client application (such as Word) as an OLE object, then it can be directly edited using the OLE server from which it was copied.
Normally, when you use simple Copy and Paste, all this stuff is hidden away and an object is pasted according to a default approach utilized for all objects of that particular type. However, most OLE client applications (including Word) offer a Paste Special command on the Edit menu. It is this version of paste that provides a greater degree of control over how the Clipboard item gets pasted. Using this command you see a dialog box that shows the formats the OLE client application (the one receiving the object) can handle. For example, some text copied out of a text box in PowerPoint might be pasteable as Text, RTF Text, a Picture, or a Bitmap. Choosing any one of these will result in the object being pasted in the chosen format and that can give very different results. In this case, pasting text as a bitmap means it won't be editable. Pasting it as plain text means it will assume the current paragraph/character formatting where it's pasted, whereas pasting as RTF means it will bring it's own formatting with it (well, it does that sometimes).
So, enough background stuff. What does this mean for pasting screen captures such that they are editable in a specific bitmap editor? It means that, at some point in the process, the screen capture image must be placed inside that editor application so it can become an OLE object from that application. In general step-by-step terms this could be:
An alternative to this is to create a new embedded object in Word choosing a suitable bitmap OLE server as the type of object, then paste a screen capture into that object. Care might be needed with this approach to make sure the size of the OLE object's image area created in Word is a sufficient for the size of image you're going to paste into it. The steps used for this approach are as follows:
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