Windows 10 gains a very handy clipboard feature in this latest preview update

Microsoft has also released a new AI-powered Journal app for Windows 10 touchscreen convertibles.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 preview brings a "paste as plain text" option to automatically get rid of formatting from the clipboard, Arm64 improvements, and Bluetooth pairing improvements. 

Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21318 for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. This build is from the RS_PRERELEASE branch. 

The "RS" builds are expected to be designated as the "Cobalt" branch, as opposed to the newer FE branch that Microsoft is also testing with Insiders. But Microsoft has stressed that Dev Channel releases are not tied to a specific feature update, so any features being tested could turn up in the soon-to-be released 21H1 minor update, or the major 21H2 update. 

SEE: Windows 10 Start menu hacks (TechRepublic Premium)

This RS build includes a tweak to the clipboard functionality that lets users paste as plain text from clipboard history. To test it, Windows 10 users need to open clipboard history by pressing "WIN + V" and then click the ellipsis (…) button next to any text-based entry in the clipboard history. Windows 10 now displays a "Paste as plain text" option alongside pin and delete. 

This action from clipboard history pastes the text contents of the clipboard without font, color, size and other formatting.

Users can provide feedback on the feature's functionality under Input and Language > Clipboard (Copy and Paste) in the Feedback Hub. The feature is rolling out to some users first but it will be available to all users in the Dev Channel, Microsoft assures. 

The update also features a change so that the notification, which appears when pairing Bluetooth devices, will now stay on the screen a little longer, giving you the chance to interact with it before it goes away.

Microsoft also gave more details of a new app from its experimental development lab Microsoft Garage, called Journal, just for Windows 10. The lab has been making experimental smartphone apps since the days of Windows Phone.  

The Journal app is made for styluses and the Windows 10 inking feature, and is another attempt to emulate the simplicity of pen and paper. 

The app, available on the Microsoft Store, is for "helping people who love to journal to evolve their ideas and express themselves quickly with the power of their digital pen."

"For many of us the way to express this inspiration is through writing. We reach for a piece of paper to start capturing our ideas. We sketch an idea. We flip through past pages to pull forward something we remember creating," Microsoft's Garage team says. 

SEE: Windows 10: Microsoft makes more tweaks to the touch keyboard

The app, developed by Microsoft's Applied Sciences R&D group, builds on two decades of Microsoft's note-taking and sketching innovations. In 2002, a decade before the Apple iPad, Microsoft founder Bill Gates envisaged a tablet PC

"This new version explores new paradigms centered around a personal, ink-first experience," Microsoft notes

"We focused on this to help unlock new capabilities not possible with physical paper or seen today in most inking applications."

Microsoft wanted to "push new AI and new interaction techniques to make inking more delightful and accessible." The app has been trained to automatically recognize and categorize what users write, making it amenable for lists. The Journal app promises to deliver: 

  • An ink-first experience for a stylus
  • Easy scrolling, optimized for tablets and 2-in-1 devices
  • Ink Gestures to erase and select ink without switching modes
  • Touch page scrolling, or tap ink to select words, sentences
  • Drag and drop content between pages
  • Microsoft 365 integration to access your Calendar if the user has a subscription
  • PDF markup capabilities and images
  • Search and recall using keywords or filters
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