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Why is Windows clipboard frequently copying three unknown items involving Adobe Contribute?

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I am using Windows XP.  I have Adobe's Creative Suite 3 loaded on the machine.  While I'm working (usually while opening e-mails or files), a series of three items are stored to the Windows clipboard.  When I view the clipboard, I see the attached screen shot.  

I recognize the "Ct" icon as Contribute, but I do not use this application.  It is on my machine because it is packaged with CS3.  I've asked other people who have CS3, and this does not seem to be normal behavior.  My clipboard is always full within an hour of logging in, and nothing stays in the clipboard for long, as these sequences of three bump the clipboard elements off.

How can I stop Contribute (or whatever application is causing this) from hijacking my clipboard?
contribute-clipboard-issue.png
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Question by:jkunrein
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22762000
jkunrein--Are you saying that the three items do not come from copying activity within an Office program.  I think that is the only time that items are added to the Office Clipboard.
Do you start off with a blank Office Clipboard after each boot?
You can set up the various Office programs to tell you when Office Clipboard has copied an item
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/HA101636021033.aspx
See the first setting under "Control how the Office Clipboard....."
That way perhaps you can see what you are doing when you get the mystery items.
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22762245
"Are you saying that the three items do not come from copying activity within an Office program."

I believe these items do only show up during Office programs.  Mostly, I see it in Outlook.  I am using Office 2003.

It may be possible that the mystery items appear while using other applications.  I only note that they appear in Office applications because I will see a label pop up that indicates that the item is copied to the clipboard (24 of 24).

The clipboard is indeed blank when I reboot.  

I hope this explains a bit more.  I will look at the Clipboard article you posted.  Thank you.
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22766501
I read the article posted by jcimarron.  Unfortunately, I have already adjusted the Options of my clipboard.  This led me to discover the mystery icons that appear in my clipboard (often, I would copy something only to have it unavailable for pasting when I switch to a new application).  

But, I cannot figure out what exactly I'm doing when it places those three items in my clipboard.  Sometimes it happens just by opening an e-mail.  
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22767992
jkunrein--Regrets, I cannot suggest anything.  I expect you will hear from others.
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22814074
I did some poking around with this issue.  Hopefully, my experiments will trigger something among the Experts.

I see now what these icons represent.  As you can see in the screen shot, the clipboard apparently picks up the Open In Contribute icon, followed by the Publish to Website icon, and followed by the Post To Blog icon.  It seems to be in the order of the menu (or the toolbar).

I typed in a quick sentence in Word and then copied the text ("In the clipboard on purpose").  I then immediately opened up a sample e-mail.  Immediately after opening the e-mail, I viewed the clipboard and saw that it already filled up with two sets of these icons.  I can't force this to happen every time I open an e-mail, but it was being accommodating by giving me an example.  I then opened the menu and took this screen shot.

I don't know exactly if this happens in all of Office 2003 or not.  I see it mostly in Outlook, so I'm willing to entertain that it happens only there.  Outlook and Excel are the only Office applications that have a Contribute menu item (though I don't know how much impact Excel has in this).

I hope that clears some things up.
clipboard-hijack.png
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22814223
Oh, and I have just learned that the Contribute menu and toolbar only show up when I open e-mail to or from external addresses.  Those e-mails to and from people within the company do not have the menu and toolbar.  This may help explain the inconsistent behavior I'm experiencing.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22814546
jkunrein--You are a good detective!  I still have no specific ideas.  Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling Office?
P.S.  Just more idle thinking.  What happens when you try to copy an item from the clipboard?
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22815341
Sadly, reinstalling Office is not an option I'm willing to take up with my IT department at this time.  I have enough of a tolerance of this problem to not jump through the hoops for an Office reinstall.  

When I paste in one of the mystery icons, I get a little picture object of that icon.  It's just a graphic whether I paste it in Outlook, Word, or Excel.  I couldn't find any metadata that goes with it.  
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22815632
And I spoke too soon about the conditions of the mysterious clipboard hijacking.  I had it happen with an internal e-mail, as well.  I don't see a specific pattern in this.  It happens (or doesn't happen) regardless of internal/external e-mails and text/RTF e-mails.  I may have to call Adobe directly for this one!
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by:Netman66
ID: 22821333
Is there an Add-In loaded that you can disable?

In Outlook, goto Tools>Options>Other tab>Advanced Options button.

At the bottom are two buttons to explore - COM Add-Ins... and Add-In Manager.

In either of them, if there are any Adobe Add-Ins then uncheck them and restart Outlook.  Recheck to see they are still disabled.

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by:jkunrein
ID: 22821964
I have checked my COM Add-Ins and my Add-In Manager.

My COM Add-Ins box is completely empty.  Nothing in there.

I have five items in my Add-In Manager.  Four of them are Delegate Access, Deleted Item Recovery, Exchange Extensions commands, and Exchange Extensions property pages.  Googling brought me to this page, which indicates that these four add-ins are normal for Outlook 2003:
http://support.appriver.com/KB/a252/outlook-problems-caused-by-third-party-add-ins.aspx

The fifth item is Enterprise Vault, which Google leads me to believe is a Symantec product and would likely not be linked to Contribute.  

I was unaware of possible Add-In problems.  I'll keep that in mind for the future as a first step for Outlook troubleshooting.  Unfortunately, I do not have any Adobe Add-Ins in Outlook.
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by:Netman66
ID: 22827909
OK, so far, so good.

Check Services.msc - let's see if there are any services there running for any of Adobe's products - including Contribute.  If there is a process running that is intercepting things you do that could be a venue for blogging or web posting then this might explain why it only seems to happen with Outlook.
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by:jkunrein
ID: 22830250
After running services.msc, I do see Adobe Version Cue CS3 in a long list of services.  In the Extended view, there is not a handy description, but there is a clickable link to "Start the service."  I assume this means that it's not running, but I don't know anything about this screen.  

I don't see anything specific to Contribute.  

I do have Macromedia Licensing Service, but I don't believe that Macromedia owned Contribute, so this may be nothing.
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Netman66 earned 500 total points
ID: 22832023
Ok, that much looks fine.

After looking at your screenshot again, I noticed a toolbar and menu item for Contribute.

This may be something we can remove.  

In Add/Remove Programs, check specifically for Contribute.  If it isn't there, then we need to rerun the installation for CS3 being careful to select Modify when the MSI is fired.  In that next applet, you should be able to find the entry for Contribute and select This feature is Not Available (or not installed).  This should remove that component.

If the MSI isn't fired from Setup, then you can walk through the screens until you see the option for Custom install.  Here you should be able to uncheck the Contribute component.

I'm not sure if you're using that, but I'm guessing you aren't.

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by:jkunrein
ID: 22832180
I wish this were as easy as you make it sound.  Unfortunately, I do not have admin rights on this computer.  Going through the steps to get my IT department to walk through this may be more trouble than my current predicament.  

Is there a Plan B that doesn't require roping an admin and tying him to my chair?  Otherwise, it may be a while before I can try this solution.

I wish I could be easier to troubleshoot on this, but I have to make do with what I have.
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Expert Comment

by:Netman66
ID: 22832854
Unless there are some Options or Preferences within CS3 to disable Contribute or somehow stop it from monitoring Outlook then I'm afraid you'll need the IT Dept to rerun the install for you.

Unfortunately, I see it all too often where IT folks rush through an install and pick Full Installation or click through all the popups without reading them - only to discover something is broken or there were way too many options installed.

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Author Closing Comment

by:jkunrein
ID: 31507996
Thank you for your assistance.  Removing Contribute looks to have taken care of the clipboard issue.  I wish the solution involved something else other than uninstalling Contribute, but since I don't use it anyway, there's no harm.  Since I've stumped Experts Exchange and the Adobe forum, I can take solace in knowing that this wasn't some obvious problem.  
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