On Pasting Registration Codes

By Deane Barker on November 21, 2005

Here’s a call to all software vendors: if you send a registration code or license key that I can copy out of an email, give me a field into which I can paste it.

Look at the above window. They sent me a nice email from which I can copy the registration code, but thanks to their UI, I can’t paste it. They’re trying to be helpful by breaking up the code into segments, but everyone is going to try and paste it in here, so it ends up being difficult.

To add insult to injury, the email they sent says this:

The values must match EXACTLY, we suggest you copy and then paste each value from the email to the registration form to avoid any problems.

Well, gee, if I could, I would.

Either (1) don’t segment the box, or (2) give me a button that will take the contents of the clipboard, cut it up, and put each segment in each little box automatically.

(Incidentally, the situation I describe above is the only thing that mars some otherwise brilliant software.)

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  1. Did you try pasting the code? I can’t remember specific software examples, but I’ve had this same reaction you did. However, I decided to copy the code and try pasting into the first box. It took the whole code and broke it up correctly for all the boxes. I want to say it was a Microsoft program like Office or maybe it was an Adobe product. It’s been a while back, sorry. But it did let me paste the whole code.

  2. In the older Acronis TrueImage, you can only paste in the key for a single segment, AND the thing that you paste must not be longer than the max length of the textbox (they had their own custom controls for textboxes and buttons). So if you copied a space after the key and try to paste it into the box, nothing happens. How annoying.

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