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Using clipboard under Unix\Linux and MAC OS

Mac OS X

The Macintosh uses two types of clipboards. The one it calls the Clipboard can hold only one item at a time and is flushed when you turn the computer off. The other, called the Scrapbook, can hold several items at once and retains its contents from one working session to another.

In the Macintosh Operating System the contents can be viewed by selecting the Show Clipboard menu item from the Finder's Edit menu. The standard Mac OS keybindings are:

  • Command-c to copy data into the clipboard
  • Command-x to cut into it
  • Command-v to paste data from the clipboard.

Also available as a secondary, text-only clipboard, is an emacs-style kill-ring. This works in all applications that use standard Cocoa text boxes:

  • Ctrl-k to kill from cursor to end-of-line.
  • Ctrl-y to yank from kill-ring to cursor.

X Window

In the X Window System (the graphical user interface commonly used on Unix and Linux systems), the clipboard is conventionally used by highlighting text in a window, and using the middle mouse button to paste it into the target. However, there is great diversity among X applications, toolkits and libraries. For example, the GNOME and KDE environments provide closer analogs to the MS Windows clipboard semantics, and applications like Mozilla also provide their own.


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