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Clipboard manager with advanced features
C++ Objective-C++ Shell CMake QMake Inno Setup Other

Force close clients reading stdin at exit

Client shouldn't be blocked when reading stdin for arguments or
for input() command.

Special argument "-" is read after script is started.
latest commit 747d10b57f
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CopyQ is clipboard manager with searchable and editable history.

Web Site:



Mailing List:

Bug Reports:



CopyQ monitors system clipboard and saves its content as items in custom tabs. Items are saved and can be later copied back to clipboard or pasted directly into an application.

Items can be:

  • edited with internal editor or with preferred text editor,
  • moved to other tabs,
  • drag'n'dropped to applications,
  • marked with tag or a note,
  • passed to or changed by custom commands,
  • or simply removed.


  • Support for Linux, Windows and OS X 10.9+
  • Store text, HTML, images or any other custom formats
  • Quickly browse and filter items in clipboard history
  • Sort, create, edit, remove, copy/paste, drag'n'drop items in tabs
  • Add notes or tags to items
  • System-wide shortcuts with customizable commands
  • Paste items with shortcut or from tray or main window
  • Fully customizable appearance
  • Advanced command-line interface and scripting
  • Ignore clipboard copied from some windows or containing some text
  • Support for simple Vim-like editor and shortcuts
  • Many more features

Install and Run

To install CopyQ, use binary package or installer provided for your system or follow instructions in INSTALL to build the application.

To start CopyQ run copyq command without parameters. The application main window is accessible by clicking on system tray icon or running copyq toggle.

To exit the application select Exit from tray menu or press Ctrl-Q keys in the application window.

Developers and Translators

If you want to help with translating, fixing or writing code read HACKING file.


To build and run the application you'll need Qt library. To compile on OS X, you will need at least Qt 5.2.

Optional dependency is QtWebKit which enables the application to use advanced HTML rendering and fetching remote images and other data. This is available through ItemWeb plugin.

Additionally X11 requires XFixes extension to be installed (fixes some clipboard issues).

Optional dependency for X11 is XTest extension (Ubuntu package libxtst6 and libxtst-dev for compilation). This is needed for some applications like gedit so that automatic pasting works correctly.

Keyboard navigation

  • PgDown/PgUp, Home/End, Up/Down

    item list navigation

  • Left, Right, Ctrl+Tab, Ctrl+Shift+Tab

    tab navigation

  • Ctrl+Up, Ctrl+Down

    move selected items

  • Ctrl+Left, Ctrl+Right

    cycle through item formats

  • Escape

    hide window

  • Ctrl+Q


  • F2

    edit selected items (in place)

  • Ctrl+E

    edit items in external editor

  • F5

    open action dialog for selected items

  • Delete

    delete selected items

  • Enter

    put current item into clipboard

  • F1

    show help

Type a regular expressions (case-insensitive) to search/filter items.

On OS X, use Command instead of Ctrl for the shortcuts above.

Usage Examples

CopyQ must be running to be able to issue commands using command line. Most of the examples should work on GNU/Linux with the correct applications installed.

To start CopyQ run following command:


Insert text to the clipboard:

copyq add "print([x**2 for x in range(10)])"

and process it in Python interpreter:

copyq action python

The result can be copied to the clipboard with:

copyq select 0

For each file in given directory create new item:

copyq action "ls /"

Load file content into clipboard:

copyq action "cat file.txt" ""

Note: Last argument is separator - empty string means "create single item".

Process an item with the Python interpreter and redirect the standard output to the standard error output using sh command (shell):

copyq add 'print("Hello world!")'
copyq action 'sh -c "python 1>&2"'
copyq read 0

Note: Standard error output will be show as tray icon tooltip.

To concatenate items select them items in CopyQ window and press F5 key, type cat into command input field, check Output into item(s) check box, clear Separator field and press OK button to submit.

Monitor file (or pipe) $HOME/clipboard and load every new line into clipboard:

copyq action "tail -f $HOME/clipboard"

This process can be killed by right clicking on tray icon and selecting the process from context menu.

Find files in current directory:

copyq action "find \"$PWD\" -iname '*.cpp'"

Open CopyQ window and select one of the found files from history. Open action dialog (press F5 key) and in the command field type your favorite text editor (e.g. gedit %1; %1 will be replaced with temporary filename containing selected text).

To copy an image to clipboard use for example:

copyq write image/gif - < image.gif
copyq write image/svg - < image.svg

Command Line Interface

Usage: copyq [COMMAND]

Starts server if no command is specified.
    show [NAME]              Show main window and optionally open tab with given name.
    hide                     Hide main window.
    toggle                   Show or hide main window.
    menu                     Open context menu.
    exit                     Exit server.
    disable, enable          Disable or enable clipboard content storing.

    clipboard [MIME]         Print clipboard content.
    selection [MIME]         Print X11 selection content.
    paste                    Paste clipboard to current window
                             (may not work with some applications).
    copy TEXT                Set clipboard text.
    copy MIME DATA [MIME DATA]...
      Set clipboard content.

    length, count, size      Print number of items in history.
    select [ROW=0]           Copy item in the row to clipboard.
    next                     Copy next item from current tab to clipboard.
    previous                 Copy previous item from current tab to clipboard.
    add TEXT...              Add text into clipboard.
    insert ROW TEXT          Insert text into given row.
    remove [ROWS=0...]       Remove items in given rows.
    edit [ROWS...]           Edit items or edit new one.
                             Value -1 is for current text in clipboard.

    separator SEPARATOR      Set separator for items on output.
    read [MIME|ROW]...       Print raw data of clipboard or item in row.
    write [ROW=0] MIME DATA [MIME DATA]...
      Write raw data to given row.

    action [ROWS=0...]       Show action dialog.
    action [ROWS=0...] [PROGRAM [SEPARATOR=\n]]
      Run PROGRAM on item text in the rows.
      Use %1 in PROGRAM to pass text as argument.
    popup TITLE MESSAGE [TIME=8000]
      Show tray popup message for TIME milliseconds.

    tab                      List available tab names.
    tab NAME [COMMAND]       Run command on tab with given name.
                             Tab is created if it doesn't exist.
                             Default is the first tab.
    removetab NAME           Remove tab.
    renametab NAME NEW_NAME  Rename tab.

    exporttab FILE_NAME      Export items to file.
    importtab FILE_NAME      Import items from file.

    config                   List all options.
    config OPTION            Get option value.
    config OPTION VALUE      Set option value.

    eval, -e [SCRIPT] [ARGUMENTS]...
      Evaluate ECMAScript program.
      Arguments are accessible using with "arguments(0..N)".
    session, -s, --session SESSION
      Starts or connects to application instance with given session name.
    help, -h, --help [COMMAND]...
      Print help for COMMAND or all commands.
    version, -v, --version
      Print version of program and libraries.

  - Use dash argument (-) to read data from stdandard input.
  - Use double-dash argument (--) to read all following arguments without
    expanding escape sequences (i.e. \n, \t and others).
  - Use ? for MIME to print available MIME types (default is "text/plain").
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