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

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CopyQ is clipboard manager with searchable and editable history.

To build and install CopyQ on your system read INSTALL file.

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 middle-click on the tray icon or press Ctrl-Q keys in the application window.

Keyboard navigation

  • PgDown/PgUp, Home/End, Up/Down

    item list navigation

  • Left, Right, Tab, 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 any number to select item with given id.

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

Command Line Interface

Usage: copyq [COMMAND]

Starts server if no command is specified.
    show    Show main window.
    hide    Hide main window.
    toggle  Show or hide main window.
    menu    Open context menu.
    exit    Exit server.

    clipboard [MIME]          Print clipboard content.
    selection [MIME]          Print X11 selection content.

    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 (NAME is empty).
    removetab NAME            Remove tab.
    renametab NAME NEW_NAME   Rename tab.

    length, count, size       Print number of items in history.
    select [ROW=0]            Move item in the row to clipboard.
    add TEXT...               Add text into clipboard.
    remove [ROWS=0...]        Remove item in given rows.
    edit [ROWS...]            Edit clipboard items or edit new one.

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

    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.

    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]         Evaluate script.

    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").
  - Parameter SCRIPT contains program in ECMAScript, for example:
      copyq -e "x=''; for(i=0; i<size(); ++i) x+=str(read(i)); x"
    prints concatenated text of all items in the first tab.

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 will be copied to the clipboard.

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
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