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Universal clipboard text support for PowerShell, notably also in PowerShell Core (cross-platform) and Windows PowerShell v2-v4
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CheckPrereqs.ps1 * **v0.1.7** (2018-10-08): Oct 9, 2018
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ClipboardText.psm1 * **v0.1.6** (2018-10-08): Oct 8, 2018 * **v0.1.5** (2018-09-14): Sep 14, 2018
psakefile.ps1 * **v0.1.6** (2018-10-08): Oct 8, 2018

PowerShell Gallery license

Clipboard text support for PowerShell Core (cross-platform) and Windows PowerShell v2-v4

ClipboardText is a cross-edition, cross-platform PowerShell module that provides support for copying text to and retrieving text from the system clipboard, via the Set-ClipboardText and Get-ClipboardText cmdlets.

It is useful in the following scenarios:

  • Use with PowerShell Core on (hopefully) all supported platforms.

    • As of v6.1, PowerShell Core doesn't ship with clipboard cmdlets.
    • This module fills this gap, albeit only with respect to text.
    • The implementation relies on external utilities (command-line programs) on all supported platforms:
      • Windows: clip.exe (built in)
      • macOS: pbcopy and pbpaste (built in)
      • Linux: xclip (requires installation via the system's package manager; e.g. sudo apt-get install xclip; available on X11-based desktops, such as on Ubuntu)
  • Use with older versions of Windows PowerShell.

    • Only since v5.0 does Windows PowerShell ship with Set-Clipboard and Get-Clipboard cmdlets.
    • This module fills the gap for v2-v4, albeit only with respect to text.
    • For implementing backward-compatible functionality, you may also use this module in v5+, in which case this module's cmdlets call the built-in ones behind the scenes.
    • On older versions, the implementation uses Windows Forms .NET types behind the scenes (namespace System.Windows.Forms)
  • Use in universal scripts.

    • Universal scripts are scripts that run on both Windows PowerShell and Powershell Core, on all supported platforms, including older versions of Windows PowerShell; in this case, down to version 2.


Installation from the PowerShell Gallery

Prerequisite: The PowerShellGet module must be installed (verify with Get-Command Install-Module).
PowerShellGet comes with PowerShell version 5 or higher, but is also available as a download for versions 3 and 4 - see the docs.

  • Current-user-only installation:
# Installation for the current user only.
PS> Install-Module ClipboardText -Scope CurrentUser
  • All-users installation (requires elevation / sudo):
# Installation for ALL users.
# IMPORTANT: Requires an ELEVATED session:
#   On Windows: 
#     Right-click on the Windows PowerShell icon and select "Run as Administrator".
#   On Linux and macOS:
#     Run `sudo pwsh` from an existing terminal.
ELEV-PS> Install-Module ClipboardText

See also: this repo's page in the PowerShell Gallery.

Manual Installation

If you're still using PowerShell v2, manual installation is your only option.

Clone this repository (as a subfolder) into one of the directories listed in the $env:PSModulePath variable; e.g., to install the module in the context of the current user, choose the following parent folders:

  • Windows:
    • Windows PowerShell: $HOME\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
    • PowerShell Core: $HOME\Documents\PowerShell\Modules
  • macOs, Linux (PowerShell Core):
    • $HOME/.local/share/powershell/Modules

As long as you've cloned into one of the directories listed in the $env:PSModulePath variable - copying to some of which requires elevation / sudo - and as long your $PSModuleAutoLoadingPreference is not set (the default) or set to All, calling Set-ClipboardText or Get-ClipboardText should import the module on demand - except in PowerShell v2.

To explicitly import the module, run Import-Module <path/to/module-folder>.

Example: Install as a current-user-only module:

Note: Assumes that git is installed.

# Switch to the parent directory of the current user's modules.
Set-Location $(if ($env:OS -eq 'Windows_NT') { "$HOME\Documents\{0}\Modules" -f ('WindowsPowerShell', 'PowerShell')[[bool]$IsCoreClr] } else { "$HOME/.local/share/powershell/Modules" })
# Clone this repo into subdir. 'ClipboardText'; --depth 1 gets only the latest revision.
git clone --depth 1 --quiet

On Windows PowerShell v2, you must now explicitly load the module:

Import-Module -Verbose .\ClipboardText

Run Set-ClipboardText -? to verify that installation succeeded and that the module is loaded on demand (PSv3+): you should see brief CLI help text.


In short:

  • Set-ClipboardText copies strings as-is; output from commands is copied using the same representation you see in the console, essentially obtained via Out-String; e.g.:
# Copy the full path of the current filesystem location to the clipbard:
$PWD.Path | Set-ClipboardText

# Copy the names of all files in the current directory to the clipboard:
Get-ChildItem -File -Name | Set-ClipboardText
  • Get-ClipboardText retrieves text from the clipboard as an array of lines by default; use -Raw to request the text as-is, as a potentially multi-line string.
# Retrieve text from the clipboard as a single string and save it to a file:
Get-ClipboardText -Raw > out.txt

# Retrieve text from the clipboard as an array of lines and prefix each with
# a line number:
Get-ClipboardText | ForEach-Object { $i=0 } { '#{0}: {1}' -f (++$i), $_ }

For more, consult the built-in help after installation:

# Concise command-line help with terse description and syntax diagram.
Get-ClipboardText -?
Set-ClipboardText -?

# Full help, including parameter descriptions and details and examples.
Get-Help -Full Get-ClipboardText
Get-Help -Full Set-ClipboardText

# Examples only
Get-Help -Examples Get-ClipboardText
Get-Help -Examples Set-ClipboardText





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