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A command line utility that allows read/write (i.e copy/paste) access to the system clipboard.
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xavi- Merge pull request #48 from yonas/patch-2
Mention new support for FreeBSD.
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A command line utility that allows read/write (i.e copy/paste) access to the system clipboard. It does this by wrapping pbcopy/pbpaste (for OSX), xclip (for Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD), and clip (for Windows). Currently works with node.js v0.8+.


When require("copy-paste") is executed, an object with the following properties is returned:

  • copy(text[, callback]): asynchronously replaces the current contents of the clip board with text. Takes either a string, array, object, or readable stream. Returns the same value passed in. Optional callback will fire when the copy operation is complete.

  • paste([callback]): if no callback is provided, paste synchronously returns the current contents of the system clip board. Otherwise, the contents of the system clip board are passed to the callback as the second parameter.

    Note: The synchronous version of paste is not always availabled. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding a synchronous version of child_process.exec that consistently works on all platforms, especially windows. An error message is shown if the synchronous version of paste is used on an unsupported platform. That said, the asynchronous version of paste is always available.

  • require("copy-paste").global(): adds copy and paste to the global namespace. Returns an object with copy and paste as properties.


var ncp = require("copy-paste");

ncp.copy('some text', function () {
  // complete...

Getting node-copy-paste

The easiest way to get node-copy-paste is with npm:

npm install -g copy-paste

Alternatively you can clone this git repository:

git clone git://

Future plans

I'm hoping to add various fallbacks for instances when xclip or clip is not avaiable (see experimental-fallbacks branch). Also this library needs to be more thoroughly tested on windows.

Developed by

  • Xavi Ramirez


This project is released under The MIT License.

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