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WARNING

This master branch contains the v2.x codebase for ZeroClipboard! For the v1.x codebase, see the 1.x-master branch instead.

Overview

The ZeroClipboard library provides an easy way to copy text to the clipboard using an invisible Adobe Flash movie and a JavaScript interface. The "Zero" signifies that the library is invisible and the user interface is left entirely up to you.

This is achieved by automatically floating the invisible movie on top of a DOM element of your choice. Standard mouse events are even propagated out to your DOM element, so you can still have rollover and mousedown effects.

Limitations

User Interaction Required

Due to browser and Flash security restrictions, this clipboard injection can ONLY occur when the user clicks on the invisible Flash movie. A simulated click event from JavaScript will not suffice as this would enable clipboard poisoning.

Synchronicity Required During copy

If a handler of copy event intends to modify the pending data for clipboard injection, it MUST operate synchronously in order to maintain the temporarily elevated permissions granted by the user's click event. The most common "gotcha" for this restriction is if someone wants to make an asynchronous XMLHttpRequest in response to the copy event to get the data to inject — this will not work. You must make it a synchronous XMLHttpRequest instead, or do the work in advance before the copy event is fired.

Browser-Specific Limitations

See Support and Browser-Specific Known Issues below.

OS-Specific Limitations

See OS Considerations below.

Sandboxing Limitations

See sandboxed iframe Limitations below.

Protocol Limitations

See Cross-Protocol Limitations and file:// Protocol Limitations below.

Installation

NPM NPM version

npm install zeroclipboard

Bower Bower version

bower install zeroclipboard

SPM SPM version

spm install zeroclipboard

Component Component version

component install zeroclipboard/zeroclipboard

PHP Composer PHP version

For any PHP Composer users, ZeroClipboard is also available on Packagist.

Ruby Gem

For any Rails users, the zeroclipboard-rails Ruby Gem is available to automatically add ZeroClipboard into your Rails asset pipeline.

CDN Availability

If you'd like to use ZeroClipboard hosted via a CDN (content delivery network), you can try:

Setup

To use the library, simply include the following JavaScript file in your page:

<script type="text/javascript" src="ZeroClipboard.js"></script>

You also need to have the "ZeroClipboard.swf" file available to the browser. If this file is located in the same directory as your ZeroClipboard.js files, then it will work out of the box. However, if the SWF file is hosted elsewhere, you need to set the URL like this (place this code after the script tag):

ZeroClipboard.config( { swfPath: "http://YOURSERVER/path/ZeroClipboard.swf" } );

Using the Minified Library

If you intend to use the minified version of ZeroClipboard, you will likely also want to do one of the following two things:

  1. Include the SourceMap file ("ZeroClipboard.min.map") in the same hosted directory in order to be able to debug as unminified JavaScript in your browser dev tools.
  2. Open the "ZeroClipboard.min.js" file and remove the last line. It is a comment that begins with //# sourceMappingURL=. Removing this line will prevent the browsers' dev tools from requesting the file.

SourceMap Error Messages

The SourceMap is not required for normal operation and typically will not be requested by the browser unless the dev tools are open. If you do NOT include the SourceMap in your hosted directory [or remove the sourceMappingURL comment], then you may see a variety of confusing warnings in your dev tools' JavaScript console:

Safari
[Error] Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 404 (Not Found) (ZeroClipboard.min.map, line 0)
Firefox
http://YOURSERVER/path/ZeroClipboard.min.js is being assigned a //# sourceMappingURL, but already has one
Chrome

You may not see any error message in Chrome's console. However, you will likely see 404 responses in the Network tab, e.g.

ZeroClipboard.min.map   404 (Not Found)
IE

You will likely see an error message in the Debugger tab.

Clients

Now you are ready to create one or more clients. A client is a single instance of the clipboard library on the page, linked to one or more DOM elements. Here is how to create a client instance:

var client = new ZeroClipboard();

You can also include an element or array of elements in the new client. **This example uses jQuery to find "copy buttons".

var client = new ZeroClipboard($(".copy-button"));

API

For the full API documentation, see api/ZeroClipboard.md. The full set of Configuration Options are also documented there.

For developers who want to wrap ZeroClipboard into a 3rd party plugin (e.g. jquery.zeroclipboard), see the api/ZeroClipboard.Core.md documentation instead.

Text To Copy

Setting the clipboard text can be done in a variety of ways:

  1. Add a copy event handler in which you call event.clipboardData.setData to set the appropriate data. This event is triggered every time ZeroClipboard tries to inject into the clipboard. Example:

    client.on( "copy", function (event) {
      var clipboard = event.clipboardData;
      clipboard.setData( "text/plain", "Copy me!" );
      clipboard.setData( "text/html", "<b>Copy me!</b>" );
      clipboard.setData( "application/rtf", "{\\rtf1\\ansi\n{\\b Copy me!}}" );
    });
  2. Set the "text/plain" [and usually "text/html"] clipboard segments via data-clipboard-target attribute on the button. ZeroClipboard will look for the target element via ID and try to get the HTML value via .value, .outerHTML, or .innerHTML, and the text value via .value, .textContent, or .innerText. If the HTML and text values for the targeted element match, the value will only be placed into the "text/plain" segment of the clipboard (i.e. the "text/html" segment will cleared).

    <button id="my-button_text" data-clipboard-target="clipboard_text">Copy to Clipboard</button>
    <button id="my-button_textarea" data-clipboard-target="clipboard_textarea">Copy to Clipboard</button>
    <button id="my-button_pre" data-clipboard-target="clipboard_pre">Copy to Clipboard</button>
    
    <input type="text" id="clipboard_text" value="Clipboard Text"/>
    <textarea id="clipboard_textarea">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod
    tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam,
    quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo
    consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse
    cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
    proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</textarea>
    <pre id="clipboard_pre">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod
    tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam,
    quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo
    consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse
    cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non
    proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</pre>
  3. Set the "text/plain" clipboard segment via data-clipboard-text attribute on the button. Doing this will let ZeroClipboard take care of the rest.

    <button id="my-button" data-clipboard-text="Copy me!">Copy to Clipboard</button>
  4. Set the data via the ZeroClipboard.setData (any segment) method. You can call this function at any time: when the page first loads, or later like in a copy event handler. Example:

    ZeroClipboard.setData( "text/plain", "Copy me!" );

    The important caveat of using ZeroClipboard.setData is that the data it sets is transient and will only be used for a single copy operation. As such, we do not particularly recommend using ZeroClipboard.setData (and friends) other than inside of a copy event handler; however, the API will not prevent you from using it in other ways.

  5. Set the data via the client.setText ("text/plain" segment), client.setHtml ("text/html" segment), client.setRichText ("application/rtf" segment), or client.setData (any segment) methods. You can call this function at any time: when the page first loads, or later like in a copy event handler. Example:

    client.setText( "Copy me!" );

    The important caveat of using client.setData (and friends) is that the data it sets is transient and will only be used for a single copy operation. As such, we do not particularly recommend using client.setData (and friends) other than inside of a copy event handler; however, the API will not prevent you from using it in other ways.

Clipping

Clipping refers to the process of "linking" the Flash movie to a DOM element on the page. Since the Flash movie is completely transparent, the user sees nothing out of the ordinary.

The Flash movie receives the click event and copies the text to the clipboard. Also, mouse actions like hovering and mousedown generate events that you can capture (see Event Handlers below).

To clip elements, you must pass an element, or array of elements to the clip function.

Here is how to clip your client library instance to a DOM element:

client.clip( document.getElementById("d_clip_button") );

You can pass in a reference to the actual DOM element object itself or an array of DOM objects. The rest all happens automatically: the movie is created, all your options set, and it is floated above the element, awaiting clicks from the user.

Example Implementation

<button id="my-button" data-clipboard-text="Copy me!" title="Click to copy to clipboard.">Copy to Clipboard</button>

And the code:

var client = new ZeroClipboard( $("button#my-button") );

CSS Effects

Since the Flash movie is floating on top of your DOM element, it will receive all the mouse events before the browser has a chance to catch them. However, for convenience, these events are passed through to your clipboard client which you can capture (see Event Handlers below), so long as the bubbleEvents configuration property remains set to true.

In addition to this, ZeroClipboard can also manage CSS classes on the clipped elements that mimic the CSS pseudo-classes ":hover" and ":active" on your DOM element. This essentially allows your elements to behave normally, even though the floating Flash movie is the first object receiving all the mouse events during the event bubbling phase. These "pseudo-pseudo-class" names are configurable via the hoverClass and activeClass configuration properties.

Example CSS, targeting a DOM element with a class of "clip_button":

  .clip_button {
    width: 150px;
    text-align: center;
    border: 1px solid black;
    background-color: #ccc;
    margin: 10px;
    padding: 10px;
  }
  .clip_button.zeroclipboard-is-hover { background-color: #eee; }
  .clip_button.zeroclipboard-is-active { background-color: #aaa; }

Examples

The following are complete, working examples of using the clipboard client library in HTML pages.

Minimal Example

Here is a quick example using as few calls as possible:

<html>
  <body>
    <div id="d_clip_button" class="clip_button" data-clipboard-text="Copy Me!" title="Click to copy." style="border:1px solid black; padding:20px;">Copy To Clipboard</div>

    <script type="text/javascript" src="ZeroClipboard.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      var client = new ZeroClipboard( document.getElementById('d_clip_button') );
    </script>
  </body>
</html>

When clicked, the text "Copy me!" will be copied to the clipboard.

A More Complete Example

Here is a more complete example which exercises many of the configuration options and event handlers:

<html>
  <head>
    <style type="text/css">
      .clip_button {
        text-align: center;
        border: 1px solid black;
        background-color: #ccc;
        margin: 10px;
        padding: 10px;
      }
      .clip_button.zeroclipboard-is-hover { background-color: #eee; }
      .clip_button.zeroclipboard-is-active { background-color: #aaa; }
    </style>
  </head>
  <body>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="ZeroClipboard.js"></script>

    <div class="clip_button">Copy To Clipboard</div>
    <div class="clip_button">Copy This Too!</div>

    <script type="text/javascript">
      var client = new ZeroClipboard( $('.clip_button') );

      client.on( 'ready', function(event) {
        // console.log( 'movie is loaded' );

        client.on( 'copy', function(event) {
          event.clipboardData.setData('text/plain', event.target.innerHTML);
        } );

        client.on( 'aftercopy', function(event) {
          console.log('Copied text to clipboard: ' + event.data['text/plain']);
        } );
      } );

      client.on( 'error', function(event) {
        // console.log( 'ZeroClipboard error of type "' + event.name + '": ' + event.message );
        ZeroClipboard.destroy();
      } );
    </script>
  </body>
</html>

"Starter Snippets" for Playground Sites

IMPORTANT: ZeroClipboard will NOT work on the "Edit" pages for any of the following online code playground sites due to security limitations imposed by their use of iframe sandboxing. However, ZeroClipboard will work on the "View" pages if and only if you use the very specifically formatted URL patterns provided below.

Namespacing ZeroClipboard

ZeroClipboard creates DOM elements with pre-configured attributes, e.g. a div element with an ID of "global-zeroclipboard-html-bridge" to encapsulate the Flash object.

If you have a need to change the default values, they can be configured by passing in values for containerId, containerClass, and/or swfObjectId using the ZeroClipboard.config method. Configuration of these values is completely optional. These values cannot be reconfigured while the ZeroClipboard SWF is actively embedded, and so are completely ignored during that time.

Values for containerId and swfObjectId are validated against the HTML4 spec for ID and Name tokens.

AMD

If using AMD with a library such as RequireJS, etc., you shouldn't need to do any special configuration for ZeroClipboard to work correctly as an AMD module.

CommonJS

If using CommonJS with a library such as Browserify, Webmake, etc., you shouldn't need to do any special configuration for ZeroClipboard to work correctly as an CommonJS module.

Known Conflicts With Other Libraries

IE freezes when clicking a ZeroClipboard clipped element within a Bootstrap Modal.

  • Cause: Bootstrap's Modal has an enforceFocus function that tries to keep the focus on the modal. However, since the ZeroClipboard container is an immediate child of the body, this enforcement conflicts. Note that this workaround actually overrides a core Bootstrap Modal function, and as such must be kept in sync as this function changes in future versions of Bootstrap.
  • Workaround: Targeted against Bootstrap v3.x.

Workaround A

if (/MSIE|Trident/.test(window.navigator.userAgent)) {
  (function($) {
    var zcContainerId = ZeroClipboard.config('containerId');
    $('#' + zcContainerId).on('focusin', false);
  })(window.jQuery);
}

Workaround B

if (/MSIE|Trident/.test(window.navigator.userAgent)) {
  (function($) {
    var zcClass = '.' + ZeroClipboard.config('containerClass');
    var proto = $.fn.modal.Constructor.prototype;
    proto.enforceFocus = function() {
      $(document)
        .off('focusin.bs.modal')  /* Guard against infinite focus loop */
        .on('focusin.bs.modal', $.proxy(function(e) {
          if (this.$element[0] !== e.target &&
             !this.$element.has(e.target).length &&
             /* Adding this final condition check is the only real change */
             !$(e.target).closest(zcClass).length
          ) {
            this.$element.focus();
          }
        }, this));
    };
  })(window.jQuery);
}

IE freezes when clicking a ZeroClipboard clipped element within a jQuery UI [Modal] Dialog.

  • Cause: jQuery UI's Dialog (with { modal: true } set) has a _keepFocus function that tries to keep the focus on the modal. However, since the ZeroClipboard container is an immediate child of the body, this enforcement conflicts. Luckily, jQuery UI offers more natural extension points than Bootstrap, so the workaround is smaller and less likely to be broken in future versions.
  • Workaround: Targeted against jQuery UI v1.10.x.
if (/MSIE|Trident/.test(window.navigator.userAgent)) {
  (function($) {
    var zcClass = '.' + ZeroClipboard.config('containerClass');
    $.widget( 'ui.dialog', $.ui.dialog, {
      _allowInteraction: function( event ) {
        return this._super(event) || $( event.target ).closest( zcClass ).length;
      }
    } );
  })(window.jQuery);
}

Support

This library is fully compatible with Flash Player 11.0.0 and above, which requires that the clipboard copy operation be initiated by a user click event inside the Flash movie. This is achieved by automatically floating the invisible movie on top of a DOM element of your choice. Standard mouse events are even propagated out to your DOM element, so you can still have rollover and mousedown effects with just a little extra effort.

ZeroClipboard v2.x is expected to work in IE9+ and all of the evergreen browsers. Although support for IE7 & IE8 was officially dropped in v2.0.0, it was actually still technically supported through v2.0.2.

Browser-Specific Known Issues

Opera

  • Issue #459
    • Problem: Both the implicit observation of clipped elements' cursor CSS property and the forceHandCursor: true Configuration Option cannot be honored in Opera's NPAPI Flash Player plugin.
    • Workaround: End users must install both Opera 24+ AND the separate PPAPI Flash Player plugin that is currently only available in Adobe Flash Player 16 Beta (look for the OS-specific download entitled "Download Flash Player for Opera and Chromium based applications – PPAPI"). Beginning with Opera 27 (currently in the alpha/dev channel cycle), Opera will automatically warn users that only have the NPAPI Flash Player plugin installed and guide them into installing the PPAPI Flash Player plugin from Adobe.

OS Considerations

Because ZeroClipboard will be interacting with your users' system clipboards, there are some special considerations specific to the users' operating systems that you should be aware of. With this information, you can make informed decisions of how your site should handle each of these situations.

All OSs

  • By default, ZeroClipboard will ensure OS-compliant line endings, i.e. "\r\n" on Windows, "\n" on all non-Windows operating systems. If this behavior is not desirable, you can disable it by setting the fixLineEndings configuration option to false, i.e.:

    ZeroClipboard.config({
        fixLineEndings: false
    });

Linux

  • The Linux Clipboard system (a.k.a. "Selection Atoms" within the X Consortium's Standard Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual) is a complex but capable setup. However, for normal end users, it stinks. Flash Player's Clipboard API can either:

    1. Insert plain text into the "System Clipboard" and have it available everywhere; or
    2. Insert plain, HTML, and RTF text into the "Desktop Clipboard" but it will only be available in applications whose UI are managed by the Desktop Manager System (e.g. GNOME, etc.). This, for example, means that a user on a typical Linux configuration would not be able to paste something copied with ZeroClipboard into a terminal shell but they may still be able to paste it into OpenOffice, the browser, etc.

    As such, the default behavior for ZeroClipboard while running on Linux is to only inject plain text into the "System Clipboard" to cover the most bases. If you want to ignore that caution and use the "Desktop Clipboard" anyway, just set the forceEnhancedClipboard configuration option to true, i.e.:

      ZeroClipboard.config({
        forceEnhancedClipboard: true
      });

    Also, a final related behavioral caveat: if the pending clipboard data ONLY contains data of the format "text/plain", ZeroClipboard will intelligently choose to use the "System Clipboard" regardless of the forceEnhancedClipboard configuration property value.

Security Limitations

sandboxed iframe Limitations

The sandbox attribute of the iframe element (new in HTML5, supported in IE10+ and all other evergreen browsers) provides web developers with a way tighten the restrictions on framed content beyond what Content Security Policy (CSP) provides for unsandboxed cross-origin iframes. With the sandbox attribute, you can instruct the browser to load a specific frame's content in a low-privilege environment, starting with the least privilege possible and then whitelisting the necessary subset of capabilities.

It is also very important to note, however, that the sandbox attribute takes away some privileges from the framed content that CANNOT be whitelisted "back in". For example, any framed page running in a sandbox absolutely cannot run native plugins (e.g. Flash, Silverlight, Java, etc.). This decision was made because native plugins run unmanaged code that the browser cannot offer any further security verifications on, and are frequently sourced from third parties.

As such, ZeroClipboard is completely unusable inside of a sandboxed iframe. Best efforts have been taken to detect sandboxing and notify consumers via an error event (error[name = "flash-sandboxed"]) but, unfortunately, not all configurations of sandboxing can be reliably detected from within the framed content.

This sandboxing is also why ZeroClipboard cannot be used as normal on many online code playground sites like JSFiddle, JSBin, CodePen, etc. However, we have put together a few "starter snippets" for such sites to get you up and running quickly.

For a deeper analysis and a few "naughty" workarounds (which only work in limited situations), check out the sandblaster.js (JamesMGreene/sandblaster) project.

See Also

Cross-Protocol Limitations

ZeroClipboard was intentionally configured to not allow the SWF to be served from a secure domain (HTTPS) but scripted by an insecure domain (HTTP).

If you find yourself in this situation (as in Issue #170), please consider the following options:

  1. Serve the SWF over HTTP instead of HTTPS. If the page's protocol can vary (e.g. authorized/unauthorized, staging/production, etc.), you should include add the SWF with a relative protocol (//s3.amazonaws.com/blah/ZeroClipboard.swf) instead of an absolute protocol (https://s3.amazonaws.com/blah/ZeroClipboard.swf).
  2. Serve the page over HTTPS instead of HTTP. If the page's protocol can vary, see the note on the previous option (1).
  3. Fork ZeroClipboard and update "src/flash/ZeroClipboard.as" to call the allowInsecureDomain method as needed, then recompile the SWF with your custom changes.

file:// Protocol Limitations

If you want to either use ZeroClipboard on a page hosted via the file:// protocol or serve ZeroClipboard's assets via the file:// protocol, you are almost guaranteed to run into some roadblocks due to Flash Player security restrictions. Whether you will be able to work around these roadblocks depends heavily on the specifics of the browser and Flash Player plugin being used.

The various potential and/or partial workarounds are detailed below. We recommend trying them in the order they are listed, with the exception of any that are not applicable to your browser/Flash setup.

Stop Hosting It Over The file:// Protocol

Do you really need to be hosting this via the file:// protocol? If not, please don't: it may turn into a neverending (or outright losing) security configuration battle for you.

We recommend that you instead just get a simple HTTP server installed and use it. Many HTTP server applications exist today that don't even require configuration or proper "installation", they are just executable files that can dynamically host the current working directory (or accept command line configuration options). Simple, easy, done.

But, if you really do need to be hosting this via the file:// protocol, please read on... and we wish you much-needed luck.

Tell ZeroClipboard To Trust Anyone & Everyone

Rarely, for some browser/Flash setups, you can bypass this security restriction as easily as specifically configuring ZeroClipboard to trust ALL domains for SWF interaction via a wildcard. This configuration must be set before creating ZeroClipboard client instances as a typical consumer, or before calling ZeroClipboard.create() in a 3rd party wrapper:

ZeroClipboard.config({ trustedDomains: ["*"] });

This wildcard configuration should NOT be used in environments hosted over HTTP/HTTPS.

Tell Flash Player Local Settings Manager To Trust Your SWF URL

If you are using any browser with the traditional NPAPI Flash Player plugin enabled AND preferred (i.e. PPAPI Flash Player plugins are not supported, are not installed, or are disabled for the browser instance in question) or using the PPAPI Flash Player plugin v16.0.0 (or higher), you can edit your system-level Flash Player security settings to whitelist your SWF URL using the Flash Player Local Settings Manager:

  1. Open the Flash Player Local Settings Manager via your system's OS-specific access procedure.
  2. Go to the "Advanced" tab.
  3. Locate the "Developer Tools" subsection (may require you to scroll down).
  4. Click the "Trusted Location Settings..." button.
  5. Click "Add location" (may be represented as a + button).
  6. Add the absolute path of your local "ZeroClipboard.swf" file to the trusted files whitelist.

This should work for all NPAPI Flash Player plugins. However, this may not work for all PPAPI Flash Player plugins.

Tell Flash Player Online Settings Manager To Trust Your SWF URL

If you are using any browser with the traditional NPAPI Flash Player plugin enabled AND preferred (i.e. PPAPI Flash Player plugins are not supported, are not installed, or are disabled for the browser instance in question), you can edit your device-level NPAPI Flash Player security settings to whitelist your SWF URL using the Flash Player Online Settings Manager:

  1. Using the same browser, go to the Adobe Flash Player Online Settings Manager page.
  2. In the small embedded Flash app (which looks more like a screen capture rather than an interactive UI), click "Add location". This may be inside of an "Edit locations..." dropdown menu.
  3. Add the absolute path of your local "ZeroClipboard.swf" file to the trusted files whitelist.

Some versions of Flash also include an "allow all" option in the Global Settings Manager.

This should work for all NPAPI Flash Player plugins. However, this WILL NOT work for any PPAPI Flash Player plugins.

Tell PPAPI Flash Player Plugins To Take A Hike

If you are using a PPAPI Flash Player plugin and all of the aforementioned workarounds combined still didn't allow you to bypass this security restriction, you have officially run out of proper workarounds as you have almost certainly run into the even more restrictive security model in Chromium's "Pepper" (PPAPI) Flash layer. This elevated security will affect PPAPI Flash Player plugin usage in Chromium, Chrome Canary, Chrome, and possibly all Blink-based versions of Opera.

At this point, your only remaining option is to disable your PPAPI Flash Player plugin and fallback to an NPAPI Flash Player plugin instead.

If you are unwilling to disable your PPAPI Flash Player plugin, your goal has now officially been defeated by Flash Player's security restrictions. You should now reconsider our earlier recommendation to stop hosting it over the file:// protocol... we tried to warn you!