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How do I copy a string to the clipboard on Windows using Python?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I’m trying to make a basic Windows application that builds a string out of user input and then adds it to the clipboard. How do I copy a string to the clipboard using Python?

Answers:

Actually, pywin32 and ctypes seem to be an overkill for this simple task. Tkinter is a cross-platform GUI framework, which ships with Python by default and has clipboard accessing methods along with other cool stuff.

If all you need is to put some text to system clipboard, this will do it:

from Tkinter import Tk
r = Tk()
r.withdraw()
r.clipboard_clear()
r.clipboard_append('i can has clipboardz?')
r.update() # now it stays on the clipboard after the window is closed
r.destroy()

And that’s all, no need to mess around with platform-specific third-party libraries.

If you are using Python 3, replace TKinter with tkinter.

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Answers:

I didn’t have a solution, just a workaround.

Windows Vista onwards has an inbuilt command called clip that takes the output of a command from command line and puts it into the clipboard. For example, ipconfig | clip.

So I made a function with the os module which takes a string and adds it to the clipboard using the inbuilt Windows solution.

import os
def addToClipBoard(text):
    command = 'echo ' + text.strip() + '| clip'
    os.system(command)

# Example
addToClipBoard('penny lane')

# Penny Lane is now in your ears, eyes, and clipboard.

If you are using Windows XP it will work just following the steps in Copy and paste from Windows XP Pro’s command prompt straight to the Clipboard.

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You can also use ctypes to tap into the Windows API and avoid the massive pywin32 package. This is what I use (excuse the poor style, but the idea is there):

import ctypes

# Get required functions, strcpy..
strcpy = ctypes.cdll.msvcrt.strcpy
ocb = ctypes.windll.user32.OpenClipboard    # Basic clipboard functions
ecb = ctypes.windll.user32.EmptyClipboard
gcd = ctypes.windll.user32.GetClipboardData
scd = ctypes.windll.user32.SetClipboardData
ccb = ctypes.windll.user32.CloseClipboard
ga = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalAlloc    # Global memory allocation
gl = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalLock     # Global memory Locking
gul = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalUnlock
GMEM_DDESHARE = 0x2000

def Get():
  ocb(None) # Open Clip, Default task

  pcontents = gcd(1) # 1 means CF_TEXT.. too lazy to get the token thingy...

  data = ctypes.c_char_p(pcontents).value

  #gul(pcontents) ?
  ccb()

  return data

def Paste(data):
  ocb(None) # Open Clip, Default task

  ecb()

  hCd = ga(GMEM_DDESHARE, len(bytes(data,"ascii")) + 1)

  pchData = gl(hCd)

  strcpy(ctypes.c_char_p(pchData), bytes(data, "ascii"))

  gul(hCd)

  scd(1, hCd)

  ccb()

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Answers:

You can use pyperclip – cross-platform clipboard module. Or Xerox – similar module, except requires the win32 Python module to work on Windows.

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Answers:

Looks like you need to add win32clipboard to your site-packages. It’s part of the pywin32 package

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Answers:

You can use the excellent pandas, which has a built in clipboard support, but you need to pass through a DataFrame.

import pandas as pd
df=pd.DataFrame(['Text to copy'])
df.to_clipboard(index=False,header=False)

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I’ve tried various solutions, but this is the simplest one that passes my test:

#coding=utf-8

import win32clipboard  # http://sourceforge.net/projects/pywin32/

def copy(text):
    win32clipboard.OpenClipboard()
    win32clipboard.EmptyClipboard()
    win32clipboard.SetClipboardText(text, win32clipboard.CF_UNICODETEXT)
    win32clipboard.CloseClipboard()
def paste():
    win32clipboard.OpenClipboard()
    data = win32clipboard.GetClipboardData(win32clipboard.CF_UNICODETEXT)
    win32clipboard.CloseClipboard()
    return data

if __name__ == "__main__":  
    text = "Testing\nthe “clip—board”: ?"
    try: text = text.decode('utf8')  # Python 2 needs decode to make a Unicode string.
    except AttributeError: pass
    print("%r" % text.encode('utf8'))
    copy(text)
    data = paste()
    print("%r" % data.encode('utf8'))
    print("OK" if text == data else "FAIL")

    try: print(data)
    except UnicodeEncodeError as er:
        print(er)
        print(data.encode('utf8'))

Tested OK in Python 3.4 on Windows 8.1 and Python 2.7 on Windows 7. Also when reading Unicode data with Unix linefeeds copied from Windows. Copied data stays on the clipboard after Python exits: "Testing
the “clip—board”: ?"

If you want no external dependencies, use this code (now part of cross-platform pyperclipC:\Python34\Scripts\pip install --upgrade pyperclip):

def copy(text):
    GMEM_DDESHARE = 0x2000
    CF_UNICODETEXT = 13
    d = ctypes.windll # cdll expects 4 more bytes in user32.OpenClipboard(None)
    try:  # Python 2
        if not isinstance(text, unicode):
            text = text.decode('mbcs')
    except NameError:
        if not isinstance(text, str):
            text = text.decode('mbcs')
    d.user32.OpenClipboard(0)
    d.user32.EmptyClipboard()
    hCd = d.kernel32.GlobalAlloc(GMEM_DDESHARE, len(text.encode('utf-16-le')) + 2)
    pchData = d.kernel32.GlobalLock(hCd)
    ctypes.cdll.msvcrt.wcscpy(ctypes.c_wchar_p(pchData), text)
    d.kernel32.GlobalUnlock(hCd)
    d.user32.SetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT, hCd)
    d.user32.CloseClipboard()

def paste():
    CF_UNICODETEXT = 13
    d = ctypes.windll
    d.user32.OpenClipboard(0)
    handle = d.user32.GetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT)
    text = ctypes.c_wchar_p(handle).value
    d.user32.CloseClipboard()
    return text

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Answers:

For some reason I’ve never been able to get the Tk solution to work for me. kapace’s solution is much more workable, but the formatting is contrary to my style and it doesn’t work with Unicode. Here’s a modified version.

import ctypes

OpenClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.OpenClipboard
EmptyClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.EmptyClipboard
GetClipboardData = ctypes.windll.user32.GetClipboardData
SetClipboardData = ctypes.windll.user32.SetClipboardData
CloseClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.CloseClipboard
CF_UNICODETEXT = 13

GlobalAlloc = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalAlloc
GlobalLock = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalLock
GlobalUnlock = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalUnlock
GlobalSize = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalSize
GMEM_MOVEABLE = 0x0002
GMEM_ZEROINIT = 0x0040

unicode_type = type(u'')

def get():
    text = None
    OpenClipboard(None)
    handle = GetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT)
    pcontents = GlobalLock(handle)
    size = GlobalSize(handle)
    if pcontents and size:
        raw_data = ctypes.create_string_buffer(size)
        ctypes.memmove(raw_data, pcontents, size)
        text = raw_data.raw.decode('utf-16le').rstrip(u'
import ctypes
OpenClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.OpenClipboard
EmptyClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.EmptyClipboard
GetClipboardData = ctypes.windll.user32.GetClipboardData
SetClipboardData = ctypes.windll.user32.SetClipboardData
CloseClipboard = ctypes.windll.user32.CloseClipboard
CF_UNICODETEXT = 13
GlobalAlloc = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalAlloc
GlobalLock = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalLock
GlobalUnlock = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalUnlock
GlobalSize = ctypes.windll.kernel32.GlobalSize
GMEM_MOVEABLE = 0x0002
GMEM_ZEROINIT = 0x0040
unicode_type = type(u'')
def get():
text = None
OpenClipboard(None)
handle = GetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT)
pcontents = GlobalLock(handle)
size = GlobalSize(handle)
if pcontents and size:
raw_data = ctypes.create_string_buffer(size)
ctypes.memmove(raw_data, pcontents, size)
text = raw_data.raw.decode('utf-16le').rstrip(u'\0')
GlobalUnlock(handle)
CloseClipboard()
return text
def put(s):
if not isinstance(s, unicode_type):
s = s.decode('mbcs')
data = s.encode('utf-16le')
OpenClipboard(None)
EmptyClipboard()
handle = GlobalAlloc(GMEM_MOVEABLE | GMEM_ZEROINIT, len(data) + 2)
pcontents = GlobalLock(handle)
ctypes.memmove(pcontents, data, len(data))
GlobalUnlock(handle)
SetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT, handle)
CloseClipboard()
paste = get
copy = put
') GlobalUnlock(handle) CloseClipboard() return text def put(s): if not isinstance(s, unicode_type): s = s.decode('mbcs') data = s.encode('utf-16le') OpenClipboard(None) EmptyClipboard() handle = GlobalAlloc(GMEM_MOVEABLE | GMEM_ZEROINIT, len(data) + 2) pcontents = GlobalLock(handle) ctypes.memmove(pcontents, data, len(data)) GlobalUnlock(handle) SetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT, handle) CloseClipboard() paste = get copy = put

The above has changed since this answer was first created, to better cope with extended Unicode characters and Python 3. It has been tested in both Python 2.7 and 3.5, and works even with emoji such as \U0001f601 (?).

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Answers:

I think there is a much simpler solution to this.

name = input('What is your name? ')
print('Hello %s' % (name) )

Then run your program in the command line

python greeter.py | clip

This will pipe the output of your file to the clipboard

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Answers:

Widgets also have method named .clipboard_get() that returns the contents of the clipboard (unless some kind of error happens based on the type of data in the clipboard).

The clipboard_get() method is mentioned in this bug report:
http://bugs.python.org/issue14777

Strangely, this method was not mentioned in the common (but unofficial) online TkInter documentation sources that I usually refer to.

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This is the simplest way:

import pyperclip

pyperclip.copy("your string")

If you want to get the contents of the clipboard:

clipboard_content = pyperclip.paste()

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import wx

def ctc(text):

    if not wx.TheClipboard.IsOpened():
        wx.TheClipboard.Open()
        data = wx.TextDataObject()
        data.SetText(text)
        wx.TheClipboard.SetData(data)
    wx.TheClipboard.Close()

ctc(text)

Questions:
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This is the improved answer of atomizer.

Note 2 calls of update() and 200 ms delay between them. They protect freezing applications due to an unstable state of the clipboard:

from Tkinter import Tk
impor time

r = Tk()
r.withdraw()
r.clipboard_clear()
r.clipboard_append('some string')

r.update()
time.sleep(.2)
r.update()

r.destroy()

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Code snippet to copy the clipboard:

Create a wrapper Python code in a module named (clipboard.py):

import clr
clr.AddReference('System.Windows.Forms')
from System.Windows.Forms import Clipboard
def setText(text):
    Clipboard.SetText(text)

def getText():
    return Clipboard.GetText()

Then import the above module into your code.

import io
import clipboard
code = clipboard.getText()
print code
code = "abcd"
clipboard.setText(code)

I must give credit to the blog post Clipboard Access in IronPython.

Questions:
Answers:
from Tkinter import Tk
clip = Tk()