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Clipboard access

Flash's Clipboard API used to be the only available means for creating advanced clipboard functionality, but this is now available in web standards.

Operating systems all have standard clipboard (i.e. Copy/Paste/Cut) functionality built in, but what if you want to do something a bit more complex, such as having a button that triggers the copying of a certain text selection?

The basics

The Flash Clipboard API provided such functionality, but fortunately modern browsers now have functionality available to do the same things, without having the Flash Player present or having to attach a Flash movie to your page. The relevant APIs are:

  • Selection API: Allows you to programmatically set and modify the text selection on the current document.
  • execCommand API: Allows you to programmatically execute clipboard-related commands such as Copy and Paste.

See also

The clipboard.js library: The best solution for rapidly implementing clipboard functionality on web applications.

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 Contributors to this page: chrisdavidmills
 Last updated by: chrisdavidmills,