Use Klipper Clipboard Actions for Better Productivity

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jun 28, 2011 GMT
Dmitri Popov

The Klipper clipboard manager is one of many great KDE tools. It not only maintains a clipboard history, making it easier to recover previously copied items: the utility also sports a few nifty features like the ability to edit the contents of the clipboard and generate a QR code for the current item in the clipboard. However, Klipper's most useful, yet often overlooked, feature is so-called clipboard actions. It allows you to configure Klipper to run user-defined actions on specific types of clipboard contents.

For example, when you copy a URL, you can configure Klipper to automatically open it in the browser of your choice. To create a new action, click on the Klipper icon in the system tray, choose Configure Klipper, switch to the actions section, and press the Add Action button. First, you need to specify a regular expression to limit the action to matching clipboard contents only. To match URLs, you can use the ^http?://. regular expression. Next you have to assign a command to the action. Press the Add Command button and specify the desired command. For example, if you want to open the URL in the Chromium browser, use the chromium-browser %s command (the %s string acts as a placeholder for the actual clipboard contents). Press OK to save the settings, and you are done. To activate clipboard actions click on the Klipper icon in the system tray and choose the Enable Clipboard Actions option. Alternatively, you can evoke clipboard actions when needed using the default Ctrl+Alt+R keyboard shortcut.

The clipboard actions featured in Klipper can be used for more complex operations, too. Use, for example, the .* regular expression and the chromium-browser http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A%s command to look up word definitions in Google Define. Want to be able to save a text selection in a text file? The .* regular expression and the echo %s >> /path/to/snip.txt command will do the trick.

In short, you can put the clipboard actions to many practical uses. And although configuring complex clipboard actions can be a bit tricky, they can prove to be huge time-savers.

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