A Linux command-line tool to access the clipboard

"command line interface to X selections (clipboard) "
— xclip man pages

In short, this Linux command-line tool i used to access the X WIndows clipboard. Using various commandline options, it's possible to copy from or to various X clipboards. As with many such tools, it's often used to pipe to or from other commands. In fact I use it this was to generate an accurate word count for each of my writeups, as seen below.

$ xclip -h
Usage: xclip OPTION FILE...
Access an X server selection for reading or writing.

  -i, -in          read text into X selection from standard input or files (default)
  -o, -out         prints the selection to standard out (generally for
                   piping to a file oranother  program)
  -l, -loops       number of selection requests to wait for before exiting
  -d, -display     X display to connect to (eg localhost:0")
  -h, -help        usage information
      -selection   selection to access ("primary", "secondary", "clipboard" or "buffer-cut")
      -noutf8      don't treat text as utf-8, use old unicode
      -target      use the given target atom
      -rmlastnl    remove the last newline charater if present
      -version     version information
      -silent      errors only, run in background (default)
      -quiet       run in foreground, show what's happening
      -verbose     running commentary

To understand its value, here's the command line I use to count words: xclip -o | wc -w | xclip -xclip -o | wc -w | xclip -xclip -o | wc -w | xclip -rmlastnl -selection clipboard. I copy the displayed text from E2 and just hit that command. xclip grabs the clipboard contents (the displayed writeup, pipes it to wc (which counts the words!), the output of that is piped to xclip again, which removes the trailing newline and pumps it to the xWIndow clipboard, ready to paste into the writeup. Easy, takes me seconds, and all I have to do is come back to E2 and paste it in the correct place ⍼ ⍼

Not running Linux? Well, Apple's OS should give you access to the command line, and I just bet that xclip is included in there. Windows has the Windows Subsystem for Linux and boy howdy, you bet that any Linux distro you install will have it too. xclip -o | wc -w | xclip -rmlastnl -selection clipboard gives me the wordcount of the clipboard contents, which I use for each of my writeups. ddate | xclip -selection clipboard allows me to get the Discordian date: Today is Setting Orange, the 57th day of Discord in the YOLD 3190 .

$ xclip -o | wc -w

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