clipboard {utils}R Documentation

Read/Write to/from the Clipboard in MS Windows


Transfer text between a character vector and the Windows clipboard in MS Windows (only).


getClipboardFormats(numeric = FALSE)
readClipboard(format = 1, raw = FALSE)
writeClipboard(str, format = 1)



logical: should the result be in human-readable form (the default) or raw numbers?


an integer giving the desired format.


should the value be returned as a raw vector rather than as a character vector?


a character vector or a raw vector.


The Windows clipboard offers data in a number of formats: see e.g.

The standard formats include

CF_TEXT 1 Text in the machine's locale
CF_METAFILEPICT 3 Metafile picture
CF_SYLK 4 Symbolic link
CF_DIF 5 Data Interchange Format
CF_TIFF 6 Tagged-Image File Format
CF_OEMTEXT 7 Text in the OEM codepage
CF_DIB 8 Device-Independent Bitmap
CF_RIFF 11 Audio data
CF_WAVE 12 Audio data
CF_UNICODETEXT 13 Text in Unicode (UCS-2)
CF_ENHMETAFILE 14 Enhanced metafile
CF_HDROP 15 Drag-and-drop data
CF_LOCALE 16 Locale for the text on the clipboard
CF_MAX 17 Shell-oriented formats

Applications normally make data available in one or more of these and possibly additional private formats. Use raw = TRUE to read binary formats, raw = FALSE (the default) for text formats. The current codepage is used to convert text to Unicode text, and information on that is contained in the CF_LOCALE format. (Take care if you are running R in a different locale from Windows. It is recommended to read as Unicode text, so that Windows does the conversion based on CF_LOCALE, if available.)

The writeClipboard function will write a character vector as text or Unicode text with standard CR-LF line terminators. It will copy a raw vector directly to the clipboard without any changes. It is recommended to use Unicode text instead of text to avoid interoperability problems. (Note that R 4.2 and newer on recent systems uses UTF-8 as the native encoding but the machine's locale uses a different encoding.)


For getClipboardFormats, a character or integer vector of available formats, in numeric order. If non human-readable character representation is known, the number is returned.

For readClipboard, a character vector by default, a raw vector if raw is TRUE, or NULL, if the format is unavailable.

For writeClipboard an invisible logical indicating success or failure.


This is only available on Windows.

See Also

file which can be used to set up a connection to a clipboard.

[Package utils version 4.3.0 Index]