What Is pbcopy And pbpaste? How To Manipulate It?


So, What Is pbcopy & pbpaste? Everyone is familiar with Copy and Paste. Also, know that they are absolute necessities that are virtual. This is also virtual for all computer users. In this case, if you find yourself working that is in the command line frequently. Then you will also want in order to know that how to manipulate the clipboard of Mac OS X. So, that it can directly from the terminal prompt. Then that is what the Mac commands pbcopy and pbpaste are for and then this is as you may have guessed the two commands.

In order to do exactly what they also sound like the pbcopy is to copy, and pbpaste is to paste. So, that this is through the command line. Now, they are also actually quite powerful, and then you will also be sure. In order to find them useful and this is in the next time and then you are also hanging out with your bash, tcsh, zsh. This can whatever and then this is your preferred shell prompt.

Now, we will also cover a quick explanation on how to use pbcopy and pbpaste. In order to manipulate clipboard data that is with some examples. You can also indicate that how to redirect the output of terminal commands that is input into the clipboard. Then how to expel the contents of the clipboard that is into the command line with pbpaste.

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How To Use the pbcopy & pbpaste from Command Line on Mac?

The pbcopy: To take standard input and places it in the clipboard buffer

So, the pbcopy is also very simple enough in order to use. Then basically you can also direct something into it and then it will also copy it into the clipboard buffer. Now, this can also get and then be accessed either through pbpaste. This is also the standard Finder’s and then paste command (command-v). So, Here is how to use it:

$ pbcopy < file.txt

So, that is it then now the contents of file.txt that will also be in your clipboard. Then you have to ready to paste where ever. Now, the pbcopy is also much more powerful than that. Then you can also direct the output that is of commands and the programs. In order to be copied as well. So, Here is an example with the command ‘ps’:

$ ps aux | pbcopy

Then the ps command is into the clipboard. When this is again then it can also be pasted anywhere. In this case, you want to filter your results a bit. Then you can also throw do that too. This is by using the grep command is:

$ ps aux | grep root | pbcopy

So, These pipes are the results of the ‘ps aux’ command. Then the filters can specifically use for ‘root’, and copy only those results into the clipboard.

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The pbpaste: To take data from the clipboard buffer and writes it to the standard output

In the pbpaste, this also has the equally simple to use. In this case, then it will also retrieve whatever you also have placed that is in the clipboard buffer and then spit it out. So, that it is also most simple that is the form in the simply type:

$ pbpaste

Now, this will also print whatever data you have a copy that is from the pbcopy command. Then the Finder also copies the command (command-c). So, that you can easily route this output into a file using the command line in order to access it later. In this case, if you also want that is though then this is with the simple command:

$ pbpaste > pastetest.txt

You can also Filter this that is what it can also paste. Then this is also very useful though, and then the command structure is also much like what we also saw earlier with the pbcopy. Now, We will also get the filter for ‘rcp’ but of course you can also filter for anything you want.

$ pbpaste |grep rcp

This is what you will also see pasted is only what matches that this is your search for ‘rcp’. Then this is inside the data in the clipboard.



So, there is much more in order to use to be had with the pbcopy and pbpaste. Then that should also give you a general idea of that how to use it. This can perhaps give you some of the ideas to implement that is in your own productivity.  So, that the screenshot simply demonstrates that you can also copy and paste from the command line. Then this is into a Finder app (in this case, TextEdit) without losing any of the formattings.

If yes then you can also do the order use the pbcopy and pbpaste commands. This is at the terminal and then you can also interact with them again that is from the GUI of MacOS. It is just by using the standard Mac copy and paste keyboard shortcuts of Command+C and Command+V. Then it goes the other direction too having a copy from the GUI can be pasted with the pbpaste at the command line.

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Now, the users who are interested in learning more powerful uses of pbcopy and pbpaste. In order to modify the pasteboard that is of Mac OS X. So, that this is through the command line that can encourage into the review the commands man pages. By which they are also basically interchangeable and then cover both sides of the command. It can also be Accessing that it is also easily achieved through ‘man pbcopy’ or ‘man pbpaste’. This is where if you will also see some more details of the command usage. Now, this is as well as other options that are for how to use the commands. You can also adjust encoding, strip or maintain rich text details, and then so much more.

Hope this guide will helpful for You! Thank You!

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