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Access to the OS clipboard can be very useful when working with other programs.

General Usage Scenario

You want to copy data from excel or the web browser into J environment. There are a couple of sophisticated ways to move data, but sometimes you feel its too complicated to do a simple job. In that case,

1. You select the area you want to copy from excel or browser and copy it to clipboard, for exmaple by clicking ctrl-c in windows. 1. Read it into the J environment as a string 1. Transform it into the original tabular format using J boxes (usually the field seperator is TAB and row separator LF) 1. Convert the data format appropriately

The following example is ran on J6:

   NB. Suppose you have selected the section you want to copy from an excel sheet and ctrl-c'ed
   NB. Read in the clipboard
   t=.wdclipread ''
   load 'format'
   NB. Transform it into the tabular form
   t=.clipunfmt t
   NB. Then you do conversion and etc on the data
   NB. After all the manipulation, you may want to write back to excel
   t=.clipfmt t
   wdclipwrite t
   NB. Then you go to excel and paste the clipboard by ctrl-v

J Version Specific Method

J6 and under

  • Read: wdclipread ''
  • Write: wdclipwrite 'string to paste'

J7 jgtk

  • Read: clipread ''
  • Write: clipwrite 'string to paste'

Since J7, the format script's location is changed and you have to : load '~addons/general/misc/format.ijs'


On windows, you may use Scripts/WindowsClipboard.

On the other platforms, ...

J8 jqt

  • Read: wd 'clippaste'
  • Write: wd 'clipcopy *','string to paste'

Contributed by June Kim