In this tutorial, we will explore various methods to select, copy, and paste text in the terminal using only the keyboard. This can significantly increase your productivity and speed when working in a terminal environment.
To select, copy, and paste in the terminal using only the keyboard, you can use tools like Tmux, Screen, Emacs, or xclip. Each tool has its own set of commands and configurations for performing these actions. It is recommended to refer to the provided links and documentation for more detailed instructions.
Tmux is a terminal multiplexer that allows you to manage multiple terminal sessions within a single window. It also provides functionality for copying and pasting text using the keyboard.
You can customize Tmux’s key combinations in the
~/.tmux.conf file. By adding specific commands to this file, you can change the keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting text within Tmux.
For example, you can add the following lines to your
~/.tmux.conf file to enable Vim-style copy/paste configuration:
setw -g mode-keys vi bind-key -T copy-mode-vi 'v' send -X begin-selection bind-key -T copy-mode-vi 'y' send -X copy-selection-and-cancel
mode-keys command sets the key bindings to Vim-style, and the
bind-key commands set the ‘v’ key to begin the selection and the ‘y’ key to copy the selection.
There is also a Tmux extension called Tmux-Yank that simplifies the copy/paste action to the system clipboard in Tmux. This can be especially useful if you frequently need to copy text from the terminal to other applications.
screen command provides a selection mode for copying text.
Entering Selection Mode
To enter selection mode, press
a and then
Esc. You can then move your cursor to select the desired text using the arrow keys.
Copying and Pasting Text
Once the text is selected, you can quit the selection mode by pressing
Esc again. To paste the copied text, press
a and then
If you are familiar with Emacs, you can use it as a terminal emulator and take advantage of its built-in text selection and copy/paste functionality.
Opening Terminal Mode
Open Emacs and enter the terminal mode by pressing
X and then typing
Selecting, Copying, and Pasting Text
To select text, press
Space and move your cursor using the arrow keys. To copy the selected text, press
W. You can then switch back to the terminal mode by pressing
C and then
J, and paste the copied text by pressing
If you have
xclip installed, you can use it as a command-line interface to the X clipboard. This allows you to copy text to the clipboard using commands.
Copying Text to the Clipboard
For example, you can pipe the output of a command to
xclip to copy it to the clipboard:
command | xclip -i
-i option tells
xclip to use the input from the pipe as the source for the copy operation.
Pasting Text from the Clipboard
To paste the copied text, you can use the
xclip -o command:
-o option tells
xclip to output the contents of the clipboard.
Please note that these methods may have different requirements and limitations depending on your specific terminal setup. It is recommended to refer to the provided links and documentation for more detailed instructions and troubleshooting. Happy coding!
To install Tmux, you can use your package manager. For example, on Ubuntu, you can run
sudo apt-get install tmux. On macOS, you can use Homebrew with the command
brew install tmux.
You can create or edit the
~/.tmux.conf file using a text editor of your choice. For example, you can use
nano ~/.tmux.conf or
vim ~/.tmux.conf. If the file does not exist, simply create a new file with that name.
To enable Tmux-Yank, you need to install the Tmux Plugin Manager (TPM) first. You can follow the installation instructions provided in the Tmux-Yank repository (https://github.com/tmux-plugins/tmux-yank). Once TPM is installed, add
set -g @plugin 'tmux-plugins/tmux-yank' to your
~/.tmux.conf file and press
b) to install the plugin.
To exit the selection mode in Screen, press
To paste text in Emacs terminal mode, press
To install xclip, you can use your package manager. For example, on Ubuntu, you can run
sudo apt-get install xclip. On macOS, you can use Homebrew with the command
brew install xclip.
To copy the output of a command to the clipboard using xclip, you can use the following syntax:
command | xclip -i. This pipes the output of the command to xclip, which then copies it to the clipboard.
To paste text from the clipboard using xclip, you can use the command
xclip -o. This outputs the contents of the clipboard.