Tracking clipboard changes

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Tip 1370 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2006 · complexity intermediate · author Marian Csontos · version 5.7

Do you ever wanted to append lines from various sources (or to copy data from some application without any reasonable export method) to one file?

Here is a pretty simple solution for Vim. Just copy all you need to the clipboard and Vim can do the rest.

First you need to start Vim, open desired buffer (named buffer required as script do autosave) and run TrackClipboard function:

:call TrackClipboard('==============================================================')

The function monitors the clipboard; when it is changed, add data to clipboard (or do whatever you want).

function! TrackClipboard(delim)
  let timer1 = 0
  let temp = @*
  while @*!='EOF'
    if temp != @*
      let temp = @*
      $put =a:delim
      $put =temp
      " autowrite and redraw every cca 5s
      let timer1 += 1
      if timer1 >= 100
        if &modified
        let timer1 = 0
        sleep 50ms

[edit] Related scripts

  • CaptureClipboard contains a greatly enhanced plugin that is based on this tip. It offers feedback on the number of captures, trimming of white space, append as well as prepend not just to the end of the buffer, arbitrary delimiters and many configurable defaults.

[edit] Comments

" to automatically save modified buffer, and simplify your function.
:set autosave
The 'autosave' option is in the todo list, but as of Vim 7.3.000 not yet implemented. -- Inkarkat 13:19, September 20, 2010 (UTC)

Use :set paste to avoid autoindent applying to pasted text, in a terminal.

Also, you may need :set noexpandtab to stop Vim from expanding tabs to spaces.

This is not necessary; the :put command that is used in the function already inserts the text literally. -- Inkarkat 13:19, September 20, 2010 (UTC)

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