Hereís a quick tip for readers who like to work in the Command Prompt.
Have you ever wanted a convenient way to copy data to the
Clipboard from the command window without using
Edit > Mark from the Command Prompt's
system menu or using the mouse selection method? There is a little tool in Windows that will do this for you
easily. It comes prepackaged with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003, and is
an easy download for Windows XP. Itís a command-line tool called
If you're working on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2003, then you already have
everything you need. If you're working on Windows XP, then you'll need to get
by following the instructions later in this article.
For how to use
CLIP.EXE, letís let Microsoft do the talking, by typing
CLIP /? at the
Redirects output of command line tools to the Windows Clipboard.
This text output can then be pasted into other programs.
/? Displays this help message.
DIR | CLIP Places a copy of the current directory
listing into the Windows Clipboard.
CLIP < README.TXT Places a copy of the text from readme.txt
on to the Windows Clipboard.
Basically, to place the output of any command onto the
Clipboard, you "pipe" it to CLIP. To "pipe to CLIP" means to append "| CLIP" to
the end of the command line. (The pipe character ("|") is entered by pressing
Shift-\ (backslash) on US keyboards.)
So you might use any of the following commands:
DIR | CLIP
CD | CLIP
DIR *.doc | CLIP
DIR /B | CLIP
TIME /T | CLIP
DATE /T | CLIP
TYPE readme.txt | CLIP
Or, if youíd like to place the contents of a text file onto
the Clipboard, you can use:
CLIP < readme.txt
CLIP < autoexec.bat
CLIP < email.msg
Once the data is on the Clipboard, you can paste it into
most programs using
Edit > Paste, or by simply pressing
Daniel Petri, an IT expert and Microsoft Most Valuable
Professional (MVP) from Israel, has a copy of CLIP.EXE on his web site at:
You should place
CLIP.EXE (which is the single file
contained in the ZIP) into your
C:\windows\system32 folder, or into some other
folder which is in your path. You can also copy the
CLIP.EXE file from a Windows Server
2003 system. (Please check into your own licensing issues.) Iíve heard reports that the Vista version will not work if copied
to Windows XP.