Easier Terminal pasting in Ubuntu
Everyone knows about the traditional clipboard where you explicitly copy the text selection using the application’s Copy command, but few know that there is a second called the primary selection that always holds the current text selection i.e. you don’t have to copy to it.
This reduces select->copy->paste to select->paste which I find incredibly helpful as I spend much of my computer time inside a terminal am constantly copying and pasting text.
You can paste the primary selection by clicking the middle button on the mouse. The Terminal application also assigns the Shift+Insert keyboard shortcut to paste the primary selection.
So, if you’re in the Terminal and want to paste the text selection to the cursor just middle-click the mouse or press Shift+Insert (a lot less tedious than Ctrl+Shift+C plus Ctrl+Shift+V).
Here’s another tip: Use
xclip(1) to copy and paste between the
terminal and Desktop applications (first you’ll need to install
sudo apt-get install xclip).
cat pages.html | xclip -sel clip # Copy file to clipboard. xclip -sel clip -o > foo.txt # Write clipboard to file.
xclip(1) uses the primary selection (not the clipboard)
so I’ve added the following alias in my
alias xclip='xclip -sel clip'
This makes working with the clipboard less verbose:
cat pages.html | xclip # Copy file to clipboard. xclip -o > foo.txt # Write clipboard to file.
Bonus tip: To select text column-wise hold down the Ctrl key then select the text with the mouse.