Re: [code] [textadept] Working with clipboard

From: Qwerky <>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2019 13:18:24 -0600

Hi Mitchell,

On 2019-09-15 09:08, Mitchell wrote:
> Hi Qwerky,
> On Sat, 14 Sep 2019, Qwerky wrote:
>> Hi Mitchell,
>> What is needed to make use of buffer.copy_text(), to write text to the
>> clipboard?  I've used `cliptext = ui.clipboard_text` to read the
>> clipboard
>> text to a string, and then `for line in cliptext:gmatch('.-\n') do`
>> to read
>> the lines of text from the string into a table.
>> After that, `cliptext = table.concat(cliplines, '\n')` to join the table
>> lines, and `buffer.copy_text(cliptext)` to write that string back to the
>> clipboard.
>> Although this text looks the same on the clipboard, when it is pasted
>> into
>> some other text, the result is not the same as pasting the original
>> clipboard
>> text into some other text.  Specifically, when the original text is
>> rectangular, and is pasted into some other text, it pastes each line
>> into
>> succeeding lines of the other text.  But after the above operation,
>> the text
>> is pasted as a group of lines at a single place, rather than
>> individual lines
>> going into succeeding lines of the receiving text.
>> How can I keep the text rectangular after writing it back to the
>> clipboard?
> This is not possible with Scintilla, unfortunately. You cannot put
> rectangular or multi-selected text on the clipboard. Only Scintilla
> can do it. It's like a one-way thing.
> Cheers,
> Mitchell

Hmm... blocked at every turn.  But wait, I'm not sure that the problem
lies with putting the text on the clipboard, but rather with /reading it
back/ in a rectangular format (see my earlier follow-up to this thread,
about `buffer.selection_is_rectangle`).  I'll quote it here:

"My working theory is that `buffer.selection_is_rectangle`, which is
read-only, is used to keep track of whether or not the selection is
rectangular, and controls how the text is pasted.  And further, that it
is being reset by `buffer.copy_text()`, so that even though the text was
originally selected as rectangular, after using `buffer.copy_text()`, it
will always be pasted as stream.  Since `buffer.selection_is_rectangle`
is read-only, I'm not sure how to work around this.  Does this theory
sound correct?"

When I modify the clipboard text in a Lua module, as described above,
and then paste it into text in a different text editor, it can be made
to appear correctly (depends on the text editor, and upon its
settings).  It seems to me that Scintilla is keeping track of the
clipboard contents, and will paste back as rectangular only when it
believes it has put rectangular data there. Also, I think it must be
monitoring the clipboard, and becomes aware when another application
places something on the clipboard, in which case it won't paste back as
rectangular (or as line), but only as stream.

So whether the limitation is in writing or reading the clipboard, the
end result (and perhaps the answer as well) may be the same:  Scintilla
won't allow it!

This is a real blow, as this issue with rectangular selections is the
last major obstacle that I have with Scintilla.  And just when I thought
I had a solution (by padding the rectangle in a module), it is blocked

Well, I've posted on the Scintilla list, and we'll see what Neil says
about it in October, when he gets back.  If there are any other
Textadept users who would like this feature, you may wish to add your
voice as well.

Thanks for you help, Mitchell.  Hopefully a solution will arrive.

Oh, a thought just came up: `buffer.selection_is_rectangle` is read-only
in Textadept (and presumably so is its counterpart in Scintilla).  Would
you be able to make it read/write, which may help?


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Received on Sun 15 Sep 2019 - 15:18:24 EDT

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