Klipper is the KDE clipboard utility. It stores clipboard history, and allows you to link clipboard contents to application actions.

Basic Usage

  • To display the clipboard history, click on the Klipper icon in the KDE panel, or press Ctrl+Alt+V. Previous clipboard entries are shown at the top of the pop-up menu which appears. Selecting one of these copies it to the clipboard, from where it can be pasted into any KDE or X application as usual.

    You can search through the clipboard history by opening it (click on Klipper) and typing your query. The results are updated as you type. In case you're wondering how to use the accelerator keys in the Klipper menu, just press Alt and the accelerator you want. For example, to clear the clipboard history when the Klipper menu is open, press Alt+L.

    To remove Klipper, click on its icon in the System Tray, and from the menu that appears, select Quit.


  • Klipper can perform actions on the contents of the clipboard, based on whether they match a particular regular expression. For example, any clipboard contents starting with “http://” can be passed to Netscape® or Konqueror as URLs to open. To use this feature, just copy a URL or filename to the clipboard. If there is a matching regular expression in Klipper's list, a menu will appear showing you the options you have (e.g. Open URL in Konqueror, open URL in Netscape®). Use the mouse or keyboard to select the option you want, and Klipper will run the program you have selected, opening the address pointed to by the clipboard contents.

    If you do not want to perform any actions on the clipboard contents, select Do Nothing on the pop-up menu to return to what you were doing before. If you leave the menu, it will disappear, leaving you to continue your work. You can change the time that the menu remains for in the Configure Klipper... dialog, with the option Timeout for action pop-ups under the General tab.

    Actions can be disabled completely by clicking on Klipper and selecting Actions Enabled, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+X.

    Clipboard contents which match a regular expression can also be edited before performing an action on them. Select Edit contents... on the Klipper pop-up menu, and you can change the clipboard contents in the dialog which appears, before clicking the OK button to run the appropriate action.

    Pressing Ctrl+Alt+R shows the pop-up menu to repeat the last action which Klipper performed.

Clipboard/Selection Behavior


  • Klipper can be used to set the behavior of the clipboard and selection in KDE.


  • The X Window System® uses two separate clipboard buffers: the “selection” and the “clipboard”. Text is placed in the selection buffer by simply selecting it, and can be pasted with the middle mouse button. To place text in the clipboard buffer, select it and press Ctrl-X or Ctrl-C. Text from the clipboard buffer is pasted using Ctrl-V or by selecting Edit->Paste.

Changing Clipboard/Selection Behavior

  • In order to change clipboard/selection behavior, select Configure Klipper... from the Klipper pop-up menu, and in the dialog box that appears, select the General tab. Selecting Separate clipboard and selection makes the clipboard and selection function as completely separate buffers as described above. With this option set, the option Ignore selection will prevent Klipper from including the contents of the selection in its clipboard history and from performing actions on the contents of the selection. Selecting Synchronize contents of the clipboard and the selection causes the clipboard and selection buffers to always be the same, meaning that text in the selection can be pasted with either the middle mouse button or the key combination Ctrl-V, and similarly for text in the clipboard buffer.

Configuring Klipper

Viewing the Configuration Dialog

  • To view or change Klipper's settings, open the Klipper pop-up menu, and select Configure Klipper.... The Klipper configuration dialog will appear. Its contents are described below.

General Options

  • Make the Klipper pop-up menus appear at the position of the mouse cursor, instead of their default position (in the KDE Panel). Useful if you use the mouse more than the keyboard.

Save clipboard contents on exit

  • If this option is on, the clipboard history will be saved when Klipper exits, allowing you to use it next time Klipper starts.

Remove whitespace when executing actions

  • If selected, any whitespace (spaces, tabs, etc.) at the beginning and end of the clipboard contents will be removed before passing the clipboard contents to an application. This is useful, for example, if the clipboard contains a URL with spaces which, if opened by a web browser, would cause an error.

Replay actions on an item selected from history

  • If this is switched on, selecting an item from the history causes Klipper to display the actions pop-up on that item, if appropriate.

Prevent empty clipboard

  • If selected, the clipboard will never be empty: Klipper will insert the most recent item from the clipboard history into the clipboard instead of allowing it to be empty.

Ignore selection

  • Sets the clipboard mode.

Synchronize contents of the clipboard and the selection

  • Sets the clipboard mode.

Separate clipboard and selection

  • Sets the clipboard mode.

Timeout for Action pop-ups

  • Set the time that a pop-up menu will remain for if you do nothing with it.

Clipboard history size

  • Sets the number of items that are stored in the clipboard history.

Actions Options

Editing Expressions/Actions

  • On the Actions tab, double-click the regular expression or action that you want to edit. An in-place text editing box will appear in which the text can be edited as you wish. Make sure you press Enter when you are done.

Adding Expressions/Actions

  • Click the Add Action button to add a regular expression for Klipper to match. Klipper uses Qt™'s QRegExp, which understands most regular expressions as you would use in grep or egrep for instance.

    You can add a description of the regular expression type (e.g. “HTTP URL”) by left clicking in the Description column.

    Edit the regular expression as described above. To add a command to execute, right click, select Add Command and edit the command which appears in the tree under the regular expression. Note that %s in the command line is replaced with the clipboard contents, e.g. if your command definition is kedit %s and your clipboard contents are /home/phil/textfile, the command kedit /home/phil/textfile will be run. To include %s in the command line, escape it with a backslash, as so: \%s.


  • Brings up the Disable Actions for windows of type WM_CLASS dialog. Some programs, such as Konqueror, use the clipboard internally. If you get unwanted Klipper pop-ups all the time when using a certain application, do the following:
    1. Open the application.
    2. From a terminal, run xprop | grep WM_CLASS and then click on the window of the application you are running.

    3. The first string after the equals sign is the one to enter.
    Once the WM_CLASS is added, no more actions will be generated for windows of that application.

Shortcuts Options

  • The shortcuts tab allows you to change the keyboard shortcuts which are used to access Klipper functions. You can change the shortcut to one of three things:


  • The selected action cannot be accessed directly from the keyboard


  • The selected action uses Klipper's default key. These are the shortcuts referred to in this manual.


  • The selected action is assigned to the keys you choose. To choose a custom key for the action you have selected, click on the representation of a key in the lower right of the screen to activate it, and type the desired key combination on your keyboard, as in any KDE application.

Klipper (last edited 2021-05-29 10:36:53 by tomtomtom)