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Mike Hankey on Clipboard Programming


One of the corner-stones of Windows is the universal clipboard. Every well-designed application is expected to have at least minimal clipboard support and many are quite sophisticated. Yet the .NET framework doesn't expose all of its functionality directly, making it a mystery to most developers. Mike Hankey seeks to bring it to light with The Code Project article ClipSpy+.

In his first lesson, Mike talks about adding an application to the Clipboard message chain. This is a place where applications still interact with each other and one misbehaving application can disrupt all the others.

Next Mike goes into inserting and retrieving data in the clipboard. He does this with the aid of two applications, ClipSpy+ and ClipInjector+. ClipSpy+ monitors the clipboard traffic and displays anything that comes across while ClipInjector+ can be used to insert data in a number of known formats.

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Community comments

  • System.Windows.Forms.Clipboard

    by Bob Yexley,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Yet the .NET framework doesn't expose this functionality directly...

    I'm not sure I can agree with this information knowing that there's a class in the System.Windows.Forms namespace called "Clipboard" which provides a direct reference to the system clipboard. Its documented pretty clearly and thoroughly in the MSDN documentation for the framework, and is pretty simple to use.

  • Re: System.Windows.Forms.Clipboard

    by Jonathan Allen,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I misspoke, I meant to refer to just the event listener. I will update the article to make that clearer.

  • ClipSpy+ article

    by Mike Hankey,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.


    Thanks for the article. The reason I wrote the article was two fold;
    One to acquaint users with the power and flexibility of the clipboard and two to make readers aware of the nuances involved with using it.
    I noticed your users directed you to an MSDN article containing detailed information on clipboard usage. While this information is useful it doesn't describe some of the peculiarities involved with the clipboard. I want to also point out that I made reference to the MSDN article in the References section at the end of my article.
    At any rate I was just surfing around and ran across this article and just wanted to say thanks.

    Mike Hankey

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