Copying data using clipboardData object

  • Not supported in Firefox
  • Supported in Chrome
  • Not supported in Safari
  • Not supported in IE
  • Not supported in Opera

Some of the current browsers support a clipboardData property as part of the copy and paste event. This should allow you to query the different data formats currently on the clipboard using mimetypes. The support is still incomplete across most browsers, but Chrome has recently added new support for copy and paste.

This demo copies a contact, passing the information as a vCard using the mimetype text/x-vcard. Try it out - in Chrome click on the contact below to select it and then copy it, either through the context menu or by Ctrl+C. Then paste the vCard into the paste page using only the keyboard shortcut ie Ctrl+V


30-31 North Street Brighton East Sussex United Kingdom BN1

Object, method, and property compatibility

  Firefox 14.0.1 Chrome 22.0 Safari 6.0 IE 9.0 Opera 12.01
paste event Yes Yes Yes Yes No
paste event on non-editable element No Yes No No No
clipboardData No Yes Yes Yes No
clipboardData.types No Yes Yes No No
clipboardData.items No Yes No No No
clipboardData.getData No Yes Yes Yes No
clipboardData.setData No Yes Yes Yes No
mime types No Yes Yes No No
custom types No Yes Yes Yes No
event.clipboardData No Yes Yes No No
window.clipboardData No No No Yes No


Only Chrome and Safari supports the clipboardData.types array which should list all the supported data formats for a given clipboard item. A copied piece of HTML could be represented as text/plain, text/html and text/url-list. Although Safari's clipboardData.types contains some mine types it is not a complete list. Safari seems currently unable to set custom data during the copy event using the clipboardData.setData method.

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