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I have some text stored on my clipboard. I want to store this text onto a shell script "variable".

So something like:

ls -altr > pbcopy
pbpaste > $tmp    # this doesn't get the ls command output :(
echo $tmp         # should not print something
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted


ls | pbcopy

And don't forget to remove the files called pbcopy and something you created with your first and second line.

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lol @patrix...thanks for that. extra points for humor. – Kaushik Gopal Mar 10 '12 at 20:08

This works for me...


ls -altr | pbcopy
echo $tmp

You needed a pipe rather than redirect on the pbcopy line and you can use = to assign tmp to the result of pbpaste - remembering the backticks around pbpaste, of course, otherwise it will just echo the word "pbpaste"!

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Thanks @binarybob, this solution works too. yup backticks is important, also not to be mistaken for single quotes ' – Kaushik Gopal Mar 10 '12 at 20:11

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