Marco Pracucci

Electron - Enable copy and paste

by Marco Pracucci Comments

If you’re new to Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell) you will notice that copy and paste (CMD+C / CMD+V on Mac) will not work, both in your app and DevTools. This is due to the lack of the application’s menu with keybindings to the native clipboard.

To enable the clipboard features and copy/paste shortcuts you should configure your app’s menu, using Menu.setApplicationMenu() from Electron’s menu module.

var Menu = require("menu");

var template = [{
    label: "Application",
    submenu: [
        { label: "About Application", selector: "orderFrontStandardAboutPanel:" },
        { type: "separator" },
        { label: "Quit", accelerator: "Command+Q", click: function() { app.quit(); }}
    ]}, {
    label: "Edit",
    submenu: [
        { label: "Undo", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+Z", selector: "undo:" },
        { label: "Redo", accelerator: "Shift+CmdOrCtrl+Z", selector: "redo:" },
        { type: "separator" },
        { label: "Cut", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+X", selector: "cut:" },
        { label: "Copy", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+C", selector: "copy:" },
        { label: "Paste", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+V", selector: "paste:" },
        { label: "Select All", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+A", selector: "selectAll:" }
    ]}
];

Menu.setApplicationMenu(Menu.buildFromTemplate(template));

Cross-platform support

UPDATE: as currectly suggested by Raghu in the comments below, you can use the special accelerator modifier CmdOrCtrl to get a cross-platform behavior. CmdOrCtrl will use Command on OSX and Ctrl on Windows and Linux.

Working example

To get the big picture, please see the following fully working example.

main-electron.js

var app = require("app");
var BrowserWindow = require("browser-window");
var Menu = require("menu");
var mainWindow = null;

app.on("window-all-closed", function(){
    app.quit();
});

app.on("ready", function () {
    mainWindow = new BrowserWindow({
        width: 980,
        height: 650,
        "min-width": 980,
        "min-height": 650
    });
    mainWindow.openDevTools();
    mainWindow.loadUrl("file://" + __dirname + "/index.html");
    mainWindow.on("closed", function () {
        mainWindow =  null;
    });

    // Create the Application's main menu
    var template = [{
        label: "Application",
        submenu: [
            { label: "About Application", selector: "orderFrontStandardAboutPanel:" },
            { type: "separator" },
            { label: "Quit", accelerator: "Command+Q", click: function() { app.quit(); }}
        ]}, {
        label: "Edit",
        submenu: [
            { label: "Undo", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+Z", selector: "undo:" },
            { label: "Redo", accelerator: "Shift+CmdOrCtrl+Z", selector: "redo:" },
            { type: "separator" },
            { label: "Cut", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+X", selector: "cut:" },
            { label: "Copy", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+C", selector: "copy:" },
            { label: "Paste", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+V", selector: "paste:" },
            { label: "Select All", accelerator: "CmdOrCtrl+A", selector: "selectAll:" }
        ]}
    ];

    Menu.setApplicationMenu(Menu.buildFromTemplate(template));
});

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