Copy Text File or Directory into Clipboard from Command Line

   Posted May 24, 2011 by David Kirk in Windows

Pushing a file, directory listing, or other text into the clipboard from the command line is very clever and useful.

In all modern versions of Windows, you can pipe information to clip to push text into the clipboard. Here are some examples:

To push a directory listing into the clipboard:

dir/w | clip

copy directory to clipboard from command line

To copy a text file into the clipboard:

type textfile.txt | clip


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • Ashish Jain

    good one 🙂

  • Rob Rogers

    Great tip!

  • Rdp114

    This does not work for Windows XP because clip is not recognized! Based on the screenshot, it works in Windows 7. Time to upgrade!

    • Anonymous

      Clip comes with XP pro and all later versions of the Windows OS.

  • gbr

    Sorry but I’m using Windows XP and I have clip.exe version: 5.2.3790.0 from Microsoft.

  • Sly

    In windows 7 simply typing [filename].txt in cmd will open the text file in notepad. Adding the | clip makes no difference and the file contents are not copied to the clipboard.