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48.3 A Scratchpad on Your Screen

Here's a tip for people whose screens have multiple windows. I copy and paste a lot of text with my mouse, and sometimes I need a place to put text temporarily. For example, I'll put together pieces from a few command lines, write a reminder note to myself before I go to lunch, or keep a bunch of text I can copy with my mouse as needed.

Some window systems have a clipboard window, but I almost never use mine. Instead, I use one of my terminal windows to make a throwaway space like this:

% cat > /dev/null
Updated version number in title.
.
Added disc icon for second edition.
.
[CTRL-d]
%

In the example above, I wanted to choose between two responses to give to the RCS ci (20.14) command in another window. I typed in the pairs of lines, then kept copying and pasting one pair or the other into the window where ci was running. The command cat > /dev/null reads whatever I type and throws it away (13.14). I can type as much stuff as I want, then type CTRL-d at the start of a line when I'm done.

- JP


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