9

If I'm using a build of Vim with the xterm_clipboard feature then the system clipboard content is available through the + register.

If the build I'm using doesn't have this feature, can I make the "+ register call my custom programs to retrieve and set the system clipboard (xsel -bo and xsel -bi, or likewise with xclip)? Likewise with "* to call xsel -po and xsel -pi.

The point is to be able to type something like "+p without having to worry whether the feature is available. Typing :r !xsel -b<Enter> is not what I'm looking for: I want the same keystrokes to work, and I want the paste variants to follow what's available for “true” registers (P, gp, …).

Bonus: can I define custom commands for other register names?

7

A few <expr> mapping should be able to do the job here. The basic structure would be

function! ClipboardOrXclip(command, register)
    if a:register !~ '[+*]' || has('xterm_clipboard') || has('gui_running')
        " Just return the original command if the clipboard is accessible
        " or it's not a register that should be handled by xsel
        return a:command
    endif
    if a:register == '+'
        return "<Esc>:r !xsel -bo<CR>"
    else
        return "<Esc>:r !xsel -po<CR>"
    endif
endfunction

nnoremap <silent> <expr> p ClipboardOrXclip('p', v:register)

The function would need to be expanded to handle all the variations of p, P, gp, etc. but this should be a good start.

  • This seems to be on the right track, but it isn't working. A plain p (without a preceding " and register name) doesn't do anything other than make "p appears in the status line. "ap is equivalent to a, "bp beeps, … I don't get the logic. "+ beeps immediately, I don't even get to say that I mean + or * as a register name. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 4 '15 at 18:33
  • 1
    Assuming these fundamental problems are solved, is there an exhaustive list of commands I'd need to override? The set looks daunting, especially if I want to support yanking as well. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 4 '15 at 18:34
  • @Gilles Updated to fix the behavior with non-+/* registers. The problem with "+ when your vim has -xterm_clipboard is more difficult because it never gets to this function. Specifying an invalid register (+) aborts the command. SO, it looks like the behavior actually has to be inverted so map the "+ or "* and then handle the command specified by the user... – jamessan Feb 4 '15 at 18:49

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