JavaScript Copy to Clipboard with Branding

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I published a post a year ago detailing how you can copy to the clipboard using JavaScript.  The post was very popular and why would it be?  Copying content from a webpage without needing to use the default browser functions is awesome.  One trend I've seen recently is that when the use copies content from a given post, the copy function (Zero Clipboard, in this example) appends the page title, a link, and a special message telling the recipient to view the post.  Here's how to do it.

The JavaScript

Assuming the user is using ZeroClipboard functionality:

//set path
ZeroClipboard.setMoviePath('https://davidwalsh.name/demo/ZeroClipboard.swf');
//create client
var clip = new ZeroClipboard.Client();
//event
clip.addEventListener('mousedown',function() {
	clip.setText(document.getElementById('box-content').value + ".\n\nRead " + window.title + " at " + window.location + " to learn more!");
});
//glue it to the button
clip.glue('copy');

Appending the special message to the given text is done with basic JavaScript string concatenation of available window properties.

This post is more about the idea than it is the execution.  This type of marketing is good for newspaper-style websites that host thousands of posts and want to give themselves credit for the content that's been copied.

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Discussion

  1. addEventListener only works in non-IE browsers, you’ll want to use a cross-browser solution when implementing this on a public-facing website.

    I remember seeing a script used on some website that appends a message to any text that’s copied from the page. I can’t find it now though :(. Totally forgot how it worked, but it’d be perfect to append a message to the copied text.

  2. There’s a system available called “Tynt” (http://www.tynt.com) that does a similar thing. It also tracks all copied text and links clicked from the copied text into your account.
    Boss uses it

    Its not very lightweight though, all links generated have an ugly #hash tag and you can’t customize the message.

    Won’t be long before they’re charging for it either in my opinion, so finding a cross browser solution before they do (Tynt appears to be cross browser) would be fantastic

  3. Tim Branyen

    I don’t understand why someone would advocate to mainstream this approach. Nothing is worse than when I want to paste someone a snippet from an article only to find a massive block of unwanted text unintentionally spammed.

    This sort of practice should be rejected by the web development community the same way as unwanted audio, pop ups, and trailing mouse widgets.

  4. Leo

    Hi,
    Can anybody explain how to move the initial position of the popup Alert box?
    Currently it initially pops up in the center of the webpage.
    Thank you !

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