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Disable automatic copying on text selection

asked 2013-12-29 21:54:42 +0300

Tegu gravatar image

updated 2014-07-15 23:17:41 +0300

Mohjive gravatar image

I think the automatic copying restricts the selection possibilities. Sometimes I just want to select a part of the text, remove it, and possibly paste in another text instead of the newly removed text. Thus, a manual copy method is needed. Maybe a button at the keyboard bar along with the paste one or something?

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I'd go so far as consider it a bug. Selecting text doesn't meen copying it.

In X that's a different matter because there are two clipboard buffers just in case anyone wanted to argue that ;)

Tanghus ( 2013-12-30 02:17:43 +0300 )edit

That's the Linux-way. All popular linux desktop environments have worked like this for at least 10 years, so I wouldn't call it a bug. Explicitly choosing 'copy' when selecting text is a redundant step.

Milo ( 2013-12-30 04:28:34 +0300 )edit

That is a linux feature only in X Server context I think. This thing we use plays the game with wayland, not sure if it is reproducing the same behaviour.

vascorsd ( 2013-12-30 09:25:35 +0300 )edit

Wayland should behave the same way with text selection and middle-click pasting as xorg-server.

Milo ( 2013-12-30 14:46:52 +0300 )edit

Hm, I agree the autocopy may be useful. Then if copying stays automatic, what would be a good way to paste onto a selected area? Or just remove one while preserving the clipboard content?

Tegu ( 2014-01-01 02:20:30 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2014-01-16 13:20:44 +0300

Mohjive gravatar image

updated 2014-01-16 14:32:57 +0300

Another solution would be to have a paste ring. By pressing the paste button you paste the current copy buffer in selection, but if you press it again, without doing any other action, you replace the newly pasted text with the next newest copy buffer. Pressing it again pastes the third newest copy buffer and so on.

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answered 2019-02-12 04:34:39 +0300

Levone1 gravatar image

Sorry not an answer - I'm not sure if there's an appropriate way to 'bump', (comments don't bump, and I don't want to knowingly open a duplicate question, but just because something was asked 5 years ago shouldn't mean nobody's ever allowed to bump it - should it?). Anyway, I think I understand what someone wrote here that in hardcore Linux, you wouldn't select anything except to imply that you want to copy it. I guess if you're stuck on being a purist just for the sake of it, you just swallow that and move on, but ot seems kind of silly that you wouldn't agree that it would be great to have an option. I don't really suffer about it, and, for the most part, I've gotten used to it, but it's kind of rough to not be able to select something you want to copy, then go to another place and select something that you want to overwrite with what you selected before. You just have to bite the bullet, and hold the backspace key down for a while, while you take a sip of your coffee... So, I just was hoping for confirmation; is this what we really feel, that it's totally normal and good to have any selection be automatically copied to the clipboard, overwriting what was there, and that it's a bad idea to have a choice?

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I still feel that the auto-copy function limits me. I have to work around it on a daily basis.

Mohjive ( 2019-02-12 08:47:06 +0300 )edit

I'd like to have the choice. Mohjive's solution also sounds okay.

Pohli ( 2019-02-12 10:08:11 +0300 )edit

I don't really know anything about app coding, but I have a feeling that a clipboard app is not beyond our talent pool here, (stoe clipboard history, which can be pulled up when you want to choose wht you want to copy or paste). There was a nice one in WebOS, which made clipboard history available via notification, whenever something was selected...

Levone1 ( 2019-02-12 15:45:54 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-02-13 14:52:27 +0300

gabriel gravatar image

To solve the original question's problem, please consider the following method:

  1. Select text to be inserted (new_text from now on) - this will automatically be copied
  2. Place the cursor before the text to be replaced (old_text from now on)
  3. Paste new_text
  4. Select old_text - this will automatically be copied, but we won't use this copy
  5. Press backspace

Note: if you made a mistake in steps 4 and 5, the deleted text is still in the clipboard as a backup.

For completeness, here is what you would do with the copy-paste method that you suggest:

  1. Select text to be inserted (new_text)
  2. Press copy - new_text is in the clipboard
  3. Select text to be replaced (old_text)
  4. Press paste - old_text is replaced by new_text

Note: this procedure is one step shorter than what you have to do today in SFOS, however, if you made a mistake in step 4, you lost old_text as we don't have "undo"

While it would be nice to have an option to pick between copy-paste methods, it would add more time for Jolla to test, fix, etc.. We can argue for ever which method is best, and it will be down to usage and general statistics - the current method saves a significant amount of time by removing the need of a "copy" button, which would take time and real estate on the screen.

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It's not only about pasting, and ease of use. The biggest issue I have with the current implementation is that I can't select a text, e.g. for deletion, and keep the copy buffer. I don't always want to paste the copy buffer right then, but want to keep it to paste at another location.

Mohjive ( 2019-02-13 16:05:24 +0300 )edit

Your 5-step method could be a work-around. But you forgot the steps 2a) place the cursor on the correct position once more [irony] to
2z) f@#k the cursor position and type parts of text anew [/irony] and / or type a space to not have new-text selected together with old-text.

Discussions like this make me wonder why is this OS still on the market? It is in no matter a (honorable) successor of Maemo/MeeGo.

peterleinchen ( 2019-02-13 16:18:19 +0300 )edit

Mohjive: it is all about getting used to one method or the other - you seem to have an issue with the order in which you execute copy and paste, maybe keep the notes open and use that as a temporary clipboard for multiple entries? I personally find the "Linux way" better than the traditional control+c/control-v/control-x way. I do admit that I leave composition to a full sized computer or laptop though.

peterleinchen: the idea with my answer is to help/provide a different angle. If you choose your OS by the way copy/pasting works, you have a very different perspective from mine, probably one that works on dimensions that don't even exist in my world, so you can disregard my answer and vote for the question instead - like I said, this all comes down to usage and general stats.

gabriel ( 2019-02-13 16:43:39 +0300 )edit

gabriel - good point. I think that's how I typically handle these kinds of things; I can get used to it. I guess I mainly was surprised at what seems to be not only acceptance, but even strong support of the current status. I can see if it was 1998 and nobody had ever even heard of highlighting text to copy - it would be a celebrated breakthrough. But at this point it's kind of a silly thing to present as the perfect fullness of clipboard function. Personally I'd be happy with a clipboard history app. I bet someone here could pull that off... (oops - I just noticed that I already said that above... sorry)

Levone1 ( 2019-02-13 16:50:34 +0300 )edit

@gabriel: I specifically said that's it not only about pasting. Consider this scenario: I compose a mail and want to move a sentence. I select it and press backspace. Or that I have copied a text from another.application, say a URL from the browser, that I want to use somewhere in the mail I'm writing. Then, before I have pasted the selection, I see another sentence I want to change and I already have the new wording in my head. With the current implementation I have two choices. Either press backspace multiple times/hold it (and hope I don't remove too much) or finish moving the sentence/write the part about the URL and paste it and hope I remember the wording of the other sentence. This happens to me regularly, especially the part with text from another application. I can't use select to delete without overwriting (irreversible) the paste buffer.

Another issue that @peterleinchen made me aware of is all the times I try to place the cursor at the right place and accidentally select text. Then my paste buffer is overwritten and there's no undo for that.

Mohjive ( 2019-02-13 21:30:21 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2013-12-29 21:54:42 +0300

Seen: 951 times

Last updated: Feb 13 '19