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I am on OS X 10.5.8. Upon plugging a USB device, I got an 'alert' window:

USB Over Current Notice.

A USB device is currently drawing too much power....

So, I wanted to copy this message – and the text in it is selectable, so I select it, right-click it, there is a "Copy" option – I choose "Copy", I try "Paste" in TextEdit ... and nothing is copied.

I simply cannot believe that there's no such option, so obviously I am missing something. What is it?

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Should be possible by default, both Cmd+C and Right-click, "Copy" work. Does this happen in all alert windows? – slhck Sep 8 '11 at 11:48
Thanks for comment @slchk - unfortunately, I just tried on the "USB overcurrent" protection – sdaau Sep 8 '11 at 12:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Often when you can't copy the text of an alert it is due to the fact that the system put that alert up for a program that doesn't interact with the keyboard.

Things like Finder and iTunes are expected to receive keyboard input, so when they are running, you would expect the copy key shortcut to go to the program that is listed next to the Apple menu. This is a little off-putting in your case, as the alert window is where you want your copy keys to go, but in many cases, there is no way to direct the keyboard focus to go to a system alert.

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Many thanks for the answer, @bmike - good to know that... Cheers! – sdaau Sep 8 '11 at 13:01

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