I am writing a batch script for a friend, it needs one input which is a website url. They're not the most super of users, so I want to make it as dirt simple as possible; I want them to copy the url into their clipboard and just click the script.bat file and be good.

.\executable.exe InsertClipboardHere -a --million "arguments"

Is there a way to access the contents of the clipboard from a batch script, without any "advanced" utilities like windows powershell or external programs?

  • 3
    No way in cmd natively. Need powershell or 3rd party tool unfortunately. You can write to the clipboard with clip.exe but not pull from it – Narzard Aug 12 '19 at 4:24


.\executable.exe paste -a --million "arguments"

Try: Example 1 Example 2

Command Variations: paste | command

Paste the contents of the Windows Clipboard into the input of the specified command command.

paste | command | clip

Paste the contents of the Windows Clipboard into the input of the specified command command then copy its output to the Windows Clipboard.

For example, paste | sort | clip sorts the contents of the Windows Clipboard. Requires: clip

paste > filename

paste > example.txt

Pastes the contents of the Windows Clipboard into the specified filename file.

paste | sort > filename

Sorts the contents of the Windows Clipboard and saves sorted output to the specified filename file.


Obs.: - This answer is intended for users who want something like this and also no longer want to download string tools.

1) I used this solution in this kind of work, but obviously this is not simple either, besides the use of external tools available in the system.

2) Basically, use C# code to do the to paste at run time.

The @Narzard comment is 100% correct, I spent a lot of time trying the same as you ask, but I found no solution to do it as simply as possible ... this is the solution I decided to implement in my Bat code:

@echo off & setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion

set "_out=%temp%\Paste.cs" & set "_csc="%windir%\Microsoft.NET" "csc.exe""
set _arg=/target:exe /out:"!_out:~0,-2!exe" "!_out!" /platform:anycpu & > "!_out!" (
echo/using System^;using System^.Windows^.Forms^;using System^.Threading^;namespace Huddled^{
echo/public class Paste^{[STAThread]static void Main^(^)^{foreach^(string line in Clipboard.GetText^(^).Split^(
echo/new string[]^{"\r\n","\n"^},StringSplitOptions.None^)^)Console.WriteLine^(line^)^;^}^}^}) 

for /f %%i in ('%__appdir__%\where /r !_csc!')do "%%~i" !_arg! >nul && del /q /f "!_out!" & goto :_next

for /f tokens^=* %%i in ('"!_out:~0,-2!exe"')do .\executable.exe "%%~i" -a --million "arguments"
del /q /f "!_out:~0,-2!exe" 2>nul & rem: continue from here!

C# without escaping characters tested in .NET Framework x86/x64:




using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Threading;

namespace Huddled

  public class Paste 
      [STAThread] static void Main() 
          foreach(string line in Clipboard.GetText().Split(new string[]{"\r\n","\n"},StringSplitOptions.None))Console.WriteLine(line);

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