Emacs has its own copy-paste facilities (mainly the kill ring) and can also interact with the OS's copy-paste facility. What tag should we use for questions that are specifically about copy-paste between Emacs and other programs? (Or “we don't need one”, but I don't think that's the case.)


(Prior discussion on this general topic: Do we want copy-paste, or kill-yank?)

  • I've been meaning to suggest a general tag for questions about integrating emacs with other software (including the OS itself ). Then we could tag [copy-paste] and [integration]. It might be considered a meta tag, but I've seen a few questions already that would benefit from it.
    – Malabarba
    Nov 10, 2014 at 23:48
  • @Malabarba integration wouldn't be a meta tag, but it wouldn't be a useful tag either: it covers a whole bunch of unrelated things: copy paste, windows/frames, file type associations, package management, key mappings, shells/term, … Nov 10, 2014 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


We could use the same term that Emacs itself uses: interprogram copy/paste.

But of course those not familiar with this terminology will not think to use that. We might use it as a tag synonym (?).

I'd suggest perhaps external-copy-paste.


Following the manual, I suggest clipboard.

The clipboard is the facility that most graphical applications use for “cutting and pasting”. When the clipboard exists, the kill and yank commands in Emacs make use of it.

  • 3
    I foresee people misusing this to mean the kill-ring. Might we use os-clipboard to reduce the chances of that a little bit?
    – Malabarba
    Nov 11, 2014 at 8:35
  • Sounds reasonable to me. How do we sort things out in meta? Do you post another answer recommending os-clipboard and we see which gets more votes? Nov 11, 2014 at 22:22

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