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How to use the KDE Plasma 5 clipboard manager

by Enrich Coleman

If you’re a KDE Plasma 5 user and you’re looking to take control of the clipboard, don’t go installing software like CopyQ. As it turns out, the desktop has it’s own built-in clipboard management tool. In this guide, we’ll go over how to use it.

Enable clipboard management in KDE Plasma 5

By default, the clipboard manager should be enabled on your KDE Plasma 5 desktop. However, on some Linux operating systems, this feature is turned off by default, as not everyone likes a clipboard tool. So, we’ll briefly go over how to enable it.

To start, right-click on the KDE panel with your mouse. From here, locate the “unlock widgets” button, and click it if you have your widgets locked into place. If you do not use “lock widgets,” ignore this step.

After unlocking the widgets on the KDE panel, you are free to edit it and add new things to it. From here, right-click on the panel again, and select “Panel Options” followed by “+ Add Widgets” which will bring up a widget menu on the right.

In the widget menu, search for “clipboard,” and the KDE Plasma 5 clipboard widget will appear. From here, click and drag it to the panel to enable this feature.

Enable KDE clipboard manager in the system tray

While it is possible to add the KDE clipboard manager to the panel, it’s not the only way to enjoy this feature. If you’re not a fan off the widget, it is also possible to add the clipboard manager to the system tray. Here’s how to do it.

First, locate the system tray on the KDE Plasma 5 panel, and right-click on it with the mouse. Right-clicking on the tray will bring up a menu. In the menu, select the “Configure System Tray” option to access the panel tray settings.

Inside of the KDE Plasma 5 system tray settings, there are a lot of options. To enable the clipboard management option, locate “General,” and click on it with the mouse.

Once in the “General” area of the system tray settings, locate “Extra Items.” From there, locate the “Clipboard” option, and click the empty box next to it to enable the feature.

Find the “Apply” button to apply the changes. Be sure to also go to “Entries” if you want to configure how the clipboard manager appears in the system tray (keeping it hidden in the sub-menu or always shown on the panel).

Use KDE Plasma 5 clipboard manager

The clipboard manager works by actively keeping track of everything you copy to the clipboard. For example, if you are on a website, see a bit of text (like a terminal command, book quote, etc) and select the “Copy” option in the right-click menu, the clipboard manager will archive it.

Searching past clipboard pastes

The KDE Plasma 5 clipboard manager is searchable, thanks to the search feature. If you’re trying to find some old text saved to the clipboard from a previous date, here’s what to do.

First, click on the search box with the mouse, then start typing out a string to search for, or any term that you remember copying. The clipboard manager will instantly show results based on the words you type.

Once you’ve found what you need in the search, click on the result and it will replace what is currently in your clipboard. From there, just press Ctrl + V to paste.

Deleting entries from the clipboard manager

The clipboard manager is very useful as it keeps track of text, links, etc. However, sometimes you may want to delete an entry, for whatever reason. Here’s how to erase a saved entry in the clipboard manager.

First, click on the manager in the panel, and search for the entry you’d like to remove. Then, click the remove button to erase it from the manager’s history.

Generate a QR code from clipboard entries

Did you know that the KDE Plasma 5 clipboard manager can actually generate QR codes based on your saved clipboard entries? Seriously! It’s really cool. Here’s how to use this feature.

First, open up the clipboard manager and look through the list of clipboard entries in the manager or, use the search function to find the entry.

Once you’ve located the clipboard entry you’re trying to find, click on it with the mouse. Upon selecting it, you will see four options next to it. Find the “show barcode” one and click on it to instantly generate a QR code.

Edit clipboard paste contents

You may want to modify a clipboard entry in the KDE Plasma 5 clipboard manager. Here’s how to do it.

First, search for the clipboard entry you’d like to edit by using the search function, or by scrolling through to it in the manager. After finding the entry, select it with the mouse. Then, click on the edit button to change the text.

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