Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.

Why can't I cut from Emacs and paste in other X programs?

Emacs stores things you "cut" in the X "cut buffers". It also pastes from the cut buffer `CUT_BUFFER0'. This is obsolete. Most modern X programs now expect to work with "selections" instead of cut buffers, although some like `xterm' will try to use the cut buffers if the selection is null.

Emacs 18.58 contains a "fix" that makes xterm work by default. This "fix" is that Emacs clears the `PRIMARY' selection when it stores something in the cut buffer. By making the selection null, xterm will then fetch from the cut buffer when you try to paste.

For versions of Emacs prior to 18.58, you can make pasting from Emacs into xterm work with the following X resources:

  ! Solution by Thomas Narten, should work under X11R3 and later GNU
  ! Emacs only copies to CUT_BUFFER0.  xterm by default wants to paste
  ! from the PRIMARY selection.
  XTerm*VT100.Translations: #override \
      ~Meta <Btn2Up>: insert-selection(CUT_BUFFER0,PRIMARY)

You may have problems copying between Emacs and programs other than xterm that won't store cut text in the cut buffers or look in the cut buffers for text to paste (for backwards compatibility with obsolete applications like Emacs :-). The best workaround is to use the `xcutsel' program as an intermediary.

This problem does not exist for Epoch or Lucid Emacs.

Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.