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Linux : Open, Copy And Paste, Mouse Or Keyboard? Who Cares - With This.


Would you rather click on files or type at them? This is the root of a dichotomy that has existed ever since day one (day one was some time in mid 1964 according to my sources). Except for TwoDudes' short-lived FinderShell, I have never seen a program that effectively combines the strengths of each environment. Why must we choose?

Here's a stupid trick that makes it easier to move data from mouse mode to finger mode and back. Add the following to ~/.bashrc or equivalent:

alias open=gnome-open
alias copy="xclip -i"
alias paste="xclip -o"

Now open opens pretty much anything:

open mswd.doc

    opens mswd.doc in OpenOffice or AbiWord (whatever your default is).


    opens the QuickTime clip in a movie player.

open .

    opens a new Nautilus window showing the current directory.


    opens a new browser window showing this blog.

And copy and paste manipulate the clipboard:

    * paste (with no arguments) prints the clipboard to the terminal.
    * Select some text in a text editor and then run paste > newfile to save that selection to a file.
    * copy bigfile copies the contents of bigfile into the clipboard.
    * copy *.log copies the contents of all log files in the current directory.

Of course, you can combine these tricks:

paste | tr a-z A-Z | copy

    converts the contents of the clipboard to upper-case.

paste | tr A-Za-z N-ZA-Mn-za-m | copy

    will rot13 the clipboard. 

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