The clipboard holds data you copy and paste. You can copy text from one program to another, like copying text from a website into notepad.

We will create a program that has access to the clipboard using PyQt. If we copy text from any program, it will be added into the textarea of the PyQt application.

Related course: Create PyQt Desktop Appications with Python (GUI)

PyQt Clipboard example

We can access the clipboard using the class QClipboard. Then we can output that text. We connect the clipboard to a method using the line:


Then we grab the contents using

pyqt clipboard

Try the example below

# PyQt5 clipboard
# Gets text from the system clipboard
# If you copy text to the clipboard,
# output is shown in the console.

import sys
from PyQt5.Qt import QApplication, QClipboard
from PyQt5 import QtCore, QtWidgets
from PyQt5.QtWidgets import QMainWindow, QWidget, QPlainTextEdit
from PyQt5.QtCore import QSize

class ExampleWindow(QMainWindow):
def __init__(self):

self.setMinimumSize(QSize(440, 240))
self.setWindowTitle("PyQt5 Clipboard example")

# Add text field
self.b = QPlainTextEdit(self)
self.b.insertPlainText("Use your mouse to copy text to the clipboard.\nText can be copied from any application.\n")


# Get the system clipboard contents
def clipboardChanged(self):
text = QApplication.clipboard().text()
self.b.insertPlainText(text + '\n')

if __name__ == "__main__":
app = QtWidgets.QApplication(sys.argv)
mainWin = ExampleWindow()
sys.exit( app.exec_() )

If you are new to Python PyQt, then I highly recommend this book.

Download PyQt Examples