Demonstration: Manipulating the Clipboard in Delphi

Here’s a quick demonstration of how easy programming is in Delphi.

This small app allows you to copy text and past it again right away with it converted to proper case or upper case.  This was written for a ZTree user that had a bunch of files that he wanted t rename to partially uppercase.  There was no way to pick out the part of the name he wanted in upper case. So I wrote this routine to allow him to highlight part of the text, hit copy and then hit paste.  And viola, he it would be fixed.

So in Delphi, how do you access the clip board? Well, it couldn’t be simpler.  Just add the clipbrd unit to your uses statement like this:

[delphi]uses Clipbrd;[/delphi]

Then you can read and write to the clipboard  as text like this:

[delphi]A := Clipboard.AsText;
Clipboard.AsText := A + ‘BC’;[/delphi]

Of course it is best to check that you are dealing with text befor you try to get the information back from the clipboard.  That can be done like this:

[delphi]if (Clipboard.HasFormat(CF_TEXT)) then DoIt;[/delphi]

See! It is THAT straight forward.  If you want to see what  other clipboard formats there are, just highlight CF_TEXT in Delphi and hit F1 and you’ll get a full list.

Value Meaning
CF_TEXT Text with a CR-LF combination at the end of each line. A null character identifies the end of the text.
CF_BITMAP A Windows bitmap graphic.
CF_METAFILEPICT A Windows metafile graphic.
CF_PICTURE An object of type TPicture.
CF_COMPONENT Any persistent object.

So the instructions to create a full app are quite simple:
In Delphi, create a new app. In the Object Inspector, Name the main form frmCBFix, change the Border style to bsToolWindow, and change the form style to fsStayOnTop

Place a TEdit on the form and name it editCorrected text, clearing the default text value.

Add Clipbrd to the uses.

Put a TTimer on the form and double click the timer event in the Object Inspector.

Paste the following code into the unit replacing the automatic generated Timer1Timer procedure:

[delphi]{******************************************************************************
ProperCase
Converts a string to proper case by capitalizing each letter after a space or
punctuation. The only common punctuation not used is the apostrophe/single
quote. This avoids changing don’t to Don’T, but will sentences quoted
inside single quotes will not have their first letter capitalized.
******************************************************************************}
function ProperCase(aSrcStr: String): String;
var
Len, Index: integer;
begin
aSrcStr := Lowercase(aSrcStr);
Len := Length(aSrcStr);
aSrcStr[1] := UpperCase(string(aSrcStr[1]))[1];
for Index := 1 to Len – 1
do begin
if (aSrcStr[Index] in [‘ ‘,’$’,'”‘,'(‘,’)’,’`’,’!’,’?’,’<','!','>‘,’#’,’=’,’+’,’:’,’,’,’/’,’.’,’&’,’-‘,'{‘,’}’,'[‘,’]’,’|’])
then aSrcStr[Index + 1] := UpperCase(String(aSrcStr[Index + 1]))[1];
end;
Result := aSrcStr;
end;

{******************************************************************************
Timer1Timer
Fires periodically (orignally every 250ms), checks the clip board for text,
if it has changed, convert it to proper case and put the result in the
clipboard and the edit control.
******************************************************************************}
procedure TfrmCBFix.Timer1Timer(Sender: TObject);
begin // Timer1Timer
if Clipboard.HasFormat(CF_TEXT)
then begin
if (editCorrectedText.Text <> Clipboard.AsText)
then begin
editCorrectedText.Text := ProperCase(Clipboard.AsText);
Clipboard.AsText := editCorrectedText.Text;
end;
end;
end; // Timer1Timer [/delphi]
And you’re done!

Here are the files for this project:
http://www.TheCodeCave.com/downloads/delphi/CBFixerUpper.exe
http://www.TheCodeCave.com/downloads/delphi/CBFixerUpper.dpr
http://www.TheCodeCave.com/downloads/delphi/u_CBFix.dfm
http://www.TheCodeCave.com/downloads/delphi/u_CBFix.pas