Copy to named clipboard not working

I’m using Version 8.0.5. (Sorry if this isn’t the right place to report bugs, lmk and I can post elsewhere).

The copy to named clipboard feature just doesn’t seem to be working for me. I’m new to the app (and also not yet paying, but definitely plan on getting a license because this is awesome).


  • If I set the clipboard to trigger clipboard, then exit and come back in, it just resets to Unnamed named clipboard (which just seems to be the system clipboard)
  • If I tap New... in the drop down for clipboards, nothing happens (no popup or anything)

Currently, I’m just using copy for everything, but this clutters the clipboard.

Is this a known bug? Or am I doing something wrong? Thanks for any help!

Hi @plivesey,

Welcome to Keyboard Maestro! It’s perfectly fine to report bugs here, but I’m not yet sure that what you’re reporting is a bug. Can you share your full macro (instructions on how to do so can be found here) and tell us exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish?

Thanks @gglick . I'm trying to copy some text, but not add it to the system clipboard. Often what I actually want is just to assign the selected text to a variable, but it seems the way to do this is used a named clipboard. The feature just doesn't work at all though for me (I don't think).

In the screenshot here, when I tap Unnamed Named Clipboard, it brings up a drop down. When I tap on New..., nothing happens. I'd expect to be able to create a new named clipboard.

Keyboard Maestro 8.0.5 “Use a Named Clipboard” Action

Use a Named Clipboard.kmactions (521 B)

Hmm. I see what you mean about selecting "New…" in the named clipboard dropdown; selecting that doesn't do anything for me either except set the dropdown to the existing topmost named clipboard, so this may well be a bug.

That said, if your main goal is to assign selected text to a variable, there's no need to go through a named clipboard, as the system clipboard will work fine. If you want to avoid clutter in your clipboard history, just add a Delete Current System Clipboard action to the macro after the variable has been set.

Example Macro.kmmacros (1.5 KB)
49 AM

Yes, there is a problem selecting New… from the Named Clipboard menu. It is fixed for the next version.

In the mean time, just use the Preferences window and the Clipboards pane to adjust and name your Named Clipboards.

Would the clipboard bug reported and affirmed by Peter explain why after copying a date (e.g. 7/2/18) containing a forward slash ("/") and invoking this macro that the If statement fails to find the slash in the clipboard? I swear this macro used to work. The Display System Clipboard action clearly shows it to be 7/2/18.

Keyboard Maestro Actions.kmactions (13 KB)

No, there is no relation to that. It is nothing I've ever heard of, and a quick check doesn't show any issue with testing the clipboard for a /. The If condition you have requires both the Trigger and the System Clipboard to be correct, so you might like to investigate and make sure you know which one is false.

See the test results below with respect to your question about which variable fails the IF condition test which I had already verified. Also, as I previously noted, the Display System Clipboard statement shows me that the contents of the System Clipboard is the 7/2/18. I must be missing something, but I don't see it yet. What am I missing?

Date Format Conversion Test.kmmacros (40 KB)


By the way, I’m running KM version 8.0.5 and macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 on a MacBook Pro 2016.

The macro worked fine for me when I enabled it, and selected the date and some surrounding text from your message.

Where are you copying the date from? Maybe that makes a difference?


Great catch! The macro fails when I use it on text in MS Word and works fine when using it in TextEdit, Messages, PDFPenPro and MS Excel, BUT ONLY after I disable the Show System Clipboard debug statement. Otherwise, while the System Clipboard does have the targeted text and the IF condition is met (i.e. TRUE), the PASTE fails. I subsequently checked the forum and see there is documentation of a MS Word copy/paste issue. However, I don’t see yet how to apply a work around for this macro.



Just to be clear, my prior statement was trying to communicate that the macro works outside of MS Word text as long as I don’t include the debug statement.

Is there a workaround for this issue when in MS Word?

Was on vacation for a few days, but the workarounds proposed work great! Thanks so much for the help…seems like it’s time for me to buy :wink:

1 Like

The macro (as posted above, with the Display Clipboard actions disabled) works fine for me in 10.12.6 with the current version of Microsoft Word.


I’m running MS Word for Mac 2011 v14.7.3 on macOS 10.12.6 and KeyboardMaestro 8.1.1. Is my version of MS Word is the difference? Which version of MS Word are you using successfully?

Thank you

Maybe, that is an old version I am using MS Word 16.10, © 2017.


I’ll see if I can update my version of MS Word, but is there a KM workaround for the copy/paste issue in my version of MS Word if I’m unable to update it?

That’s impossible for me to answer without having access to the old version of Word. Perhaps someone else still has that version?

Hey @KM_Panther,

You can get the content of the selection without using the clipboard with AppleScript:

tell application "Microsoft Word"
   return content of the selection
end tell

I'm finding this method pastes reliably with Word from Office 2011 on my system:

Paste Text into Microsoft Word.kmmacros (4.6 KB)

It is also possible to SET the selection using AppleScript and bypassing paste.

tell application "Microsoft Word"
   set content of selection to "Your Text..."
end tell

The general style of the text selected IN Word will be preserved.