New to Telerik UI for WPF? Download free 30-day trial

Clipboard Support

RadRichTextBox takes advantage of the clipboard support in WPF. As the clipboard keeps content in several formats, it is possible to choose which input to use and further customize the way the text will look when pasted. Selecting different options concerning how the styles are merged is also available. For more information about this functionality, check the Paste Options help topic.

Methods and Commands

RadRichTextBox's API exposes a method and a command for each of the three actions that can be performed against the clipboard: Cut, Copy and Paste.

Example 1: Using the exposed methods to interact with the clipboard


When building UI for the RichTextBox, the respective commands can be used:

Example 2: Wiring UI to the commands related to the clipboard

<telerik:RadToolBar DataContext="{Binding ElementName=editor, Path=Commands}"> 
  <telerik:RadRibbonButton telerik:ScreenTip.Title="Cut" 
               telerik:RadRichTextBoxRibbonUI.RichTextCommand="{Binding Path=CutCommand}"  
               Text="Cut" /> 
  <telerik:RadRibbonButton telerik:ScreenTip.Title="Copy" 
               telerik:RadRichTextBoxRibbonUI.RichTextCommand="{Binding Path=CopyCommand}"  
               Text="Copy" /> 
  <telerik:RadRibbonButton telerik:ScreenTip.Title="Paste" 
               telerik:RadRichTextBoxRibbonUI.RichTextCommand="{Binding Path=PasteCommand}" 
               Text="Paste" /> 

Note that the attached telerik:RadRichTextBoxRibbonUI.RichTextCommand property works only with Ribbon buttons. With regular RadButtons and other buttons, you should use their Command property instead.

Key Bindings

In order to copy, paste or cut, the standard keyboard shortcuts can also be used - Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X.

To learn more about the default key-bindings of the editor and ways to override them, you can refer to the Keyboard Support article.


By default, the PasteCommand of the editor uses its RtfFormatProvider and HtmlFormatProvider in order to create a RadDocument out of the document in the clipboard and insert it in the current document. That is why in order to be able to paste rich content, at least one of these two assemblies must be referenced:

  • Telerik.Windows.Documents.FormatProviders.Rtf.dll

  • Telerik.Windows.Documents.FormatProviders.Html.dll

More information on the use of the format providers for importing text can be found here: Format Providers

When the two format providers are referenced, the PasteCommand tries to create a document out of the RTF content of the clipboard. If it fails for some reason (e.g. the RTF is invalid or not supported by RtfFormatProvider), the paste falls back to HTML. In case HtmlFormatProvider cannot handle the clipboard content as well, the plain text from the clipboard will be inserted in the document.

You can customize this behavior by removing or reordering the clipboard handlers for the different formats.

Each Clipboard Handler contains the following properties:

  • DocumentFormatProvider: The format provider used to import the data in the clipboard, e.g. HtmlFormatProvider or RtfFormatProvider.

  • ClipboardDataFormat: The format of the data (DataFormats.Html or DataFormats.Rtf).

  • ClipboardStringFilter: A filter used to preprocess the data if needed. For example, the HTML that Word puts in the clipboard contains some headings which should be stripped in order to acquire the clean HTML content before passing it to a format provider. Such a filter is ClipboardEx.StripHtmlClipboardFormatHeaders, but you can also pass any Func.

For instance, here is how you can clear the default clipboard handlers and add only a handler which uses TxtFormatProvider. In this way only plain text will be pasted when you copy from a source such as another rich text editor or a browser.

Example 3: Change the ClipboardHandlers

ClipboardHandler clipboardHandler = new ClipboardHandler(); 
clipboardHandler.ClipboardDataFormat = DataFormats.Text; 
clipboardHandler.DocumentFormatProvider = new TxtFormatProvider(); 
Dim clipboardHandler As New ClipboardHandler() 
clipboardHandler.ClipboardDataFormat = DataFormats.Text 
clipboardHandler.DocumentFormatProvider = New TxtFormatProvider() 

You can also reorder the clipboard handlers to use first HTML paste and fallback to RTF instead of the other way around, or attach to different events of the format providers.

Working With the Content Inside the Clipboard

The API allows you to customize the content which is being copied or pasted in RadRichTextBox.

You can handle the CommandExecuting event so you can catch the moment of the operation's execution.

ClipboardEx Class

This class provides you with methods allowing you to easily work with the framework's Clipboard. The ClipboardEx class is static and is located in the Telerik.Windows.Documents.Base namespace. It exposes the following members:

  • ClipboardHandlers: Collection of ClipboardHandlers that will be used when getting rich-text content from the clipboard.

  • bool ContainsDocument(): A method determining whether the clipboard contains supported rich-text data.

  • bool ContainsText(KeyEventArgs pasteKeyEventArgs): A method determining whether the clipboard contains plain text. The method can be safely invoked with null parameter value.

  • DocumentFragment GetDocument(): Obtains a document from the clipboard using the registered ClipboardHandlers.

  • DocumentFragment GetDocument(out PasteSource? pasteSource): In addition to the previous overload, this one allows you to obtain information about the source that is resolved during the processing of the clipboard data. For more information about the different sources you can refer to the Paste Options help topic.

  • DocumentFragment GetDocumentFromClipboard(string dataFormat, Func<string, string> clipboardStringFilter = null): Gets document from clipboard using the specified data format. The clipboardStringFilter parameter is optional and it can be used when the data must be filtered before creating a document from it.

  • DocumentFragment GetDocumentFromClipboard(string dataFormat, out PasteSource? pasteSource, Func<string, string> clipboardStringFilter = null): In addition to the previous overload, this one allows you to obtain information about the source that is resolved during the processing of the clipboard data. For more information about the different sources you can refer to the Paste Options help topic.

  • string StripHtmlClipboardFormatHeaders(string clipboardText): Skips all lines in the beginning containing ':' (HTML clipboard format header). It can be used as a value for the clipboardStringFilter parameter of GetDocumentFromClipboard().

  • string GetText(): Gets plain text from the clipboard.

  • void SetDataObject(IDataObject dataObject): Places a specified data object on the system Clipboard.

  • void SetDocument(DocumentFragment documentFragment): Sets a document represented by a DocumentFragment instance to the system clipboard.

  • void SetText(string textData): Stores plain text data, specified as a string, in the system clipboard.

Example 4 shows how you can interrupt the Paste command of RadRichTextBox to perform some changes before adding the content inside the clipboard to the control.

Example 4: Working with the content of the clipboard

private void RadRichTextBox_CommandExecuting(object sender, CommandExecutingEventArgs e) 
    if (e.Command is PasteCommand) 
        e.Cancel = true; 
        // Obtain the document inside the clipboard 
        RadDocument document = ClipboardEx.GetDocument().ToDocument(); 
        // Change it according to your needs 
        RadDocumentEditor editor = new RadDocumentEditor(document); 
        // Insert it in RadRichTextBox 
        this.radRichTextBox.InsertFragment(new DocumentFragment(document)); 
Private Sub RadRichTextBox_CommandExecuting(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As CommandExecutingEventArgs) 
    If TypeOf e.Command Is PasteCommand Then 
        e.Cancel = True 
        Dim document As RadDocument = ClipboardEx.GetDocument().ToDocument() 
        Dim editor As RadDocumentEditor = New RadDocumentEditor(document) 
        Me.radRichTextBox.InsertFragment(New DocumentFragment(document)) 
    End If 
End Sub 

See Also

In this article