Carl Carl - 2 months ago 9
AppleScript Question

Getting RTF data out of Mac OS X pasteboard (clipboard)

According to the

page for

-Prefer {txt | rtf | ps}
tells pbpaste what type of data to look for in the pasteboard
first. As stated above, pbpaste normally looks first for plain
text data; however, by specifying -Prefer ps you can tell
pbpaste to look first for Encapsulated PostScript. If you spec-
ify -Prefer rtf, pbpaste looks first for Rich Text format. In
any case, pbpaste looks for the other formats if the preferred
one is not found. The txt option replaces the deprecated ascii
option, which continues to function as before. Both indicate a
preference for plain text.

However (in my experience with 10.6 Snow Leopard at least),
pbpaste -Prefer rtf
never, ever gives up the RTF data even when it exists on the pasteboard. Is there any other simple way to get the RTF text of whatever’s ready to be pasted?

I tried AppleScript, but
osascript -e 'the clipboard as «class RTF »'
gives the response
«data RTF 7B
ton of Hex encoded crap
. Can AppleScript convert this hexdata into text I can play with?


I can't see any way to do it from inside AppleScript, but since you're working in the shell anyway, I'd just post-process it: the "hex-encoded crap" is the RTF data you want. The simplest script I can think of is

perl -ne 'print chr foreach unpack("C*",pack("H*",substr($_,11,-3)))'

An explanation: substr($_,11,-3) strips off the «data RTF and »\n bits (each of the guillemets is two bytes); pack("H*", ...) packs hex-encoded data into a bytestream; unpack("C*", ...) unpacks a bytestream into an array of character values; print chr foreach ... converts each integer in the array to its corresponding character and prints it; and the -ne options evaluate the script given for each line, with that line implicitly stored in $_. (If you want that script in its own file, just make sure the shebang line is #!/usr/bin/perl -ne.) Then, running

osascript -e 'the clipboard as «class RTF »' | \
  perl -ne 'print chr foreach unpack("C*",pack("H*",substr($_,11,-3)))'

will give you raw RTF output.