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Why does yEd lock the system clipboard?

+1 vote

When using yEd, it applies some sort of lock to the system clipboard - this is apparent from Excel which gives the prompt (“There's a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste your content within this workbook.").

I have researched this and am sure that it is not a Microsoft/Excel problem, but consistently occurs when yEd is running with a document open.  It can be immediately resolved by closing yEd.

A test to demonstrate the problem:  Open both a yEd document and Excel spreadsheet.  Select any range of more than one cell in the spreadsheet.  Using the mouse, drag the selection to move the cell contents to other cells.  The error message will show.  If you close yEd and repeat the spreadsheet task, it will work immedately without error.


in Help by (130 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
We finally found time to investigate this issue.

Let me start by clarifying that yEd does not lock the system clipboard at all. However, yEd does check for clipboard content changes. As far as I can tell, doing so does not violate any operating system coding guidelines.

However, when moving multiple cells in Excel, Excel sometimes (but not always) copies an image representation of the moved cells (and their content) to the system clipboard. Since this changes the clipboard's contents, this copy operation triggers the check in yEd. As part of the check, yEd tries to determine if the clipboard contains image data. The check for image data seems to trigger the Excel notification "There's a problem with the clipboard, ...".

Given the above information, we believe this to be an Excel problem. Excel not always performing the copy operation is also a strong indication to us that something is not working as it should in Excel (otherwise moving cells would either always copy an image to the system clipboard or never).
by [yWorks] (160k points)
yEd also interferes with copy-paste in Anki. This is presumably Anki's fault as for Excel, but I just wanted to make you aware that it's not just Excel that has a bad interaction with an yEd's use of the clipboard.
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