How to "copy on drag" text in Windows 7?
February 7, 2013 2:10 PM   Subscribe

I need to copy text between a commercial text editor (TextPad 6.1.3 by Helios) and a home brew program used by my company. When I try to do this now, the highlighted text is moved/cut rather than copied. Is there a Windows 7 or TextPad setting I can use to force the behavior to copy rather than cut the text?

Haven't had much luck with google, hoping there's a simple solution here. Some more possibly relevant details:

The Java program used by my company has an edit window which is the target of the text I want to copy. Changes to this program are not immediately possible so while I would be interested in hearing about them for future use, I'm more interested in Windows or TextPad settings I can alter immediately (if there are any of course).

Right clicking in the TextPad window doesn't bring up any obvious solutions. I'm not looking for "right click to copy", or keyboard shortcuts. I'm looking to alter the behavior on "highlight/drag". If there's another text editor that I can use which has the copy/drag behavior I'd be interested in that. Many thanks.
posted by moxiequz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Normally select-drag is cut/move and select-ctrl-drag is copy.
posted by aubilenon at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2013

Thanks aubilenon! Is there any way to reverse/change that behavior in Windows? I'd really like the select-drag to result in copy without having to use the keyboard.
posted by moxiequz at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2013

I don't believe there is any way to change that. If you have a fancy mouse with extra buttons you might be able to map one of them to do ctrl-click - that's the only thing I can think of.
posted by aubilenon at 2:49 PM on February 7, 2013

That's going to be application specific, not Windows 7 specific. When I tried any of those in Windows Notepad, nothing worked. Everything just modified the selection.

When I tried it in Wordpad, select, left-click, drag would cut-n-paste, as would select, right-click, drag. In Word 2003, select, left-click, drag also gave me cut-n-paste, however, select, right-click, drag would move the text and then give an immediate popup asking whether I wanted to copy, cut or create a link. However, going from Word to Wordpad, I AM able to select, right-click and drag to make a copy. If it do it in the other direction, both programs seem to lock up.

If I go from Word to this edit window, both left-drag and right-drag move the text rather than copying it.

So you are going to have to find a text editor that will do what you want. And that assumes the Java program is set to properly accept this kind of "paste".
posted by gjc at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2013

I have TextPad. If you make the file read-only, it won't cut the text from a document when you drag it out. You can make a file read-only without leaving TextPad by double-clicking on the word "Read" in the lower right corner.
posted by dhalgren at 3:17 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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