OS: Kubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 18.04

I want to remove the first seven characters of certain strings I copy. For example, I want to first copy and then convert




I can do so with the following code:

xsel -b -o | cut -c 8-

I can put the code into a simple script and can run that script successfully in a terminal.

xsel -b -o | cut -c 8-

But that does not help to paste the modified contents into a GUI-based text file . So I assigned keyboard shortcuts to the code directly or to the corresponding script. But either way, nothing happens in Kubuntu 18.04 or in Ubuntu 18.04 when I press the assigned keyboard shortcut.


bash -c 'xsel -b -o | cut -c 8-'

does not work.

Why is that? Is is something peculiar to xsel (and to xclip which poses the same issue)?

  • Keyboard shortcuts don't run in a shell, so you can not use stuff like pipes directly. You need to wrap the command in a bash -c '...' then or put it in a script file which you can call. Also as it is, your script/command outputs to the console, which is nonexistent when it runs as a keyboard shortcut. What do you want to happen with the result? Put it back into the clipboard? Append it to a fixed text file? Pop up a notification? You can also automatically watch for clipboard events and modify the contents instantly without extra shortcut, if that is what you need. Please clarify. – Byte Commander Nov 12 '18 at 14:19
  • I tried the bash -c route as well but had the same result. I want the modified string to be pasted into a GUI-based text editor or the terminal. No, I don't want to automatically watch for clipboard events. – DK Bose Nov 12 '18 at 14:27
  • 1
    Use xdotool in your bash script to simulate keystrokes for cutting and pasting text in your application, i.e. xdotool key ctrl+x to cut text to the clipboard – vanadium Nov 12 '18 at 14:42

This script works when bound to a keyboard shortcut:


xsel -b -o | cut -c 8- | tr -d '\n' | xsel -b -i

After running the script, the trimmed string can be pasted into the destination file using standard paste methods.

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