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A temporary memory area, used to transfer information within a document being edited or between documents or between programs. The fundamental operations are "cut" which moves data from a document to the clipboard, "copy" which copies it to the clipboard, and "paste" which inserts the clipboard contents into the current document in place of the current selection.
Different Graphical User Interfaces vary in how they handle the different types of data which a user might want to transfer via the clipboard, some (e.g. the X Window System) support only plain text, others (e.g. NEXTSTEP) support arbitrarily typed data such as images.