Better copy/paste in Firefox

Select, right-click, copy, switch, right-click paste. Rinse. This is the typical copy/paste procedure we all repeat several times a day and one worth looking for ways to make it more efficient.

Here are a few ways Firefox users can enhance good old copy/paste.

One click paste

You can set the mouse wheel button to paste whatever text you have in the clipboard to a text box in a page or Firefox chrome such as the location or search bars:

  1. Enter about:config in the location bar
  2. Look for autocopy.optPasteOnMiddleClick preference
  3. Double click on it to set it to true


One click copy

When you select some text in a web page, it’s most likely you intend to copy it and paste it somewhere else. AutoCopy, is a Firefox extension created by Michael Lidman, that automatically copies to the clipboard whatever you select in a web page so you don’t need to right click on the selection and then choose Copy from the context menu.

Autocopy includes an option to enable middle-click pasting as the tip above and options to enable or disable it from the status bar, paste directly to the search or location bars and keeps a history of recent clipboard entries.

Copy open pages addresses in a lot of one clicks

Tab URL Copier extension menuNeed to share the web address of the pages you have currently opened? Inhale and prepare for a copy-paste- switch-tab-repeat marathon… or install Tab URL Copier, a Firefox extension created by Thomas Gibbons that adds an option to the tab context menu to copy all open tabs web addresses in one click.

Unfortunately, I found the bonus time saving feature that allows to open tabs with web addresses currently in the clipboard to be broken in version

Copy many link addresses in one click

Copy Links, is a Firefox extension by JackieKu that adds an option to the page and selection context menus to copy all linked web addresses in the current page to the clipboard or just in the current selection.

Snap Links is a promising extension that lets you not just copy but also open several links at a time by drawing a rectangle around them but I felt it too shaky right now to recommend.

Copy in different formats

Extended Copy Menu context menu optionsWhen copying, sometimes you just need the text and not the color, size, style or any other format. Some other times you may want the actual HTML code to have an accurate copy of the original content and save some time. For either case, Extended Copy Menu, by Ryan Cook, helps with a couple of additions to the context menu to copy the selection as plain text or full HTML code for real time saving.

11 thoughts on “Better copy/paste in Firefox”

  1. BBCode by Jed Brown & Mel Reyes (aka mrtech) is much better than Extended Copy Menu. You can paste BBCode, HTML, XHTML, Symbols and custom entries. It’s even compatible with Firefox 3.0b5.

  2. Does anyone know how clipboard.autocopy in about:config work?
    I thought it would do similar task as autocopy extension, but it doesn’t work for me.
    (I am using Firefox 3 beta 5 + win XP)

  3. Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9pre) Gecko/2008041404 Minefield/3.0pre ID:2008041404

    Suggested extensions no available for download at AMO Now what!?

  4. In my Fx the autocopy.optPasteOnMiddleClick preference doesn’t exist. Even if I create it, that doesn’t work.

    However the middlemouse.paste pref seems to do the job.

    And what about the preference clipboard.autocopy?

  5. Autocopy works great for copy/paste in the body of web page,
    and paste into Location box, but does not seem to work
    copying from Location box.

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