ACC2000: How to Send Information to the Clipboard

Advanced: Requires expert coding, interoperability, and multiuser skills.

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) and to a Microsoft Access project (.adp).


Microsoft Access does not have a command that sends information to the Clipboard. To post information to the Clipboard, you need to define a Visual Basic for Applications function that calls several Microsoft Windows API functions. This article shows you how to create a function that copies text to the Clipboard.

More Information

To copy information to the Clipboard, follow these steps:

NOTE: You may have some Microsoft Windows API functions defined in an existing Microsoft Access library; therefore, your declarations may be duplicates. If you receive a duplicate procedure name error message, remove or comment out the declarations statement in your code.
Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
  1. Start Microsoft Access and open any database or project.
  2. Create a module and type or paste the following lines in the Declarations section:
    Declare Function GlobalUnlock Lib "kernel32" (ByVal hMem As Long) _
    As Long
    Declare Function GlobalLock Lib "kernel32" (ByVal hMem As Long) _
    As Long
    Declare Function GlobalAlloc Lib "kernel32" (ByVal wFlags As Long, _
    ByVal dwBytes As Long) As Long
    Declare Function CloseClipboard Lib "User32" () As Long
    Declare Function OpenClipboard Lib "User32" (ByVal hwnd As Long) _
    As Long
    Declare Function EmptyClipboard Lib "User32" () As Long
    Declare Function lstrcpy Lib "kernel32" (ByVal lpString1 As Any, _
    ByVal lpString2 As Any) As Long
    Declare Function SetClipboardData Lib "User32" (ByVal wFormat _
    As Long, ByVal hMem As Long) As Long

    Public Const GHND = &H42
    Public Const CF_TEXT = 1
    Public Const MAXSIZE = 4096
  3. Type or paste the following procedure:
    Function ClipBoard_SetData(MyString As String)
    Dim hGlobalMemory As Long, lpGlobalMemory As Long
    Dim hClipMemory As Long, X As Long

    ' Allocate moveable global memory.
    hGlobalMemory = GlobalAlloc(GHND, Len(MyString) + 1)

    ' Lock the block to get a far pointer
    ' to this memory.
    lpGlobalMemory = GlobalLock(hGlobalMemory)

    ' Copy the string to this global memory.
    lpGlobalMemory = lstrcpy(lpGlobalMemory, MyString)

    ' Unlock the memory.
    If GlobalUnlock(hGlobalMemory) <> 0 Then
    MsgBox "Could not unlock memory location. Copy aborted."
    GoTo OutOfHere2
    End If

    ' Open the Clipboard to copy data to.
    If OpenClipboard(0&) = 0 Then
    MsgBox "Could not open the Clipboard. Copy aborted."
    Exit Function
    End If

    ' Clear the Clipboard.
    X = EmptyClipboard()

    ' Copy the data to the Clipboard.
    hClipMemory = SetClipboardData(CF_TEXT, hGlobalMemory)


    If CloseClipboard() = 0 Then
    MsgBox "Could not close Clipboard."
    End If

    End Function

  4. To test this function, type the following line in the Immediate window, and then press ENTER.

    ? ClipBoard_SetData("To Clipboard")
    Press CTRL+V (the shortcut for Paste) and note that "To Clipboard" is pasted into the Immediate window from the Clipboard.


For more information about declaring Windows API functions, in the Visual Basic Editor, click Microsoft Visual Basic Help on the Help menu, type declare statement in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.