This site lists the protips that we shared with students during our courses

View the Project on GitHub appliedtechnology/protips

Copy and pasting in the terminal

A very short, but super-handy tip, came to mind today.

Pasting stuff into a new file

Let’s say that you are, as I am right now, reading a tutorial. It says something like: Create file with this content and then list 260 lines of HTML and CSS. Now you have to copy that code, create file with Visual Studio code by right-clicking and selecting New file…, name the file and then paste that code in there, format it, and save the file.

Yeah, if you were a loser not using the terminal that is

With the handy pbpaste command you can do all of that in one go. Do this

pbpaste > index.html

This will create a file called index.html and put whatever you have on your clipboard (Command+C’ed) in that file. Easy, fast, fun.

Please note that, in true bash way, no questions will be asked. Whatever index.html contained before you ran this command is now gone. No undo to be done.

Copying stuff from a file

You might have the opposite situation where you have created amazing code, as I have not right now, and want to share it to the world.

You can get stuff into your clipboard, without opening the file, selecting the code and Command+C the whole thing.

pbcopy < index.html


The content of index.html is now on your clipboard to be pasted in that blog post you were writing.

Bonus - create an empty file

Another thing that is suprisingly handy is to just create an empty file. This is done with touch

touch index.html

A good thing with touch is that it will create the file if it doesn’t exists, but not overwrite it with an empty file if it does exists.