VBA Code : Copy Text to Clipboard

This article shows how to copy a string to clipboard using VBA code. Those who are new to VBA programming language, VBA (Visual Basic for Application) is mainly used to automate repetitive tasks using MS Office applications (MS Excel, Word, Powerpoint etc). There are many times you need to copy some text to clipboard without storing it in a cell or variable.

How to use VBA Code
  1. Open Excel Workbook
  2. Press ALT + F11 shortcut key to open visual basic editor (VBE)
  3. To insert a module, go to Insert > Module
  4. Paste the complete VBA script below
VBA Code to Copy Text to Clipboard
Many popular blogs show how you can copy content to clipboard using method of Microsoft Forms 2.0 Object Library but it does not work anymore as it returns two question marks. To workaround this issue we need to rely on API by Microsoft. The program below uses the API and code is broken down into two sections - Declaration of API, user-defined function.

MS Excel 2010 or above uses VBA7 version. If you are still using MS Excel 2007 or below, it supports VBA 6.5 or below versions.
Option Explicit

#If VBA7 Then
  Declare PtrSafe Function GlobalUnlock Lib "kernel32" (ByVal hMem As LongPtr) As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function GlobalLock Lib "kernel32" (ByVal hMem As LongPtr) As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function GlobalAlloc Lib "kernel32" (ByVal wFlags As LongPtr, ByVal dwBytes As LongPtr) As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function CloseClipboard Lib "User32" () As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function OpenClipboard Lib "User32" (ByVal hwnd As LongPtr) As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function EmptyClipboard Lib "User32" () As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function lstrcpy Lib "kernel32" (ByVal lpString1 As Any, ByVal lpString2 As Any) As Long
  Declare PtrSafe Function SetClipboardData Lib "User32" (ByVal wFormat As LongPtr, ByVal hMem As LongPtr) As Long
#Else
  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
#End If

  Public Const GHND = &H42
  Public Const CF_TEXT = 1
  Public Const MAXSIZE = 4096

Public Function CopyToClipBoard(mytext As String) As Boolean

    Dim hGlobalMemory As Long
    Dim lpGlobalMemory As Long
    Dim hClipMemory As Long
    Dim X As Long
    
    On Error GoTo ExitWithError_

    ' Allocate moveable global memory
    hGlobalMemory = GlobalAlloc(GHND, Len(mytext) + 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, mytext)

    ' Unlock the memory
    If GlobalUnlock(hGlobalMemory) <> 0 Then
        MsgBox "Memory location could not be unlocked. Clipboard copy aborted", vbCritical, "API Clipboard Copy"
        GoTo ExitWithError_
    End If

    ' Open the Clipboard to copy data to
    If OpenClipboard(0&) = 0 Then
        MsgBox "Clipboard could not be opened. Copy aborted!", vbCritical, "API Clipboard Copy"
        GoTo ExitWithError_
    End If

    ' Clear the Clipboard
    X = EmptyClipboard()

    ' Copy the data to the Clipboard
    hClipMemory = SetClipboardData(CF_TEXT, hGlobalMemory)
    CopyToClipBoard = True
    
    If CloseClipboard() = 0 Then
        MsgBox "Clipboard could not be closed!", vbCritical, "API Clipboard Copy"
    End If
    Exit Function
ExitWithError_:
    On Error Resume Next
    If Err.Number > 0 Then MsgBox "Clipboard error: " & Err.Description, vbCritical, "API Clipboard Copy"
    CopyToClipBoard = False

End Function
Examples to use the above function
The code below is the most basic example how you can copy the text and paste to cell A1.
Sub Example1()
    
    ' Copy Content
    CopyToClipBoard ("Hello, how are you?")
    
    'Paste
    Range("A1").Select
    ActiveSheet.Paste
    
    'Message when done
    MsgBox "Task Accomplished", vbInformation

End Sub
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Deepanshu founded ListenData with a simple objective - Make analytics easy to understand and follow. He has over 10 years of experience in data science. During his tenure, he has worked with global clients in various domains like Banking, Insurance, Private Equity, Telecom and Human Resource.

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