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Copy/Paste DNG Artifacts Outside DNG

David Reilly (69541) | asked Nov 07 '18, 10:19 a.m.
I've found it to be useful to be able to copy and paste content from one application to another. This goes for all applications - whether it be excel or to hyperlink a folder on a shared location. It's convenient and saves users time from creating and formatting content. 

In my experience, the copy commands within the browser version of DNG do not save a copy of the artifact in your OS clipboard. So when you paste in another application, it doesn't register your copied content. It seems the only way to copy artifacts to your clipboard for use outside of DNG is to select the artifact's text, right-click, and copy. The formatting of the output can be a little choppy, but it works. 

Is there some technical reason why the DNG clipboard and OS clipboard do not interact? To be clear, the expected copy/paste functionality is as such: If I select artifacts and CTRL+C or Right-Click - "Copy," I have the option to paste using the application clipboard (paste-special, other options available), or to use the system clipboard to paste as plain text elsewhere. 

Has anyone else experienced this or have anything to add? I'm using DNG v6.0.2 iFix015 by the way, so if this has been fixed in later releases, I'd be appreciate the notice.

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Keith Collyer (456511) | answered Nov 07 '18, 10:53 a.m.
edited Nov 07 '18, 10:53 a.m.
The Copy and Paste commands in DNG have to take notice of the structure of the artifacts in DNG, and this structure is meaningless to other applications. So if you copied an artifact with several attributes set, then pasted that into Word, for example, what would you expect to happen? What about links? What about if you copied several objects (for example a heading and its children)?
This is not unique to DNG, of course, any application with complex data structure will have this issue. It would not be impossible to overcome, but either you have a default paste of some representation of the structure or you have a myriad of paste options, as you do in Excel.
The complementary issue also arises. If you select some text in another application and Copy it onto the system clipboard, what should happen if you Paste into DNG (outside of a text editor)? Should it go into the currently selected artifact (into which attribute, add at the beginning of the attribute, at the end, overwrite any existing value?), create a new artifact (at what level?). What if you don't have an artifact selected, where should it go?

David Reilly commented Nov 07 '18, 11:16 a.m.

Hey Keith,

Thanks for addressing my question. You raise some really good points, certainly around pasting into DNG. I can see why that may be desired functionality, and without consistency, there's really no way to traverse outside content into DNG. 

For copying out, the user may have additional columns or hierarchies at play that wouldn't necessarily be maintained. I know when I copied two artifacts (parent and child) to test-paste into email there was an additional cell created by the pencil icon that changed the display. IMO the minimally viable solution would be just the artifact's ID (with context-sensitive hyperlink) and the artifact's text. It doesn't even have to be clean. Not sure if that is an over-simplification.

I think it's mainly useful to be able to share those context-sensitive links for users. I'm a big fan of hyperlinks, because it removes extra steps for either the messenger or audience. 

Thanks for entertaining the notion. 


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