Powerful web applications would like to exchange data with native applications via the OS clipboard (copy-paste). The existing Web Platform has a high-level API that supports the most popular standardized data types (text, image, rich text) across all platforms. However, this API does not scale to the long tail of specialized formats. In particular, non-web-standard formats like TIFF (a large image format), and proprietary formats like .docx (a document format), are not supported by the current Web Platform.
Raw Clipboard Access aims to provide a low-level API solution to this problem, by implementing copying and pasting of data with any arbitrary Clipboard type, without encoding and decoding.
This could be used by:
- Online editors like Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365, copy/paste OpenOffice or Microsoft Word documents/spreadsheets/presentations (proprietary formats).
- Figma or Photopea, to copy/paste PhotoShop/GIMP, GIFs, or RAW images, or already-supported formats with not-supported metadata (long tail of metadata).
- Web Apps supporting “niche” types, like LaTeX, .ogg, etc (long tail of formats).
The existing Async Clipboard API’s re-encoding is still encouraged for use cases requiring only generic types, and easier to use as custom encoders/decoders would not be necessary, but raw clipboard access allows web applications with more specific or sophisticated clipboard support needs to meet those needs.