An Example of the Async Clipboard API with Vue.js

An Example of the Async Clipboard API with Vue.js

A few days ago Google shipped Chrome 66 and one of the new features enabled in that version was the Async Clipboard API. As you can guess, this provides access to the user’s clipboard (both read and write) and is surprisingly easy to use.

You can read a good introduction to the API here, Unblocking Clipboard Access, but don’t do what I did and stop reading as soon as you see the code. The example looks really simple:

navigator.clipboard.writeText('Text to be copied')
  .then(() => {
    console.log('Text copied to clipboard');
  })
  .catch(err => {
    // This can happen if the user denies clipboard permissions:
    console.error('Could not copy text: ', err);
  });

That’s writing to the clipboard in case it isn’t obvious. When I tried this code it failed and the error was very vague (“Undefined”). Reading more on the article above, you’ll see this is actually documented:

As with many new APIs, navigator.clipboard is only supported for pages served over HTTPS. To help prevent abuse, clipboard access is only allowed when a page is the active tab.

And then a bit later…

Since Chrome only allows clipboard access when a page is the current active tab, you'll find some of the examples here don't run quite right if pasted directly into DevTools, since DevTools itself is the active tab.

I feel bad missing that, but it’s not like this is the first time I saw code and stopped reading so I could play with it right away.

So - want to see an example using Vue.js? Of course you do! Imagine a scenario where we have generated a code for our user. We want to make it easier to use so when we can, we’ll provide a button to copy it into their clipboard. First, the HTML:

<div id="app" v-cloak>
  Your cool code:
  <input v-model="code">
  <button v-if="supportsCB" @click="copy">Copy</button>
  <div v-if="message">{{message}}</div>
</div>

Make note of the button. It’s checking a property to see if it should show up. Now let’s look at the JavaScript.

const app = new Vue({
  el:'#app',
  data() {
    return {
      code:'vueIsBetterThanPBJ',
      supportsCB:false,
      message:''
    }
  },
  created() {
    if(navigator.clipboard) {
      this.supportsCB = true;
    }
  },
  methods:{
    copy() {
      navigator.clipboard.writeText(this.code)
        .then(() => {
          console.log('Text is on the clipboard.');
          this.message = 'Code copied to clipboard.';
        })
      .catch(e => {
        console.error(e);
        this.message = 'Sorry, unable to copy to clipboard.'
      });    
    }
  }
})

I begin by using the created hook to see if navigator.clipboard exists. If so, I then enable the button by setting the supportsCB property to true. Note that I could make this a bit more secure by checking with the permissions API as well.

Next - I define my copy method using the writeText call. When done, either successfully or with a failure, I edit a message to let the user know. That may be overkill, but I figured a confirmation would be nice. You can play with this below, but obviously you’ll want to use Chrome 66.

See the Pen vue async clipboard by Raymond Camden (@cfjedimaster) on CodePen.

Header photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate looking for his next gig. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

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