Best short cut for copy and paste.

This may be OT, if so please forgive but I am asking for some help please.

I am filling in the tag entry fields for tagging using EasyTag. I have a cast list and an artist list with voice, for example:-

Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano).

I could highlight each cast member, ctrl-c, put cursor in the required field and ctrl-v to enter. I would need to do this separately for each item because the cast will be in the Title field but the artist will be in the artist field and they appear in different orders in the artist field depending on the track. This is slow and very unreliable as it is easy to miss and end character when highlighting for copying.

What I think I need is to be able to place cursor in required position in the field and then enter a special character or key sequence to insert the required entry. I would need to set up the required key sequence for each cast member etc. in advance but then the process should be quicker and more reliable.

I know there are ways of doing this in a word processor but I want to have a much simpler application such as Kate. I would need say at least 20 different entries. Please could somebody suggest my best choice.

Many thanks,

It is not quite clear to me what you want, but copy/paste in an X windows environment is done by selecting the to be copied text with the mouse (left button down at one side of the text, move to the other side and lift button), then left cliick on the point where it should be inserted (the text cursor then shows there) and then click middle button to insert.

I also do not understand clearly what you are asking for, but…

I suspect that your data is fundamentally in a space delimited data format.
In plain words, it means that each entry is a single line with the specific information in the same order, and each piece of data is something like last name, first name, voice group, maybe more.

If that is the case, then your problem and solution is likely based on possible sorting and parsing…

First sorting…
Many people with limited programming skills can often import the data into a spreadsheet and use the spreadsheet headers to sort data by the data in various columns.
If you can sort the data in a way that you can group entries, then instead of individual selection (ctl-click), you can select an entire group (shft-click) and apply an operation against all the selections at once.
And, if you can sort the data effectively in a spreadsheet, sometimes the spreadsheet app is also smart enough if you were to modify a single cell, you can “drag” the change across numerous adjacent cells and automatically apply the change… Depending on the change it might duplicate your edit or it might recognize a sequence and extend the sequence.

As for applying a specified modification at some point in the row of data, unless you have a spreadsheet tool like Microsoft’s Excel that can do Pivot Tables you might consider sed.
Sed is powerful, even if you have limited experience in programming you can do an Internet search for the type of logic you require and modify for your own use.
If you are able to express your required functionality by parsing and using a tool like sed, then you would use any of the looping methods to automate applying to your data.


Hi Tsu,
None of my data lends itself to automation. What I have to use is the sleeve information which gives me the cast etc and the libretto notes in order to be able to enter the data in the required fields for each file in the work manually. For example say the Title and Artist fields for the file are something along the lines of:-

Title 09 Part 1, Aria Juditha, Quo *** Patriae me ducit amore
Artist Anne Murray (mezzo-soprano)

I need to be able to put the cursor in the artist field and then be able to press something like Ctrl+A to have the field filled by Anne Murray (mezzo-soprano). In other words there is something like a macro to enter the phrase with one action, ie Ctrl+A.

This would require the phrases to be stored in some way so I may enter in accordance with the file requirement.
Does that make it clearer?

Sorry if once again I failed to make my problem clear but thanks for the reminder on copy and paste.

As I suggested,
If your data can be manipulated in a spreadsheet, you can avoid or minimize any programming and key-strokes.
Probably the first thing to explore is if you can import your data into a spreadsheet application.
If you can, then the next step is if you can sort you entries in any meaningful way by simply clicking on the column headers (all spreadsheet apps I know will sort one way, ascending or descending). Clicking on the header again should reverse the sorting order.

Your main objective is to see if you can group your entries so that rows you want to insert something are adjacent to each other.
If you can achieve that, then you would type your new data into a new cell for the top row.
Then, grabbing the handle of that cell, drag down the column to the last row in your series, and all the cells should automatically populate (copy if only one cell is chosen).
Note that you should generally not paste the new data into an existing cell if you’re appending and not replacing… It’s bad practice to mix your data so that you can preserve your options for manipulating data.

If your data doesn’t sort easily as I described, you can still enable the above by temporarily setting up a new column and using a single letter to mark rows of data you intend to group together. Typing a single letter is easier than typing or even doing a complex keystroke to paste. Later, once you’ve completed the above, inserting your new data, you can remove your temporary single characters that were used as a temporary index and in the future sort by the full data you inserted.



Hi Tsu,
I regret my description has created more problems and I shall try again. Since I started my searches and reading suggests that what I need is a series of simple templates, each containing a phrase and which can be entered by respective short cut keys.

I could probably use LibreOffice but I am looking for a much simpler editor if possible which can work with several templates.

I only suggested using a spreadsheet app because if you can tap its powerful functionality, a lot of manual work can be avoided… Plus, at least what I described can help guide a person not to mix data in a single data object which is generally an important practice.

But, for what you might want, you’ll need to describe an example of what you want for a single entry which could then be replicated…

First, don’t describe your data entry in multiple rows, describe in a single row. If your data is space (or tab) delineated, so much the better but adjustments can be made if you can just describe this in your own way. Note that multiple rows is usually only a formatting issue but can also describe a hierarchy feature, but let’s set that possibility aside in the beginning.

Then, describe in excruciating step one at a time, what data you want to be inserted and where.
The result of course should still be in a single row.
Repeat each insert as necessary with its desired result.


IMHO this is not a copy-paste issue, but lack of understanding how Easytag works ( can work ). It’s a matter of constructing the right pattern in the tagger. Autofil also works better on a folder structure like Artist - Album - Tracks… Also have a good look around in the patterns/tags/rename editor. It always takes me some time but I get it to do what it should do.