[R] Problem with Windows clipboard and UTF-8

Andrew Hart @h@rt @end|ng |rom d|m@uch||e@c|
Fri Sep 30 15:05:07 CEST 2022

Hi everyone,

Recently I upgraded to R 4.2.1 which now uses UTF-8 internally as its 
native encoding. Very nice. However, I've discovered that if I use 
writeClipboard to try and move a string containing accented characters 
to the Windows clipboard and then try and paste that into another 
application (e.g. notepad, Eclipse, etc.), the accents turn out all 
garbled. Here's an example:

Pasting the result into this e-mail message yields

As near as I can tell, the problem seems to have something to do with 
the format parameter of writeClipboard. By default, format has a value 
of 1, which tells the clipboard to receive Text in the machine's locale. 
If I set format=13 in the call, the accents transfer to the clipboard 

writeClipboard("categoría", format=13)
and the result is

It seems that format=13 may be a better default now that R is using 
UTF-8. It would be nice not to have to specify the format every time I 
want to copy text to the clipboard with writeClipboard.

Is writeClipboard supposed to perform any kind of encoding conversion or 
is the format parameter merely informing the clipboard of the kind of 
payload it's being handed?

Btw, with pre-4.2.0 versions of R, this wasn't a problem. I am very much 
in favour of R using some kind of Unicode encoding natively, but this 
wrinkle seems to be something the user shouldn't have to deal with since 
the Windows clipboard is capable of holding Unicode text. Any advice 
would be gratefully received.


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