(xemacs.info)X Cut Buffers
9.6.3 X Cut Buffers
X cut buffers are a different, older way of transferring text between
applications. XEmacs supports cut buffers for compatibility with older
programs, even though selections are now the preferred way of
X has a concept of applications "owning" selections. When you select
text by clicking and dragging inside an application, the application
tells the X server that it owns the selection. When another
application asks the X server for the value of the selection, the X
server requests the information from the owner. When you use
selections, the selection data is not actually transferred unless
someone wants it; the act of making a selection doesn't transfer data.
Cut buffers are different: when you "own" a cut buffer, the data is
actually transferred to the X server immediately, and survives the
lifetime of the application.
Any time a region of text becomes the primary selection in Emacs,
Emacs also copies that text to the cut buffer. This makes it possible
to copy text from an XEmacs buffer and paste it into an older,
non-selection-based application (such as Emacs 18).
Note: Older versions of Emacs could not access the X selections, only
the X cut buffers.
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