If an isCOBOL program needs to use the current data from the clipboard, and that isCOBOL program has an active screen, it is simple to do using the action-paste action of an entry-field.
The basic code to place the data from the Clipboard into an entry-field and then get it from the entry-field to a variable is as follows:
modify ef-clipboard value spaces
modify ef-clipboard action action-paste
inquire ef-clipboard value ws-clipboard
The variable ws-clipboard would be defined as:
01 ws-clipboard pic x any length.
And the ef-clipboard entry-field would be defined with the property visible 0 to be invisible.
The screen might look like this.
For example, if you copy text (ctrl-c) from a file you are editing in notepad and then you press the push-button on the screen, the clipboard data will be written to ws-clipboard using the code above.
Then you can display to a message box (or use for any needed business logic in a real program).
You can download the complete sample program attached below that demonstrates this functionality.
Compile it with this command line:
iscc -sp="%iscobol%sampleisdef" copyfromclipboard.cbl
Run it with this command line: