EnumClipboardFormats function

Enumerates the data formats currently available on the clipboard.

Clipboard data formats are stored in an ordered list. To perform an enumeration of clipboard data formats, you make a series of calls to the EnumClipboardFormats function. For each call, the format parameter specifies an available clipboard format, and the function returns the next available clipboard format.


UINT EnumClipboardFormats(
  UINT format



Type: UINT

A clipboard format that is known to be available.

To start an enumeration of clipboard formats, set format to zero. When format is zero, the function retrieves the first available clipboard format. For subsequent calls during an enumeration, set format to the result of the previous EnumClipboardFormats call.

Return Value

Type: UINT

If the function succeeds, the return value is the clipboard format that follows the specified format, namely the next available clipboard format.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError. If the clipboard is not open, the function fails.

If there are no more clipboard formats to enumerate, the return value is zero. In this case, the GetLastError function returns the value ERROR_SUCCESS. This lets you distinguish between function failure and the end of enumeration.


You must open the clipboard before enumerating its formats. Use the OpenClipboard function to open the clipboard. The EnumClipboardFormats function fails if the clipboard is not open.

The EnumClipboardFormats function enumerates formats in the order that they were placed on the clipboard. If you are copying information to the clipboard, add clipboard objects in order from the most descriptive clipboard format to the least descriptive clipboard format. If you are pasting information from the clipboard, retrieve the first clipboard format that you can handle. That will be the most descriptive clipboard format that you can handle.

The system provides automatic type conversions for certain clipboard formats. In the case of such a format, this function enumerates the specified format, then enumerates the formats to which it can be converted. For more information, see Standard Clipboard Formats and Synthesized Clipboard Formats.


For an example, see Example of a Clipboard Viewer.


Windows version Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only] Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header winuser.h (include Windows.h)
Library User32.lib
DLL User32.dll

See Also