I press the left button of my mouse and drag. This way I can select up to one display-size piece of text in Xterm and then copy it (I set up to be able doing it with Ctrl+Shift+C).

However, when I start scrolling with my mouse middle button, the selection stops. So I cannot select and copy more than one screen. How can this be cured (without using e.g. tmux)? Here is my ~/.Xresources file below. Thank you for attention!

xterm*selectToClipboard: true
xterm*disallowedWindowOps: 20,21,SetXProp
xterm*faceName: Monospace
xterm*faceSize: 15
xterm*background: black
xterm*foreground: cyan
XTerm*Fullscreen: true
xterm*saveLines: 500000
XTerm*selectToClipboard: true
XTerm*translations: #override \
    Shift Ctrl <Key> C: copy-selection(CLIPBOARD) \n\
    Shift Ctrl <Key> V: insert-selection(CLIPBOARD)

1 Answer 1


Press the left mouse button and drag the mouse to highlight at least one character, then release the left mouse button. Scroll. Right-click to extend the selection.

You can even just left-click at one end of the text you want to select, then scroll and right-click at the other end of what you want to select. This works, although there's no visual feedback until you right-click.

If you didn't right-click in the correct place, you can right-click again to change the edge of the selection. If you right-click before the start of the highlighted area, the selection is extended at the beginning. If you right-click after the end of the highlighted area, the selection is extended at the end. If you right-click within the highlighted area, the selection shrinks at the nearest edge.

Above I use “left” and “right” mouse button because these are the default assignments, but as far as Xterm is concerned, these are buttons 1 and 3 respectively. You can remap buttons at the system level (e.g. with xmodmap, using the pointer directive). You can also reconfigure button bindings in the XTerm.vt100.translations resource.


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