The overall goal is to enable in web-based spreadsheets (in handsontable, actually) copying and pasting not only data (cell contents) but also metadata (text color etc) in such a way that pasting into tables which don’t recognize the metadata results in pasting just data; while pasting to similar interfaces that do recognize the metadata results in pasting more stuff.
Now, I suspect it is possible, because I can copy from one Google Spreadsheet and paste to another (in another tab) with background color being preserved (although that doesn’t work for copying from GS to LibreOffice.Calc – only text is pasted). At the same time, most popular clipboard libraries (ZeroClipboard and clipboard.js) announce only copying text.
Ok, I’ve got one more idea to try: install a clipboard manager and analyse what happens when cells are copied in GS. That may prove that it’s possible. But they are still not open source (are they?), so I don’t have any clue where to start implementing such stuff even if I understand that it’s possible.
So if you know for sure that it’s impossible, please state so with some reasoning. If you know that it’s possible, a tiniest piece of proof-of-concept code is very welcome.