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How to Copy and Paste

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Highlight or Select What You Want to Copy or Cut

First, select the item you want to copy or cut:

Tip:   In some applications you can select all the text and images by right-clicking and choosing "Select All".

Copying/Cutting and Pasting: The Point-and-Click Method

Note: Depending on your operating system and the application you might not have that Edit menu. It's there on Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac, for example, but not on Microsoft Word 2007 and up for Windows. Starting with Office 2003, the classic menu has been replaced with a ribbon bar, so in those programs, you'll see instead icons to click on for cutting (scissors), copying (two documents), and pasting (clipboard) instead.

Okay, now that we've selected the item and copied/cut it into memory, we can paste it somewhere else. In your new document or folder, go back to Edit and select Paste. Alternately, if you don't have that Edit menu (e.g., in Windows Explorer), right-click in the document or folder and select Paste.

A Faster Method: Keyboard Shortcuts

Copying, cutting and pasting with your mouse is pretty straightforward, but using keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time.

Select your items to copy or cut as above. To select all items on a page or folder, you can use the CTRL+A or Command + A shortcut: hold down the CTRL button (on Windows) or Command key (on Mac) then hit the A key.

Then hit these keys together to copy, cut, and paste them:

Windows: Hold down the CTRL key then click

Mac: Hold down the Command key (⌘). Then, as with Windows, click:

 The Drag-and-Drop Method

You can also use your mouse to quickly drag and drop your selected text, image or file from one application to another. For example, you can have two Windows Explorer windows open side by side and drag a file from one to the other to copy it over.

1.      Select the item as in the first step.

2.     Press and hold down your mouse button to "grab" it.

3.     Then move your mouse to the other window and release the button.

Note: Pay attention to the icon or prompt when you hover your mouse over the new window/location: it should tell you whether the item will be copied (duplicated) or cut (moved). When dragging and dropping text, from one Word document to another, for example, this will copy the text over. When dragging and dropping files in Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder, this will move the file.

Once you get the hang of dragging and dropping or hitting CTRL + C, CTRL + X, and CTRL + V (or the Command counterparts), you'll be copying, cutting, and pasting like a pro.


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