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Copy and Paste

Thursday, November 11th, 2004 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

Michael from California Asks:

How do I “Copy and Paste”?

First off, you’ll be glad to learn copying and pasting is easy. You can copy and paste just about anything your little heart desires: text, web pages, files, pictures, you name it. The idea behind the process is to take information from one place and deposit it into another.

For an example, let’s pretend you’re working in a word processor and need to copy and paste a section of your document into an e-mail. Here’s how:

1. First, you’ll need to select the text you wish to copy. You do this by putting your mouse cursor at the first character you want to copy and, holding down the left mouse button, drag the cursor to the last character you need copied. As you drag, you’ll notice everything gets highlighted (selected).

2. Next, right-click the selected area. Choose Copy from the menu that pops up (or you can use CTRL-C if you like keyboard shortcuts).

3. Finally, right-click the area in your e-mail document where you would like to insert the word processor text. Click Paste from the menu that pops up (For this, CTRL-V is your keyboard shortcut).

That’s it. The steps are basically the same for any copy & paste procedure you need to do.

Here’s another example. In the image below, we’ll take a line of text, copy it, and paste the copy below the original line:


If you want to get a little more fancy, place your cursor at the first character you want selected and, while holding down the SHIFT key, click next to the last character you want selected. It’s sometimes easier to follow this procedure than to make selections by dragging, especially when your wrestling with a lengthy document. I can’t remember the number of times the area I wanted to stop selecting at zipped right by me on a document!

Another fun way to use the SHIFT key is adding to an existing selection.
Let’s say you select an area of text and you came up short of what you really needed. Rather than trying to re-select the whole thing, just hit the SHIFT key and click your mouse where you would like the selection to end. (You can also shorten a selection by doing this too.)

After you have used the SHIFT key to get your text selected, follow the pervious steps to copy / paste.


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