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Do you want to learn how to quickly copy, cut and paste text within a document? Perhaps you have repetitive text that you don’t want to rewrite each time, or perhaps you decide that you want to move a paragraph within a document but you don’t want to write it again? Read on to learn how to carry out the following tasks quickly and simply.

Copy and Paste – use an item from one place e.g. a piece of text or an image, and add it to another place in the same or a different document

Cut – remove an item e.g. a piece of text or an image

Cut and Paste – remove an item from one place e.g. a piece of text or an image, and move it to another place in the same or a different document


When you Copy or Cut, the text or image is put in a temporary holding place called the clipboard.  It will remain in this temporary holding place until another item is copied or cut. Only one item is held in the clipboard at a time. As long as an item is on the clipboard, it can be pasted into multiple different places in the same or different documents.

This example is being shown in Microsoft Word, but it works equally in most applications, such as email, spreadsheets and other word processors, as well as in some file directory locations.

How to select text

In the example below, we will select the word Grocery.



To select a piece of text, position the cursor at the beginning of the text, click and hold, and drag the cursor to the end of the text. Let go. The selected text will be highlighted as in the example below. To select an item such as a file or an image, single click on it.


How to copy text

To copy this selected text to the clipboard, hold down the command / ctrl key and tap on C.

To paste the selected text that is now on the clipboard into another position in the document, move the cursor to the new position and click once. Hold down the command / ctrl key and tap on V to paste. In this case, we clicked after the word shop, and pasted Grocery to the end of the first line.



If you make a mistake, you can click on the Edit menu, and select the Undo Paste menu item.



How to cut text

If you want to cut the text from the first position instead of copying it, and paste it somewhere else, start by selecting the text as shown above.



Hold down the command / ctrl key and tap on the X key. As shown below, the text that was selected will disappear from the document, but it will be held on the clipboard.



Move the cursor to the location that you want this text to be placed, in this case, the new position is just before the word shop, and click once to position the text insertion point. Hold down the Command key and tap on the V key to paste the text.



If there are additional places in the document that you want to paste this text, this process can be repeated. This text will remain on the clipboard until some other text or image is copied or cut.


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