April 14, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

How to Copy and Paste

5 min read

PCs used to be the only computer a person can own. With the advancement in technology, however, we now have quite the varieties to choose from.

Some people can own a Mac, while others may also have smartphones. Yes, smartphones are computers as they have the same capabilities as a desktop computer. This is why the market share of mobile is rising while the shares of the desktop are falling.

One person is likely to use different devices in their lifetime. This can confuse users as they have different controls. Copying and pasting, for instance, are slightly different in each device.

If you want to learn how to copy and paste in all devices, keep on reading.

The Basics of Copy and Paste

First, let’s discuss what happens when you copy and paste.

When you copy something, it’s saved in your device’s clipboard. It’s an invisible space that holds the copied item.

When you hit the paste command, your device refers to the clipboard to remember your last saved item. It then copies the item from your clipboard onto your chosen location.

Note that you can’t save multiple items on the keyboard. You erase the previous item when you save a new item.

Pasting, however, doesn’t delete the contents of the clipboard. You can paste an item numerous times.

Depending on your device, you might be able to access the clipboard history. You can find guides out there that will teach you how to do this.

Some apps may also allow you to extend the capabilities of your normal clipboard, but that’s a separate matter.

Now that you know the basics, we can move onto learning how to copy and paste on different devices.

How to Copy and Paste on Windows

The Windows OS is on 87.7% of all computers, which makes it the most popular platform by far. It’s one of the earliest operating systems around, contributing to its strong user base today. It’s also the OS that’s pre-loaded in the majority of new personal computers, so people tend to go with it.

For these reasons, most of you might already be familiar with copy and paste controls on a Windows computer. For those who are not, keep on reading.

First, you have to select the text that you want to copy. Highlight the text(s) or image you want to copy by clicking the mouse to where it begins and then dragging it to where the text ends.

You can copy multiple texts that are far apart from each other by using the Ctrl button. Repeat the clicking and dragging motions while holding it to highlight them all.

Once you’ve highlighted the item, you can choose a method below to copy and paste.

Using Your Mouse

Right-click on any of the highlighted items; this will bring up a menu. You should see a Copy option (as well as the keyboard shortcuts for it, but we’ll get to that later).

Click the Copy option, and go to where you want to put the item in. Place the cursor to where you want to paste it, and then right-click again.

When there’s an item in the clipboard, you should be able to see a Paste option here. You might see other options for pasting, such as Paste without formatting.

Both will do the job, but the other will not copy the formatting of the text’s source.

Using Your Keyboard

Keyboard shortcuts are faster and easier. Once you’ve finished highlighting, press Ctrl + C. (Tip: you can remember it by looking at the first letter of the word “copy.”)

This copies the item to your clipboard, so now you have to head to the location where you want to paste the item. Put the cursor to where you want to put the item in, and then hit Ctrl + V.

V is right beside C, so it’s one swift motion.

Using the App’s Drop-Down Menu

Depending on the app, there might be a copy and paste option right on the menu bar. Look for the Edit tab after highlighting the item.

There should be a copy or paste option there. If there isn’t, refer to the other options above.

Copy and Paste on Mac

Copy and pasting are similar on Mac in that you have to highlight the text. Then, choose any of the options below.

Using Your Mouse

The method for copying and pasting on a mouse is the same. You have to right-click on the highlighted area, then choose Copy. When you want to paste it, you do the same and choose Paste (or Paste Special…).

Using Your Keyboard

macOS devices have a different keyboard layout, so this may get confusing at first. However, the idea is the same.

Instead of pressing the Ctrl button, you push the Command button instead. So, the keyboard shortcut for copying an item is Command + C and for pasting, it’s Command + V.

Using the App’s Drop-Down Menu

Look at the topmost bar to look for an Edit tab. This should also bring down a menu with copy and paste options.

Copy and Paste on Mobile Devices

On mobile devices, it’s a bit different as you don’t have a mouse and you don’t always have access to the digital keyboard.

Whether you have an Android or iPhone, however, the methods are about the same. You press and hold the item you want to copy and handles should appear alongside a menu.

You can adjust the handles to highlight the text you want to copy. You can also choose Select All on the menu to select all the text. Once you’re done adjusting, you can then select Copy on the menu.

Next, navigate to the app and text box where you want to paste the item. Press on the space and a menu with the Paste option will appear.

Learn More Computer Functions

Learning how to copy and paste will save you a lot of time. It’s a helpful skill that will prove to be useful even as you grow old.

As long as computers are around, the act of copying and pasting won’t fade. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered! If you want to learn more, go ahead and check out our other tech guides right here, today.