Cut, Copy and Paste! – Video Tip

These techniques should be standard tools for any computer user. However, many computer users find these techniques elusive.

The ability to move (cut) or copy information from one computer program to another sets you free to do so much more with your computer. Cut, Copy and Paste function by temporarily storing the information, cut or copied, into a temporary holding spot of memory known as the clipboard (Click here for the Webopedia definition).

The information held in the clipboard stays there and is available to Paste until either the computer is restarted or another item is cut or copied. Make special note of this fact when using the “Cut” command, because if you cut or copy another item before pasting the first item, the first one is lost.

Before choosing Cut or Copy, the computer needs to know what you want to cut or copy. This is done by using the mouse to select or highlight the item or items. I have two tips that describe the art of selecting or highlighting text and files.

Copying and pasting text from a web site to an email will provide a useful method of practicing this technique…here’s how:

  1. Find some text to copy (this tip will do) and highlight the text with your mouse
  2. Click Edit from the menus
  3. Click Copy
  4. Switch over to your email program and start a new email
  5. Put your cursor (blinking vertical line) in the body of the message
  6. Click Edit from the menus
  7. Click Paste

Pretty nifty, eh? You can use this very same technique to copy and paste text from email to email, from your word processor to email (or vice versa), from the web to your word processor, etc.

Copy and Paste Shortcuts

Instead of clicking Edit and Copy, you can push Ctrl + C on your keyboard or RIGHT click on the text you highlighted and click Copy from the menu.

Instead of pushing Edit and Paste from the menus, try Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert on the keyboard or RIGHT click at your destination and choose Paste from the menus.

Copy and Paste with Folders and Files

Copying and pasting files and folders works the same way as copying and pasting text…here’s how:

  1. Click on a file (like a Word document or picture) or a folder (like My Documents)
  2. Click Edit from the menus
  3. Click Copy
  4. Navigate to a different folder or drive
  5. Click on the new folder’s name
  6. Click Edit from the menus
  7. Click Paste

When using Cut, Copy and Paste with files and folders, be very cognizant of the fact that one you copy or cut another item, the previous one is gone. Make darn sure that you have pasted the information you don’t want to lose before cutting or copying a new item.

Keep practicing your cut, copy and paste techniques, and I’m sure you will find them an irreplaceable part of your computer knowledge.

For a visual demonstration of how this extremely important and helpful computer skill is, watch the how-to video below: