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:


  1. Essie May 7, 2009 Reply

    How can I move pictures from my e-mail to H.P. photosmart

  2. Lindsay May 20, 2009 Reply

    I’m trying to paste my resume to an on-line application form, and when I click on paste in their text box, Internet Explorer shuts down. Why won’t it let me paste?

    • Author
      Rick May 21, 2009 Reply

      Hmmm…might be a problem with some settings in IE. Make sure you are using version 7 or later. If so, go to Tools –> Options, then Advanced and click the Reset button. Restart your browser and try again. And better yet, stop using IE and use Google Chrome or Firefox instead. Good luck.

  3. Shamyra Little August 31, 2010 Reply

    The website is amazing

  4. Elaine December 26, 2010 Reply

    Hi I am trying to copy and paste. I get the first part ok but how do I find the page where I want to paste the stuff to

  5. Copy and paste May 9, 2011 Reply

    Very well done tutorial!

  6. T May 12, 2011 Reply


  7. Marco December 29, 2011 Reply

    Hi Rick:
    I’m useing word 2010, would like to know how to transfer (paste or copy)a letter or resume to another website?
    thank you


  8. tsban April 4, 2012 Reply

    How can you cut and paste from moving(live)video.
    eg-I have a video of an airshow-and I want to add still picture to my file-make sense?

  9. RICHARD May 19, 2013 Reply

    Hello RIck,

    I’ve suddenly been unable to attach a saved document from my documents folder to an E Mail I want to send. As soon as the attachment commences its transfer, IE stops. Is there a system corruption and if so, a corrective solution? Thanks.

    • Author
      Rick May 19, 2013 Reply

      Lots of factors might be involved…size of attachment, version of Internet Explorer, status of your Adobe Flash updates are just a few.

      • Richard May 19, 2013 Reply

        Thank you for your reply.

        The issue turned out to be an Adobe Flash update which was resolved through a restore setback.

        I appreciate your follow up.

  10. Tony May 30, 2013 Reply

    Hi, how do I transfer my c.v from my inbox email, to have it on my home page permentley? Thanks

  11. deltacraig August 11, 2013 Reply

    Great video tip, Rick! I definitely have some people I am going to forward this to. Now, how about the same tip for iOS and Android devices?

    • Author
      Rick August 13, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Craig! No longer own an Android device (owned the Nexus 7 for all of 5 days and took it back…disappointed). But I will definitely do one for iOS.

  12. okna pcv Radom February 18, 2014 Reply

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    • Author
      Rick February 19, 2014 Reply

      Sure, please use with the link back, but also, I would appreciate an email of your site when you use any of the info. Thanks.

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