Copy and Paste?

Have you ever wanted to be able to work faster on your computer? Do you type a lot of emails during the day at work or at home? Wouldn't it be great if you could reuse snippets of text from other emails, articles, web pages or almost anything with text? Well you can, with Copy and Paste! Those employed in the Information Technology field have almost invariably mastered the art of Copy and Paste, allowing them to work faster than those who do not use it. So what is Copy and what is Paste? Let's get started.

First we will start with the basics of copy.  Have you ever dragged the cursor across some text while holding down the left mouse button and the text turned blue? Or perhaps you clicked in the address bar of your favorite internet browser and all the text turned blue as well? This process is known as highlighting text and is the essential precursor to the Copy command. Once you have the text you want to Copy highlighted, you can execute the Copy command to grab the text and put it on the Clipboard. The Clipboard is just a fancy term that means the computer will remember your text for you. To execute a Copy command you normally have 3 choices:

  1. Right click the blue highlighted text and choose Copy
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Copy (may not apply to all programs)
  3. Hold the Control button down and hit the letter C (my favorite)

Go ahead and open up Notepad/Word/etc. and type in a few words and try it! If you just highlighted some text and did one of the 3 options above correctly, then you just completed the first half of Copy and Paste!

Now that you copied the text, how do you get it off the Clipboard? This is where Paste comes into the equation. The beauty of this process is that you can put the text that you just copied into almost any of your favorite applications! Go ahead and open up another application such as Internet Explorer, Excel, your email, etc. and get ready to Paste the text you have on the Clipboard. Now just like Copy you normally have 3 choices for Paste:

  1. Right click the area you want to put the text and select Paste
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Paste (may not apply to all programs)
  3. Hold the Control button down and hit the letter V (my favorite, could you guess?)

Presto! If you did the Paste correctly you just saw the text you copied previously appear in a different application and you completed your first Copy and Paste!

I'll be upfront with you, there are many additional ways to achieve the Copy and Paste and many more nuances as well. I won't pretend that I have given you a comprehensive understanding of the topic either. However, these are the basics to being able to take some text from point A and place it at point B. If you were not aware of Copy and Paste before, I hope this has opened your eyes as a great time saver and another tool to use at your computer. Look for my next article on what else you can use for Copy and Paste besides text. For a shameless plug, feel free to click in the address bar, which will turn the text blue and highlight it, Copy it, then Paste the text in an email to your friends!