How to Copy and Paste Text Using Keyboard Shortcuts

You can copy and paste text by combining the Ctrl key on your keyboard with the C and V keys. Almost any text you can select can be copied using a keyboard shortcut. After you copy the text, you can paste it into another area, field or application. Many applications use universal shortcuts to save you time.

Working on computer
Keyboard shortcuts helps you simplify repetitive tasks on your PC.
credit: Gajus/iStock/Getty Images

Copy and Paste

Click and hold your cursor at the beginning of the text you want to copy, drag your mouse to the end of the text and then release the mouse button to select the text. Press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys at the same time -- indicated by "Ctrl-C" -- to copy your selection. Click in the field or area where you want to paste the text. For example, click into the text area of a word processing document or other text input field. Press "Ctrl-V" to paste the text you copied.

Tips and Troubleshooting

Many keyboard shortcuts, including copy and paste, work with most desktop applications, such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. You can also use copy and paste shortcuts to move files and folders. Keyboard shortcuts increase your overall productivity while you work on a computer. For example, press "Ctrl-A" to select all the text in a field or document, "Ctrl-P" to open print commands, "Ctrl-S" to apply the save command or "Ctrl-F4" to close the current window. You can find an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts on Microsoft's website (link in Resources).