How to Copy & Paste in Google Documents

By Brad Chacos

Google Docs brings the power of the Web to the word-processing genre. Unlike regular word-processing software, which only lets you view and edit documents on the computer the document is saved on, you can tinker with Google Docs on any computer that's connected to the Internet. Although the free service doesn't offer quite as many bells and whistles as Microsoft Word or, it includes plenty of basic editing functions, such as copy and paste. The service's Web Clipboard copies your text and images and makes them available for pasting, even between multiple documents and editing sessions.

Step 1

Sign into your Google Docs account, and begin composing a document normally.

Step 2

Click at the beginning of the passage you'd like to copy. Continue holding down the mouse button, then drag your cursor across the text. Let go off the mouse button once the desired portion is highlighted.

Step 3

Click on the "Web Clipboard" icon in the Google Docs toolbar. It's the only yellow icon in the toolbar.

Step 4

Select "Copy Selection to Web Clipboard."

Step 5

Click in the area in the document where you'd like to paste the selected portion. You can also perform this function in other Google Docs if you'd like to move the text from one document to another.

Step 6

Click the "Web Clipboard" icon again.

Step 7

Hover your cursor over the selection of text that you'd like to paste. The option to paste the excerpt as either HTML or plain text appears. Click on the option you'd prefer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Google Docs allows you to copy multiple segments of text into your Web Clipboard. The copy-and-paste function built into Windows can only store one excerpt at a time.
  • The Web Clipboard stores your copied text online, meaning you can copy a segment of a Google Doc on one computer and paste it while on another computer.
  • Although Google Docs also supports standard Windows copying techniques -- keyboard commands and the right-click context menu -- they can lose functionality in Google Docs in very specific circumstances. Using the Web Clipboard prevents this.