How to Copy & Paste in Microsoft Word

By Perry Piekarski

When working in Microsoft Word, both copying and pasting text and images can save you loads of time and effort. Copying takes the selected text or image and saves it so you can move it to another place in the document or to another document entirely. Pasting takes what you've copied and restores it to the document wherever you want it to appear and as many times as you want.

Copy

Step 1

Select the text or image you want to copy. Do this by moving your cursor to the bottom-right corner or top-left corner of what you want selected, clicking and dragging the cursor to the opposite corner. You can also make selections by clicking at the beginning or end of your desired selection, holding the "Shift" key, and pressing the "right" or "left" arrows to highlight your selection. The shortcut "Ctrl"+"A" is also useful in highlighting the entire document for selection.

Step 2

Right-click your selection.

Step 3

Click "Copy." The selection is now copied and added to your Office Clipboard. The Office Clipboard can store up to 24 copied selections at a time. These selections remain on the Office Clipboard until you exit all Microsoft Office programs (leaving the last copied item in your cache) or until you reboot your computer (clearing the Office Clipboard completely). The shortcut key to copy a selection is "Ctrl"+"C," and you can also copy by clicking the "Copy" icon on the Standard Toolbar.

Paste

Step 1

Decide where you want your selection to go in the document.

Step 2

Move your cursor to the location and left-click. A blinking line will appear. You can fine-tune the line's location by pressing the "right," "left," "up" and "down" arrow keys.

Step 3

Press "Ctrl"+"V" to paste your last copied selection. You can also paste by clicking the "Paste" button on the Standard toolbar or by right-clicking where you want to paste and selecting "Paste."

Tips & Warnings

  • Recent releases of Microsoft Word allow you to click-and-drag your selection to expedite the copy-and-paste process. Just highlight your selection, left-click with the cursor, and drag it to the spot you'd like it.
  • Open the Office Clipboard by pressing "Ctrl"+"C" two times in quick succession.
  • These methods of copying and pasting text and images work with a number of other Windows programs as well, including Internet browsers.