How to Copy & Paste Using a Laptop

By Beth Lytle

Depending on the type of laptop you have, copying and pasting may range from easy to somewhat difficult. Many people are so mouse-oriented when it comes to using their home computer that copying and pasting text on a laptop may seem confusing and overwhelming.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop

Step 1

Open the Word document or Web site with the text you would like to copy and paste. Open the program you would like to paste the text into. Minimize the program you plan to paste the text into by moving the mouse to the upper right-hand corner of the program and clicking once on the button with the dash symbol. There are three buttons in the upper right-hand corner of all programs: a button with a dash centered at the bottom of the button, followed by one square overlapping a second square on the middle button, and an “x” button, which completely closes the screen. The screen can also be minimized by moving the mouse pointer over the document name tab on the bottom of the computer screen and right-clicking. Choose the “minimize” option from the menu that pops up.

Step 2

Maximize (or open) the screen you will be copying the text from. This can be done by either right-clicking on the tab at the bottom of the screen and choosing “maximize” from the menu that pops up, or by left-clicking on the tab itself, which should also open the screen up. Please note that left-clicking on a tab will also minimize if it is maximized already. Find the text that you want to copy on the screen once you have the proper screen maximized. Highlight the complete text you want to copy by one of two ways. The first method is done by clicking the mouse cursor once in front of (or at the beginning) of the text you want to copy and paste. Hold the left mouse button down with your left hand as you highlight the text using the mouse feature on the laptop until you have completely highlighted the text in black. The text will turn white and will be highlighted in black if done correctly. The second method of highlighting the text is similar, but uses the arrow buttons instead of the mouse. For this method, start with the cursor at the beginning of the text you want to copy and use the right arrow on your laptop keyboard to highlight the text until the complete text you want to copy is highlighted.

Step 3

Copy the text by one of three methods. The first method is to right-click the highlighted text and choose “copy.” The second method is to leave the text highlighted and move the mouse pointer up to the pull-down edit menu at the top of the screen. Choose “copy” from the pull-down menu. The third method is to leave the text highlighted and to hit the Ctrl button on your keyboard while simultaneously hitting the “c” key on the keyboard. All three methods work for copying the highlighted text into the computer clipboard.Open the document (can be a word processing document, an e-mail or a Web page) where you want to paste the text. Click the mouse cursor into the area where you would like to paste the text and either simultaneously hit “Ctrl-P” or use the pull-down file menu and choose “paste.” You can also right-click in the area of the page where you want to paste the text and choose “paste” from the pop-up menu. If done correctly, the text should be pasted.

Tips & Warnings

  • When highlighting text to copy and paste, do not let go of the shift key until you have completely highlighted the text you want to copy. It’s not possible to continue highlighting the text if there is a break in holding the shift key down.

References & Resources