How to Copy to the Clipboard & Paste Information

By Rebekah Richards

Copying and pasting information on a computer represents an easy way to save time. You can copy text, images, files and folders onto your computer's clipboard and then paste them in a new location. For example, copying and pasting an address or quotation from a website is faster than retyping it. Copying creates a second copy of data. To move data without creating a copy, use the cut and paste feature, which moves information from one location to another.

Windows

Step 1

Select the text, image, file or folder you want to copy to the clipboard. For example, drag text to highlight it or click on a file icon.

Step 2

Hold down the Control key, often labeled "Ctrl," and press the "C" key. This copies the information to the clipboard. You will not be able to see your clipboard.

Step 3

Open the location in which you wish to paste your information. For example, if you want to paste text in an email, open the email message. If you wish to copy a folder to your desktop, minimize all windows so your desktop is available.

Step 4

Hold down the Control key and press the "V" key. Your information will move from the clipboard to its new destination.

Mac OS X

Step 1

Select the text, image, file or folder you want to copy to the clipboard. For example, drag text to highlight it or click on a file icon.

Step 2

Hold down the Command key, which may have an Apple symbol, and press the "C" key. This copies the information to the clipboard. You will not be able to see your clipboard.

Step 3

Open the location in which you wish to paste your information. For example, if you want to paste text in an email, open the email message. If you wish to copy a folder to your desktop, minimize all windows so your desktop is available.

Step 4

Hold down the Command key and press the "V" key. Your information will move from the clipboard to its new destination.

Tips & Warnings

  • To cut and paste instead of copy and paste, use Control or Command and the "X" key before pasting with Control and the "V" key.