How to Use the Clipboard on the Computer

By James Clark

A computer clipboard offers a convenient way to copy and hold text or images for pasting into another location, such as a word processing document, a template for a webpage or an email. Once the content is on the clipboard, it can be pasted repeatedly into multiple documents with a few mouse clicks.

Step 1

Highlight the item to be copied to the clipboard, such as a block of text, by positioning the cursor over the beginning of the text, pressing and holding the left mouse button, then dragging the cursor over the entire block of text. On most computers, the highlighted text will appear in blue or yellow.

Step 2

Release the left mouse button and click the right mouse button. Choose "Copy" or "Copy to clipboard" depending on the software program in use. This will place a duplicate of the content on the clipboard.

Step 3

Place the cursor in the desired location in a new document and press the right mouse button.

Step 4

Select and click "Paste" or "Paste from clipboard" to place the content in the new document. This can be repeated with the same content as many times as desired while the software is in use. The clipboard memory is erased when the software is closed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Items can also be copied to the clipboard by pressing the "Control" ("Ctrl") and "C" keys simultaneously. Paste items from the clipboard into a document by pressing the "Control" and "V" keys simultaneously.
  • Each new item copied to the clipboard will erase the previous item.