How To Copy And Paste
- Highlight or select the data you want to copy (such as text or an image) with your cursor.
- Press ‘Ctrl + C’ to copy the data to your clipboard (there is no visual indicator to show this has worked).
- Select where you want to paste the data with your cursor.
- Press ‘Ctrl + V’ to paste the data into the selected area. You can paste multiple times if required.
Applies To: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Copying and Pasting information is a quick way to manipulate data to however you want it. Often you’ll find a right click menu option to ‘Copy’ or ‘Paste’ data, but if you learn to use the keyboard shortcuts you’ll find it’s much quicker to do.
When the Clipboard is referenced, it means the temporary area your data is stored, ready to be pasted. Traditionally, this data wasn’t visible and you’d need to paste to see what was there, and any other copy would overwrite old information. Newer versions of Windows 10 however, have a Clipboard History option you can turn on under settings:
Once on, you can use Winkey + V to bring up a window showing the history of what you’ve put in the clipboard.
If you’re just learning to use keyboard shortcuts, remember that you don’t have to press both keys at the same time instantly – you can hold down Ctrl, then tap the letter ‘C’ while still holding Ctrl to copy, then release both keys.
There’s also more you can do than the simple Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V):
Ctrl + X will Cut rather than Copy, meaning it will remove the highlighted data and move it to the clipboard.
Ctrl + Shift + V will paste text copied without formatting – for example it won’t use the font of the source data.
If for some reason you can’t use or don’t like Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, you can instead use ‘Ctrl + Insert’ to Copy, and ‘Shift + Insert’ to paste.
Looking for more shortcuts? Check out Microsoft’s full list here.