Cut and paste

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Definition

On your computer, when you copy a file, image, text or other item, it creates a duplicate of that item in your computer's temporary memory.

Cutting an item will remove it from the page or folder and hold it in memory, as above.

You can almost always copy (duplicate) something, like a phrase on a web page, but cutting is only possible if you have editing or administrative control of the item. For example, you can't cut phrases out of web pages you visit in your browser (imagine what the web would look like if everyone could!). There are exceptions, like editable websites like Wikipedia, but that's because you have editing control on that site.

Once you've copied or pasted something into memory, you can then paste it into another document, file, or folder.

Then hit these keys together to copy, cut, and paste them:

Windows: Hold down the CTRL key then click

  • C to copy or
  • X to cut
  • V to paste

Mac: Hold down the Command key (⌘). Then, as with Windows, click:

  • C to copy or
  • X to cut
  • V to paste

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