How to Cut, Copy, and Paste in Microsoft Office

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When working with text or objects in Microsoft Office programs, you will need to cut, copy, and paste to edit or move things around.

How to Cut, Copy, and Paste in Microsoft Office

Here's an explanation of each tool and how to use it, as well as some tips and tricks you may not be aware of.

  1. Use the Copy feature to duplicate items. First, click the object or highlight the text. Then select Home - Copy. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl - C in Windows) or right-click and select Copy. The original item remains, but now you can Paste a copy elsewhere, as described in Step 3 below.
  2. Use the Cut feature to get rid of items. Using the Cut function is different than using Delete or Backspace. You can think of it as being temporarily saved as well as removed. To Cut, click the object or highlight the text. Then select Home - Cut. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl - X in Windows) or right-click and select Cut. The original item is removed, but now you can Paste it elsewhere as described in Step 3 below.
  3. Use the Paste feature to place items you have Copied or Cut. Click on the screen where you want to place the object or text. Then select Home - Paste. Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut (such as Ctrl - V in Windows) or right-click and select Paste.

    Additional Tips and Tricks

    1. Highlight any block of text then press F2, which acts as both copy and paste. It may sound inconsequential, but some projects make this worth it! After pressing F2, just place your cursor you would like your text moved to, and press Enter.
    2. Note that toward the side or bottom of the Pasted item, a small Paste Options icon can be selected with Paste Special options such as keeping formatting or keeping only text. Experiment with these options, as the results can make your projects that much easier by eliminating some of the formatting differences between two different source documents, for example.
    3. You may be able to speed up your game when it comes to selecting text in the first place. For instance, you can use your mouse or trackpad to draw a large box around a group of text you want to select. Try holding down ALT as you draw the selection to make this more precise. In some Microsoft Office programs, you can hold down CTRL then click anywhere in the paragraph or sentence to select the entire text. Or, triple-click to select an entire paragraph. You have options!
    1. Also, as you craft your text or document, you may find occasion to insert a placeholder while waiting for the actual source material to be finished or available. This is where the Lorem Ipsum Generator built into Microsoft Word. This can help you insert text that is obviously not your final text, though I suggest highlighting it in a bright color as well, just to be sure you catch it later! To do this, you will type a command into your Word document, so click anywhere that makes sense (for where you are trying to populate text). Type =rand(# of paragraphs, # of lines then press Enter on your keyboard to activate the Lorem Ipsum text generator function. For example, we could type =rand(3,6) to create three paragraphs with six lines each. insert ‘p’ number of paragraphs each having ‘l’ lines. For instance, =rand(3,6) will generate 3 dummy paragraphs with 6 lines each.
    2. You may also be interested in the Spike Tool, which allows you to copy and paste more than one selection all at once, in true "clipboard" style.