Whether you work at your computer or just use it at home, the ability to cut and paste text and images is a valuable time-saving technique. The terms "cut and paste" come from the now obsolete practice of handwriting editing of scissors cutting paragraphs from one written page and pasting them onto another. The digital version works similarly, but it won't tire your hands! Read this article to cut and paste using the most popular techniques.
Method 1 of 4: Selecting What To Cut
Step 1. Highlight the text
Text is one of the most common objects that is cut and pasted and is essential for document editing and other word processing tasks. Click and drag your mouse to select specific sections of text or press Ctrl+A (on PC) or ⌘ Cmd+A (on Mac) to choose all text in a document or page.
It is possible to cut text only from documents that are editable by you. That is, web pages and PDF files cannot be cropped as it is not possible to remove the text from the original
Step 2. Select files from your computer
If you want to cut a file on your computer and place it elsewhere, click on it to highlight it. Then you can click and drag a selection box around multiple files to select them all.
- Hold the Ctrl or ⌘ Cmd key and click on individual files to select more than one, which are not located close to each other.
- To choose a certain amount of items, click on the first one, hold the ⇧ Shift key and click on the last one. All files between the two selected will be highlighted.
- There is no way to cut and paste from locations where it is only possible to read files, with a CD/DVD drive or protected hard disk.
Method 2 of 4: Using Keyboard Shortcuts
Step 1. Press the "Cut" shortcut
This will remove the original file or text by pasting it to a new location. You can only cut one selection at a time; if you copy something before pasting, the first copy will be deleted. The shortcut to cut, on each operating system, is:
- Windows and Linux: Ctrl+X
- Mac OS X: ⌘ Command+X
Step 2. Navigate to where the file should be pasted
If you want to paste text, place the cursor over where you want it to be transferred. When pasting files, open the location where they should be transferred. Make sure the paste window is in focus.
Step 3. Press the shortcut "Paste"
Now everything you selected will be transferred to the active location. It is possible to paste what has been cut multiple times. The "Paste" shortcut for each operating system is:
- Windows and Linux: Ctrl+V
- Mac OS X: ⌘ Command+V
Method 3 of 4: Right Clicking
Step 1. Right click on something you selected
If using a one-button mouse on Mac OS X, Control+click to open the right-click menu. When selecting multiple files, right-click any part of the selected text.
Step 2. Select "Crop" from the menu
This will cut anything you select and the original files will be removed when pasting. Whenever you cut text, the original is immediately deleted.
Step 3. Right click where you want to paste
If pasting text, position the pointer where you want to transfer the text; if you are going to paste files, open the location where they should be repositioned.
Step 4. Select "Paste" from the menu
Everything you previously cut will be pasted to the cursor location when right-clicking. Material can be glued as many times as you like.
Method 4 of 4: Using the Menu Options
Step 1. Click on the "Edit" menu
It may not be available in all programs or can be found in other menus. For example:
- In Google Chrome, you need to click on the "Custom" button (three horizontal bars) and then select the "Edit" section.
- In Microsoft Word 2007 and later versions, the "Cut" function is found on the home tab. Find it by looking for the scissors icon in the clipboard section.
Step 2. Select "Cut"
The selected items or text will be cut and the original will be deleted when pasting, for both text and files.
Step 3. Navigate to the location where you want to paste
If you want to paste text, place the mouse pointer where it should be transferred; for files, open the location you want to paste. Make sure the content destination window is in focus.
Step 4. Click on the "Edit" menu of the window where you are going to paste
Select "Paste" from the menu and the items/texts will be transferred to your cursor location or to the bottom of the screen.