Copy & Paste

The process to copy text from one place and paste it somewhere else is simple. If you have never done this before, the only part that takes a few minutes to learn is how to select the text you want to copy.

Select: To select an email address, sentence, paragraph or any other portion of a web page or other document, you need to 'highlight' the section before you can copy it. To highlight, start by placing your cursor (the white arrow or short verticle line on the computer screen that you move around with your mouse) at the beginning of the text you want to copy. When you left click with your mouse, hold down that mouse button and drag your mouse to the end of the text you want to copy. If you are copying several sentences, there is no need to drag your mouse over every sentence. Just drag from the beginning point, across your screen, to the end.

Once you reach the end, you can let go of the mouse button. If you dragged your mouse correctly, all of the text you want to copy on the internet will be highlighted in blue. (It will usually be highlighted in black when you are using word processing software.) If not, try again. At first, it may take a little time to get used to this. However, it will become very easy and quick once you have enough experience.

Copy & Paste: Once you have highlighted the text you want to copy, there are three ways to copy & paste that text to a new location. To practice, let's open up a new email message. Follow the directions below to copy information from this web page and paste it into your email message.

  1. Ctrl C & Cntrl V: If you hold down the 'Ctrl' button on your keyboard (near the bottom left side) and press the letter C, the text will be copied. (You will not receive any notice that anything has been copied but you can go ahead and let go of the buttons on your keyboard.) Place the cursor in the email message. Then hold down the 'Ctrl' button and press the letter V. If you were successful, the text will now appear in the email message. If not, try again or try one of the following steps. (For Mac users, you will use the Cmd key instead of the CTRL key. The Cmd key is the one with the Apple logo, next to the space bar.)
  2. Right-click with your mouse: If you right-click with your mouse somewhere over the highlighted text, a menu will pop-up. (If you right-click outside of the highlighted area, you will lose your highlight.) Select 'Copy' from the menu. (The pop-up menu will now disappear.) Place the cursor in your email message. Then right-click again and select 'Paste'. If you were successful, the text will now appear in the new location.
  3. Use your menu bar: Select 'Edit' on the menu bar at the top of your screen. A menu will drop down. Select 'Copy' from the list. (The menu will now disappear.) Place the cursor in your email message. Then select Edit from the menu bar again. This time, select 'Paste'. If you were successful, the text will now appear in the new location.

That ends this lesson on learning to copy and paste. Now, if you find a joke online that you want to send to a friend, you now know how to copy just the joke and not any other unnecessary information, like other jokes that are not so funny, around it. You can always come back to this article by using our 'Quick Access for Beginners' drop-down list in the right column of each page. The drop-down list provides a link to all of the Beginners Lessons. Javascript required.

For more information on using email, we recommend these related lessons:

  • Email Help - How to email websites to your friends.
  • Email Programs - How to use your email program.
  • Current Lesson: Copy & Paste - How to share just a portion of information.
  • Email a Friend - Friends who can benefit from this web site.

You may also want to check out our Internet Help for Beginners tutorial or our lessons for Experienced Users to improve your internet experience.

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