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How to Copy and Paste on Mac
How to Copy and Paste on Mac

Sometimes you need to copy something in a window to save it in a file, such as something you might want to quote. If you're new to Macs, you may not know how easy it is to copy and paste text from one window to another, or from one file to another. There are two ways you can copy and paste; both are perfectly acceptable. The first way is with using the keyboard and the second is using the mouse pointer.

01

Copying and Pasting with the Mouse Method

Hands of woman using computer keyboard and mouse

Using this method, you'll be able to copy text that you highlight with your mouse and use what is called the "right-clicking" with the mouse. The mouse usually has only one button, but to "right click" you press the command key and the mouse simultaneously to create a right click, similar to the right click on a Windows computer.

02

Open the Window You Want to Copy From

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First, you must have something to copy. Open a window and find some text you wish to copy. If you open up a word processing program with some text in it, that's all right too. Just so that you have something to copy. Place your mouse pointer at the beginning of the text.

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03

Highlight the Text

Businesswoman using computer

Now that you have the text you want to copy be sure that your mouse pointer is at the beginning of the text. Press and hold down the mouse button and drag it down until you highlight the portion of text you wish to copy. If you don't get the entire text, click outside the text and then try again. You should see a blue highlight where your text is.

04

Right Click the Button

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You will then need to right-click the button by simultaneously clicking down and pressing the command button. That should bring up a menu screen with selections for you to choose from. One of them should be Copy. Select that with your mouse. Your highlighted text will be in the computer's memory now, and you can now go to paste your text.

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05

Paste Your Text

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Open up a file or window to paste your text into. A word processing program or a post on a social media site is a good choice, depending on what you intend to do with it. Right-click again by simultaneously clicking down and pressing the command button. That should bring up a menu screen with selections for you to choose from. One of them should be Paste. Select that with your mouse. The text that you just copied from the other window should appear.

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06

Copying and Pasting with the Keyboard Method

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Using this method, you'll be able to copy text that you highlight with your mouse and use the keyboard to copy and paste. Macs use command and the letter C for copying and command and the letter V for pasting. This is usually a faster way to copy and paste than the mouse method.

jurgenfr / Getty Images

07

Open the Window You Want to Copy From

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First, you must have something to copy. Open a window and find some text you wish to copy. If you open up a word processing program with some text in it, that's all right too. Just so that you have something to copy. Place your mouse pointer at the beginning of the text.

bymuratdeniz / Getty Images

08

Highlight the Text

Just another late night

Now that you have the text you want to copy be sure that your mouse pointer is at the beginning of the text. Press and hold down the mouse button and drag it down until you highlight the portion of text you wish to copy. If you don't get the entire text, click outside the text and then try again. You should see a blue highlight where your text is.

09

Press Command and C

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You will then need to press the C key and the command key. That should cause the Mac to copy the text. Your highlighted text will be in the computer's memory now, and you can now go to paste your text. Close the window and go to the other window to paste your text.

Tim Graham / Getty Images

10

Paste Your Text

Woman working in modern glass office

Open up a file or window to paste your text into. A word processing program or a post on a social media site is a good choice, depending on what you intend to do with it. Click into the file you wish to put your text and press the command key and the C key at the same time. The text that you just copied from the other window should appear.

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