Cut & Paste Keyboard Shortcuts

If you know how to do Cut & Paste using your mouse for the commands, here's something you can try to make it a little faster. This is particularly handy if you have to move a lot of stuff around.

Important Tip: If you do NOT know how to do Cut & Paste already, do NOT try these instructions first. If you do NOT know how to do Cut & Paste with your mouse, first learn the basics from this article "How To Do Cut and Paste."

If you have done Cut & Paste before, and if you want to learn the keyboard shortcuts for Cut & Paste, try this.

First, to check exactly what the command is in a program:

  1. In a program that you use a lot, click on Edit to bring the Edit menu down.

  2. Once you have the Edit menu down, in most programs, beside the "Cut" command, on the right side of the menu, you will see something like "Ctrl+X" or "^X" . This is the speed key combination (or shortcut) for the "Cut" command. "^" is a computer shorthand for the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard.

    Look on the Edit menu, beside the Cut command, and see what speed key combination that program uses (it is usually "Crtl+X" however it "can" be different in different programs).

  3. After you have looked at the Edit menu, to see exactly what speed key combination your program uses, click on Edit again to put the menu back up (the keyboard shortcuts will NOT work with the Edit menu down).

Then to do Cut & Paste:

  1. First, highlight what you want to cut out (the same as usual).

  2. Then, use the speed key combination to Cut it out. If your Edit menu had the standard "Ctrl+X" or "^X," to do this, hold the Ctrl key down, punch the letter X key, and let go of Ctrl. This will cut out what you have highlighted.

  3. Move your cursor to "where" you want to paste your stuff in. Again, this is the flashing "text" cursor, not the mouse cursor, and you do this the same way as before, with the arrow keys on the keyboard, or by clicking your mouse where you want the cursor.

  4. Then, use the speed key combination to Paste it back in (Tip: you can bring the Edit menu down now, to read the Paste speed key combination - just make sure you click on Edit after you read it, to put the Edit menu away before you try it). In most programs, this is "Ctrl+V" or "^V." If your Edit menu had one of these, to do this, hold the Ctrl key down, punch the letter V key, and let go of Ctrl. This will paste your stuff back in where the cursor is.

Important Tip: Remember to take your time whenever you are learning anything new, and be patient with yourself. It takes everyone longer to do something the first few times. And with this many steps, this is not what I would call simple, when you do it the first time (however, if you do it lots, eventually it will actually become easy for you).

Written by Jim McGinn
Copyright 2002, McGinnovation Inc.

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