Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Word offers two ways to copy and move text. With the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands and with drag-and-drop text editing. Let's take a look at how they work. We'll start by looking at the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands. All three commands work with a part of Mac OS called the Clipboard, which is a temporary storage space for text, images, or other content that you put there. The Clipboard holds just one thing at a time and it holds it there until you either replace it with something else or shut off your computer.
Cut, Copy, and Paste are available in most Mac OS and even Windows programs. So you should be familiar with them if you've been using computers for a while. I'll just take you through a few examples. Let's say that you want to copy a sentence from the end of this document to the beginning. So I am going to scroll down here, this is the sentence I want to copy. So I will start off by selecting it. I'll hold down the Command key and click once in the sentence. Now I need to copy this, so I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Copy or press Command+C. That copies it to the Clipboard.
Now I want to paste this at the beginning of my document. So I am going to scroll back up to the beginning of the document and I'm going to click in the beginning right in front of the letter I and n and I am going to paste it there. So I will pull down the Edit menu and choose Paste or press Command+V, and that will paste it into the document. Now a Paste Options button like this one might appear. You can click the arrow to specify how you want the text pasted in. So if I click this arrow you will see that I've got three options and they all deal with formatting.
I can keep the source formatting, I can the match the destination formatting, or I can keep just the text. In this particular document it doesn't matter because everything is formatted at the same way, so it doesn't matter which one I pick. So I am just going to ignore it for now. But what I don't want to ignore here is the fact that there is no space between the period and the letter I. Not only do I want to add some space there but what I really want to do is put that first sentence on its own paragraph. So I am going to press Return to make its own paragraph and then to space it out like the rest of the document, I'll put another Return in there to add another blank line.
Now that we have pasted the text what's in the Clipboard? The same text. Pasting doesn't remove the contents of the Clipboard. Only copying or cutting replaces the Clipboard contents with a new selection. I can prove this by pasting it somewhere else, even in another document. So I'll pull down the File menu, choose New Blank Document or press Command+N, then pull down the Edit menu and I can select Paste, or press Command+V, and it pastes it in there. So it's still in the Clipboard until I copy or cut something else there or shut off the computer.
Now I don't need this document so I am going to close it, and I am not going to save it. As you can see though you are not limited to copy and paste in the same document. This makes it possible to use bits and pieces of one document in another one. Now back in the sample document we want to move some text. So I want to select a sentence down here, this one that starts off with Not to mention. I am going to hold down the Command key, click in the sentence to select the entire sentence, and this time we want to move it so we are going to cut it out of the document and then we are going to paste it back in a different place.
It's selected, so I will pull down the Edit menu, select Cut or I can press Command+X, and that will cut it out of the document. It's going to remove it from the document, put it in the Clipboard. Now what I need to do is position the insertion point where I want it to go, which is right in front of the W in We. So with the insertion point blinking there I will go back under the Edit menu, I will choose Paste or I could press Command+ V and that will paste it into the document. Now again I am going to ignore that Paste Options button because I don't really need to do anything with that. Instead I'll just press the Space to add an additional space there and make sure it's spaced out properly.
Now if you find yourself ignoring the Paste Option button all the time and you just wish it would never appear at all, you can disable it. Pull down the Word menu, choose Preferences, or press Command+Comma. Then select the Edit button and then in Edit Preferences you will see an option here, Show Paste Options button. If you turn that checkbox off that won't bother you anymore. I am going to leave it turned on because you might need it later on, but no matter what you do, click OK to save your changes.
I also want to point out here that there is a number of buttons on the standard toolbar that you can use to copy, cut, and paste. Just to make sure they all show I will select some text. This button here will cut, this one will copy, and this one will paste. So if you like to click buttons, Word has got you covered up here. The other way to copy or move text is with drag-and-drop text editing. You might find this quicker, but it does require some good mouse skills. Say for example that I want to move the last sentence in the document to the beginning of its paragraph.
So I am going to scroll down here and it's this sentence right here. I'll Command+Click it to select it and I want to move it right over here to the beginning of the paragraph. So I put my mouse pointer anywhere in the selection, press the mouse button down, and the mouse pointer turns into an arrow and I just drag that up, and as I drag you could see there is an insertion point moving along with it. When I get it right in front of the letter W, I am going to release that and what it does is it actually moves the text by dragging it and dropping it into place.
Again I want to ignore Paste Options and I am going to click right after that period and press the Spacebar to insert a space to space it out properly. That's how you move text with drag-and- drop but you can also copy text the same way. Just for an example I am going to copy that sentence back to its original position. So I'll leave this sentence here but I'll put a copy back where it was. So I am going to press Command, click in the sentence to select it, and this time I want to copy it. So to copy with drag-and-drop you need to hold down the Option key and as you drag what you'll see is a green plus button.
That's telling you that it's being copied. Again drag till you see the insertion point where you want it to go and then you want to release the mouse button first and then the Option key, and that'll copy it into place. Now I don't really want it there, so while it's still selected I am going to press Delete and make it go away. That's the basics of copying and moving text. The Copy and Paste commands work together to duplicate selected text. The Cut and Paste commands work together to move selected text, and if you've got good mouse skills, drag and drop text editing makes it quick and easy to move or copy text.
This is yet another instance what Microsoft Office multiple ways to perform a task. If you are like me you'll use the technique that works best for you when you need it.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 81023 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 133060 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 66489 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 52290 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.