copy text clipboard

How to copy text to clipboard

Copying text and content and pasting it to another place on your computer is one of the most basic ways to transfer data around your PC. In this short guide, I’ll tell you what a ‘clipboard’ is, how to copy data, cut data and how to paste it.

What is a computer clipboard?

Just like a real life clipboard, you can attach documents to a clipboard and then take it somewhere else. 

On your computer, it does the same. You can copy text, images, lines of code, etc. and attach it to your clipboard to bring to another app or program and then you can ‘paste’ the information to the new program.

Your clipboard is a type of memory storage that the computer temporarily allocates to your content.

How to copy data to your clipboard

Assuming you are on Windows- you can do it a few ways. You can highlight your text and then right click with your mouse and choose ‘copy’. Or you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + C.


How to cut data to your clipboard

You can cut out data from a document by highlighting your content and right clicking and choosing ‘cut’ or you can use the shortcut CTRL + X. 

What's the difference between 'copy' and 'cut'?

Imagine you have a document that you want to take with you. If you make a copy, the original document can stay where you found it while you go and take the copy somewhere else.

If you cut a document, you are permanently taking a piece of that document out of the original and storing the cut portion.

You would use copy when you want to keep the original intact and just copy some data to another program and you would use cut when you want to remove data from one program and move it to another.


What else can I copy and cut?

You can copy and cut just about anything you want on a computer! You can copy and cut text, images, lines of code, elements, URLS, shortcuts and documents.

How do I paste from my clipboard?

Pasting is just as easy as cutting and copying! You can right click on the area you want to paste to and choose paste, or you can use the shortcut CTRL + V.

This will paste whatever you had stored in your clipboard.

Can I copy my screen?

Copying your computer screen is a tiny bit more trickier than just copy and cutting, but definitely doable.

We call this a ‘print screen’ or ‘screenshot’.

You can ‘copy’ the image of your screen by pressing the ‘print screen’ button on your keyboard.

For more you can check out our Ultimate Guide to taking a screenshot!

print screen keyboard

More Information

I hope this quick guide helped you learn the difference between copy and cut and what a clipboard is and how to paste data from it! Please leave a comment if you have any questions about the methods discussed in this article!

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