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Background   Resolution   Select items   Cut/Copy/Paste   Drag and Drop   Window tasks


Cutting, copying and pasting are some of the most used features in Windows.  Cutting, copying and pasting allows you to move or copy things such as files or text around with ease.  There are several ways to do this.

First, you could use the keyboard shortcuts.  Highlight the thing you want to cut or copy, then hold down CTRL and press C to copy or or X to cut it.  Note that this action, alone, doesn't actually do anything for files.  If you are editing text then when you press CTRL + X the text will disappear immediately, but pressing CTRL + C doesn't seem to do anything at all.  Next you go to the location where you want to place the item.  Make sure that the area where you want to put the text or file has focus (explained in the Terms section).  If it's text, make sure the cursor is where you want to put the text.  Then you hold down CTRL and press V on the keyboard.  If you had chosen to copy a file then a copy will be made there.  If you chose to cut a file then a copy will be made there and then the file will be deleted from the original location.

You can also do this with a right click.  Once you have the thing you wish to copy or move highlighted, right click on it and a menu will come up.  In that menu will be Cut and Copy.  Left click on the one you want.  Then go to the area where you want to put it, right click there and choose Paste from the menu and it will be copied or moved there.

You can also drag and drop (explained in the Drag and Drop section).  To drag and drop something highlight what you want to move or copy and then drag and drop it to the new location.  This one is a little tricky.  Sometimes the item will be moved and sometimes it will be copied.  For text in Word it will always be moved, even if you drag and drop it from one Word document into another.  For files it's a little different.  If the new location is on the same drive as the old location it will be moved while if the new location is on a different drive than the old location it will be copied.

You can change the behavior of the drag and drop method "on the fly" and this works both for text and for files and folders.  You drag and drop as normal, but instead of the left mouse button you use the right mouse button to drag and drop.  Once you let up a menu will come up.  That menu will give you the option to copy or move the item.  But it will also give you another option.  In Word it will give you the option to "link" the text from the first file into the second file.  For files and folders it will give you the option to "Create a shortcut".

Creating a shortcut of a file or folder is a very useful thing.  It allows you to put the item someplace useful, such as on your Desktop, but without actually moving or copying it there.  You don't want to actually move your Documents folder to your Desktop.  And you certainly don't want to copy your Documents folder there.  Anything saved in "My Documents" would not be found in the "Documents" folder on the Desktop.  And programs might not be able to find it if it's not in the right place.  But it's nice to have quick access to your Documents from the Desktop.  By creating a shortcut you have the best of both worlds.  You have quick access to it from the Desktop, but it's still in your User folder, right where it belongs.