Mac Shortcuts For Copy And Paste

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The saying used to be, “There’s an app for that.” Now the new saying is, “There’s a shortcut for that.” Copy and paste actions with this. On a Mac keyboard, the Command key is denoted with the symbol. For information about changing the key assignment of a keyboard shortcut, see Mac Help for your version of the Macintosh operating system (OS) or see your utility application. Also see Keyboard Shortcuts in OneNote for Mac later in this topic.

Anyone who has had to type up huge chunks of text will agree that the copy and paste functions are probably two of the best things ever invented. And it’s not only good for editing lengthy lines of text, it’s also quite handy for people who have trouble remembering complex combinations like PIN codes, serial numbers and the like. It’s such a frequently used function that one of the first things new Mac users ask our Mac Experts is how to use this function.

How to Copy and Paste on a Mac Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Keyboard Shortcuts For Copy And Paste On Mac

If you’ve been a long-time Windows user and have just recently started using a Mac, pressing CTRL + C and CTRL + V for copy and paste respectively is already thoroughly ingrained — so much so that you probably tried using the same key combinations on your Mac until you realized the CTRL key has been replaced with a key labeled “control.”

Don’t panic. While the Control key doesn’t have the same function on Macs as it does on Windows, there’s an equally quick way to perform copy and paste on a Mac and that is by pressing Command + C (⌘ + C) and Command + V (⌘ + V).

If you don’t want to be bothered with constantly pausing and reminding your fingers to use Command instead of the Control key, or if you want to use a Windows-based keyboard that doesn’t have a Command key to begin with, you can remap your Mac keys so that you can assign a different key for performing copy and paste on your Mac.

To remap your Mac keys:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu
  2. Open “System Preferences”
  3. Click on “Keyboard”
  4. Select “Shortcuts”
  5. Click on “Modifier Keys”
  6. Go to the “Command” field
  7. Click on the drop-down menu
  8. Select “Control”
  9. Click “OK”

Please note that while remapping your Mac keys this way will apply the changes to the whole system, there are certain applications where it may not work. To ensure that your preferred keyboard shortcut for copy and paste on your Mac will also work on your frequently used applications:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu
  2. Open “System Preferences”
  3. Click on “Keyboard”
  4. Select “Shortcuts”
  5. Select “App Shortcuts”
  6. Click the “Add” button (the one with the + sign)
  7. Select the app or apps for which you want your preferred keyboard shortcuts to be used.
    • If you can’t find your favorite application on the list, click “Other” then use the “Open” dialog box to search for it.
    • If you want your preferred shortcut for copy and paste to apply to all applications, just click on “All Applications.”
  8. In the “Menu Title,” type in the command for which you want your shortcut to work (for example, type “Copy” if you want to assign a keyboard shortcut for copying and “Paste” if you want a keyboard shortcut for pasting things). Please make sure that you write the menu title exactly the same way the command is written on your favorite application’s menu (including capitalization and spaces).
  9. Next, go to the “Keyboard Shortcut” field, then press the key combination that you want to use for the keyboard shortcut while you’re in the empty box beside it.
  10. Click on “Add”

How to Copy and Paste on a Mac Using a Apple Magic Mouse

Mac Copy Paste Keys

Many Windows users, employing a two-button mouse, know to right click in order to copy and paste. However, mice that come with Macs have only one button. The easiest way to copy and paste using a Magic Mouse is as follows:

  1. Highlight the text that you want to copy
  2. Hold down the Control button
  3. Click the mouse button
  4. Select “Copy” from contextual menu
  5. Go to the place where you want to paste the text
  6. Hold down the Control button
  7. Click the mouse button
  8. Select “Paste” from contextual menu

How to Copy and Paste on a Mac Using Your Trackpad

Aside from using a keyboard shortcut and your mouse, you can also use your trackpad to perform copy and paste on your Mac.

On Windows-based PCs, you usually do this by highlighting the text that you want to copy, pressing on the lower right corner of your trackpad which is equivalent to performing a right-click with your mouse, then selecting “Paste” from the menu.

On Macs, the process is similar: highlight the text that you want to copy, use two fingers to lightly tap around the center of your trackpad to bring up the contextual menu (the popup menu that appears when you initiate a “Control + mouse click), then selecting “Paste” from there.

Now, go and try to practice them so that you can get used to performing copy and paste on your Mac before you work on projects that require a lot of copying and pasting.

Good luck!

Keep checking back at the PowerMax blog for all kinds of news, tips, tricks, how tos and more!

Copy or cut

Start by selecting the text or other item to be copied or cut. Then use one of these steps to save the item to your Clipboard so that it can be pasted elsewhere.

Copy

  • Press Command-C.
  • Or choose Edit > Copy from the menu bar.
  • Or Control-click (or right-click) the item you selected, then choose Copy from the shortcut menu.

Cut

  • Press Command-X.
  • Or choose Edit > Cut from the menu bar.
  • Or Control-click (or right-click) the item you selected, then choose Cut from the shortcut menu.

Paste, or paste and match style

First click to place your insertion point, then use one of these steps to paste your copied item at that location. When you paste and match style, the pasted item matches the font, color, size, or other style of the surrounding content.

How

Paste

  • Press Command-V.
  • Or choose Edit > Paste from the menu bar.
  • Or Control-click (or right-click) the item you selected, then choose Paste from the shortcut menu.
Keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste on mac

Paste and Match Style

  • Press Option-Shift-Command-V.
  • Or choose Edit > Paste and Match Style from the menu bar.

Learn more

  • You can also drag and drop items to move or copy them to another location.
  • If you press and hold the Control key while taking a screenshot, the screenshot is saved to the Clipboard, ready to be pasted.
  • With Universal Clipboard, you can copy and paste content between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
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