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The C Shore

Avoid Typing: Cut & Paste Handout

The process of creating a copy of existing code is called ‘copy and paste’. The reason for that is that the two commands you use to make the copy are called copy and paste.

  1. Before you can copy you need to highlight what you want to copy.
  2. The way which works best for most people is to use the keyboard.
    • The reason is this tends to work better is that moving the mouse to a particular spot and then highlighting exactly what you want takes a lot of practice and coordination.
    • Your instructor still has trouble cutting and pasting with the mouse, and he’s had years of practice.
  3. The first thing you need to do is move the flashing bar (called a cursor) so that it is directly in front of what you want to copy. You can do this with the arrow keys on the keyboard, or with the mouse.
  4. The next step is to press and hold one of the shift keys (that is one of the keys labelled Shift on the keyboard — one of them is on the left, beside Z, and the other is on the right, beside ? (question mark symbol).
  5. While you hold the shift key you need to move the flashing bar (cursor) over what it is you want to copy. You do this by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
  6. Once you have selected everything you wan to copy, stop pressing the arrow keys, and then stop pressing the shift key.
  7. Now press and hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard (aka control key)
  8. While pressing the Ctrl key press and release the letter C on the keyboard.
  9. Ctrl-C is known as the Copy command — we are using it because using the mouse to do so can be quite a bit trickier.
  10. Next, move the flashing bar (cursor) to the location where you want to put the copy you will make.
  11. Once in the correct location, press and hold Ctrl, and while holding Ctrl down, press and release the V key on the keyboard.
  12. This is known as the Paste command.
  13. You should now have a copy of what you wanted to copy, where you want it.

Picture of a laptop keyboard with copy paste related keys circled

Note: Your keyboard may have a slightly different arrangement of keys, but it should be sufficiently similar for this picture to help you.