A way of moving text and other items from one place to another on a computer. Commonly used in word processors. Also used to great effect in Everything to put text from a web page in a node. Unfortunately it also copies spelling mistakes.

To cut text, an image, or a file:

To paste text, an image, or a file:

  • Ctrl + V
  • Shift + Insert

In Windows, you can usually right click and select cut in the pop up menu. Similarly, right clicking, and selecting paste in the pop up menu will paste. One may also go to Edit>Cut and Edit>Paste.

Since Macs do not have a second mouse button or a ctrl key, one must use the edit menu, or use the same commands as in Windows, but replace the ctrl key with the cloverleaf Command key. If you aren't comfortable with that, you could invest in a multi-button mouse or similar pointing device.

Nowadays, being able to drag and drop items is more or less standard, more so on Mac-based systems where this method was popularized, although this trend is growing on the thieving Windows OS.

A source of much plagiarism on Everything.

The metaphor of cut and paste was originally used in the WYSIWYG word processing program Gypsy for the Xerox Alto in 1975. While developing Gypsy, Tim Mott studied how non-engineers would use a computer at a publishing company owned by Xerox. This form of user research was a new design concept at Xerox PARC. The users wanted the machine to mimic the creation and editing tasks they performed on paper. The terms cut and paste came into use through this study, referring to the act of moving a block of text to a different location in a document. This task was performed manually by editors rearranging manuscripts on paper.

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