– How to Copy and Paste on Mac –
Coping and pasting are among the most common PC functions. “Every schoolboy knows,” the Cntrl+V command is a short-cut to copy files on the common Windows OS, but is this function different for other operating systems? This article has all information on how to copy and paste on Mac and more related sub-topics. Read on!
You must use copy (or cut) and paste to move text, an image, or another item from one portion of a document to another, or from one programme to another.
The keyboard shortcuts for this on a Mac or MacBook differ from those on other devices, so if you’re coming from Windows, you could be puzzled.
We’ll walk you through the easy procedures of cutting, copying, and pasting on a Mac. Our instructions will show you how to cut and paste on a MacBook.
We’ll also go through how to copy and paste on a Mac with the keyboard and how to copy and paste with the mouse.
How to Copy and Paste on Mac with Keyboard Shortcuts
One of the most basic and useful computer shortcuts is copy and paste. It saves time and guarantees that text and they retain graphics in their original format; there’s no need to enter content from a webpage into an email or document when you can just copy and paste it.
On a Mac, there are various ways to copy and paste, and understanding them all can help you use this feature effectively no matter what you’re copying and pasting. You may also copy and paste items from one Apple device to another.
The most significant distinction between Windows and Macs is the key you must hit, which on a Mac is the Command key. They mark it with a symbol and is next to the space bar.
Here’s how to accomplish everything.
1. Using your mouse or track pad, highlight the text you wish to copy.
2. Press the “C” key while holding down the Command key to copy the highlighted text.
3. Position the cursor where you want to paste the copied text by clicking.
4. To paste, hold down the Command key and then hit the “V” key.
How to Copy and Paste on Mac with a Mouse or Track Pad
1. Use your mouse or track pad to select the text you wish to copy, then right-click. Simply hover the mouse over the image, GIF, or other file type you want to copy before clicking.
2. Select Copy from the pop-up menu.
3. Position the cursor where you want to paste the copied text or file by clicking.
4. Menu select Paste from the pop-up by right-clicking. If you just copy and paste, the pasted content will keep the formatting from the original context.
How to copy and Paste on Mac Using the Toolbar
1. Using your mouse or track pad, choose the text you wish to copy.
2. Click Edit in the toolbar at the top of your screen, then pick Copy from the drop-down menu.
3. Position the cursor where you want to paste the copied text by clicking.
4. Click Edit in the toolbar at the top of your screen, then Paste from the drop-down menu.
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How to Copy and Paste on Mac to Match Formatting
The methods described above will transfer highlighted text in its original context, including font, size, color, etc. While this isn’t always ideal, there is a simple solution that will help you keep things consistent in the email or document you’re pasting information into.
Follow the steps below to alter copied content to fit the style of its new location:
1. Using your mouse or track pad, highlight the text you wish to copy.
2. Copy the text with either the right-click, toolbar, or Command + C techniques described above.
3. Position the cursor where you want to paste the copied text by clicking.
4. Select Edit from the toolbar at the top of the screen, then Paste without formatting.
It’s also known as Paste and Match Style or something along those lines. They adjust the copied text to fit the style of the document or email you’re copying into when you paste without formatting.
How to Copy and Paste Between Apple Devices
Before we leave this straightforward topic, there’s one more complex tip. It’s been possible to Copy on your Mac and then Paste on your iPhone or vice versa since Universal Clipboard in MacOS Sierra in 2016.
It’s as easy as it sounds, as long as they enable the functionality on your devices.
You can effortlessly copy and paste text and photographs between devices if your iPhone or iPad is linked to the same iCloud account as your Mac.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Open System Preferences on your Mac and select General.
2. Check the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices towards the bottom of the General page.
3. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and select General.
4. Select AirPlay & Handoff from the General page.
5. Make sure the Handoff function is turned on by touching the switch and turning it green.
6. Press to highlight the text or picture you want to copy on your mobile device, then tap Copy.
7. Paste the material onto your computer using one technique listed above. This approach also works for copying and pasting text from your PC to your mobile device.
How to Ensure Universal Clipboard is Installed on Your Mac
How do you ensure that Universal Clipboard is installed on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad?
It’s been available since the release of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra 2016, so you’re probably on the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems, but if not, you’ll need to update.
You’ll also need devices that support Apple’s Universal Clipboard feature, which Apple describes here:
a. iPhone 5 or later is required.
b. iPad Pro 4th generation or newer
c. Any iPad Air, iPad mini 2, or iPod touch 6th generation or newer.
This includes the following on the Mac:
a. MacBook Pro 2015 or newer
b. MacBook Pro 2012 or newer
c. MacBook Air 2012 or newer
d. Mac mini 2012 or newer
e. iMac 2012 or newer
f. Mac Pro 2013
Universal Clipboard Activation
If you have everything listed above, follow these steps to get Universal Clipboard to operate on your Mac:
a. Open System Preferences
b. Now go to General on your Mac.
c. At the bottom of the menu, make sure ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices’ is checked.
Just open Settings > General > Handoff on your iOS device and make sure Handoff has a green slider.
How to Cut and Paste via the Menus
You can also use the menus (depending on the app):
a. Choose the text you’d like to copy.
b. Select Edit from the menu.
c. Choose between cutting and copying.
d. Choose Paste from the menu when you right-click where you want to paste the text.
In Pages, you can paste and match style, which might be useful if you don’t want to lose any formatting. A similar option is likely to be available in other apps.
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How to Check Your Version of MacOS
Apple released the first version of MacOS, the operating system that runs all of their computers, nearly 40 years ago. Apple has changed their naming scheme several times over the years.
They gave each OS version a number in the beginning, such as System 1, System 2, and so on. Because it had a higher number, you could tell which operating system was newer.
However, once they reached version 10, “MacOS X,” they began naming their software after large cats, such as MacOS X Lion and MacOS X Snow Leopard.
Mac OS is currently known simply as “MacOS,” and they named each version after a California locale. As of this writing, the most recent version is MacOS Big Sur, which was published in November 2020.
You probably don’t need to remember the names of every Mac operating system ever, unless you’re a programmer or a tech writer. All you need to know is what’s new, how to check which MacOS version you have, and how to upgrade it if necessary.
How to Check Which MacOS Version Your Mac Computer is Running
To see what OS version your Mac is running, go to:
1. Go to the top-left corner of the screen and click the Apple logo.
2. Select “About This Mac” from the drop-down menu that opens.
3. You’ll see a new window pop up. If it doesn’t open to the Overview tab automatically, click “Overview” at the top of the window.
You can see what macOS version your computer is running, right down to the build number, on this website (something like 10.14.6).
You’ll notice a collection of fundamental information about your machine beneath the OS name, such as its serial number, CPU, and model name. You may learn further more about the system by clicking “System Report” at the bottom of the window.
How to Update Your MacOS
If you believe your MacOS version is out of date, try updating it.
1. From the Apple logo in the top-left corner, open the “About This Mac” panel once more. Go to the “Overview” page once again.
2. Next to the System Report option, at the bottom of the window, select “Software Update.”
3. Your Mac will connect to the internet to see whether a newer version of MacOS is available for you to install. If there is, it will ask you to restart your computer so that you may install the update.
If you have the most recent version, it will notify you, and you may safely dismiss both windows.
How to Copy Multiple Items on Mac
If you’re switching from Windows to Mac, you might wonder if you can copy many objects to your Mac’s Clipboard so you can select what to paste.
Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on the Mac (though we’d love to see it in macOS 13.)
On a PC, you may paste up to 24 things from Office documents into a document by copying them to the Office Clipboard and selecting them from the task pane.
Where is the Clipboard on a Mac?
You can see the clipboard, so here’s what you should do:
a. Activate the Finder.
b. In the menu, select Edit.
c. Select Show Clipboard from the menu.
d. This will display the last thing you copied.
Regrettably, it will not keep track of anything you’ve copied.
Best Clipboard Tool for the Mac?
Although Apple does not provide one, you could use a third-party clipboard tool to store multiple copies.
Alfred is a good choice, and the company has been in business for a long time. It is a multi-award-winning productivity app that includes a Clipboard History as part of a Power-pack that costs £29 for a single license.
With this tool everything you copy will be available in your searchable history.
You can even save popular text snippets for easy access.
You can choose for Alfred to remember your Clipboard History for 24 hours, 7 days, 1 month or 3 months.
Copy-Paste Limitations and How to Overcome them
As you can see, there isn’t much to learning how to copy and paste on a MacBook. It’s quite simple, and you may select the best approach for any case you come into.
This beautiful simplicity, however, is missing a few crucial capabilities that you could require in your day-to-day job.
One such restriction is the lack of the ability to hold several items in your clipboard.
And because reality demands us to be multitasking animals on a daily basis, copying a variety of items — files, screenshots, links, snippets, photographs, and so on — may be really useful.
This is a clipboard manager that can handle many choices for you.
Paste can not only save everything you’ve copied, search it conveniently, and paste what you need where you want it, but it can also sync your clipboard history to iCloud.
How many times have you copied something only to discover that you need to copy something else right now, forcing you to go back and recopy the original item since they deleted it from your clipboard when you copied something else? You are no longer required to do so.
Also, you can keep track of your copied objects, organize them into categories, and even paste them as plain text. You may paste an object by dragging and dropping it.
This is another note, file, and clipboard history management application.
The Unclutter software, which has a slightly different look, is ideal for taking notes, managing your Mac’s clipboard, and saving files and notes.
Because copy we usually do pasting to save time and avoid typing the same old boring stuff repeatedly, you could benefit from an app that lets you use snippets and build custom inserts for your most typical text use cases.
The Rocket Typist software lets you create a library of snippets for your most often used words.
You may either paste them using the drop-down menu or make simple abbreviations that will automatically prompt pasting. Isn’t it convenient?
How to Copy and Paste a Picture on a Mac
Let’s look at how to duplicate a photo on a Mac now.
If you’re editing a document or a presentation, you may choose any photo the same way you would any other item in an editable document — by placing your mouse in front of the object and dragging the selection to cover the entire thing, in this example, a picture.
You may also choose a picture by just double-clicking on it.
To copy, use Command + C. You may also right-click on a picture and choose Copy image from the menu:
Your image has now been copied to your clipboard, and you can paste it by pressing Command + V or right-clicking and selecting Paste. That’s all there is to copying an image on a Mac.
Even if you have the ability to copy a picture, you must get clear permission from the copyright owner before using photos taken from third-party sites.
Killing Text on Mac
If you now have a firm grasp on how to use the clipboard on a Mac, you should also know you don’t have to copy a piece of text to your clipboard if you simply want to remove it.
Control + K will delete selected text from your Mac’s clipboard without copying it.
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Reinserting Text Previously Killed
Using the Yank tool Control + Y, you can recover that text back (the one you just obliterated with Kill through the Control + K hotkey combination).
However, this will only function with Mac’s native applications.
Use the hotkey combination for the Undo action — Command + Z — in third-party apps like Google Docs to undo the text kill and restore the text you just deleted.
How to Copy and Paste Two Items on Mac
Apart from utilizing a clipboard manager tool, you can truly copy two objects using the Yank function discussed before.
This will only operate within built-in apps, as stated in the preceding section, but it may be rather useful anyway (if you can remember which key combination you used to copy what, that is).
This is done with:
a. Command + C is used to select and copy the initial bit of text.
b. Control + K selects and kills the second half of the text.
c. To paste, place your cursor where you want the first text to appear and press Command + V.
Control + Y and place the cursor where you want the second text to appear.
This is a workaround, to be sure, but it may be handy in a pinch.
How to Fix a Frozen Mac
There’s a simple answer if you know how to copy and paste on a Mac but it’s not functioning.
To solve a copy-pasting issue on your Mac, follow these steps:
a. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities to get started.
b. Open Activity Monitor by searching for it.
c. In the upper right corner of the Activity Monitor window, type “pboard” into the search bar:
Quit the process by double-clicking it.
You’ll be prompted to confirm and select whether to Quit, Force Quit, or Cancel in the pop-up confirmation box. Press the Force Quit Mac button.
Exit Activity Monitor and retry the copy-paste.
a. Alternatively, you may use Terminal to complete the same task. Open Terminal by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal, then typing in: pboard kill all
b. Return the key.
If copy-paste still doesn’t work, consider stopping and restarting the program in question to rule out a software fault or conflict.
You may also try restarting your Mac to see if it solves the problem.
Also remember a software or a user might change the hotkey combinations on your Mac. To remedy this, restore your hotkey settings:
a. Open Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard.
b. Click on Modifier Key
c. Click Restore Defaults
How to Force Quit on a Mac
Has one of your Mac’s applications become unresponsive? Is the’spinning beach ball’ visible? Have you noticed that your mouse has stopped working? These signs indicate that an app has ceased operating and that you must Force Quit before continuing.
But, with a Mac, how can you Force Quit? How do you handle alt delete on a Mac if you’re used to Windows?
The classic Ctrl+Alt+Delete key sequence is well-known among Windows users as the final resort when a program becomes unresponsive.
On a Mac, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete will accomplish nothing, assuming you can locate those keys: the Alt key is often referred to as Option, the Control key is present, but its counterpart on a Mac is the Command key, and there isn’t a key labeled as Delete.
So, how do you force a Mac to shut down? On a Mac, there are a few different ways to Force Quit a program.
We’ll show you a few different ways to locate and shut off unwanted apps without having to use the power button.
If you’re finding that apps are becoming sluggish on a frequent basis, and it’s not always the same one, you should back up your data and perform a clean install of macOS. It’s a bit of a risk, but it might save you a lot of grief in the long run.
Before we get started, let’s go through the five various ways to force quit on a Mac:
a. In the Dock, right-click on the program.
b. Select Force Quit from the Apple menu, then press Command + Alt (or Option) + Escape.
c. In Activity Monitor, press the Force Quit button.
d. Restart your computer.
e. For more information on how to perform any of the above, keep reading.
Force Quit via the Dock
If an app has become unresponsive, hovering your mouse pointer over the menu bar at the top of the screen will most likely result in a spinning beach ball that won’t let you select any options.
Of course, you can give the app some time to fix the problem, but if the issue persists, the app will need to be closed and relaunched.
a. Navigate to the Dock, which is at the bottom of your screen.
b. Look for the app’s icon.
c. To open the contextual menu, right-click (or Ctrl+click).
d. The option to Quit is at the bottom of this list. If you click this, the app should close.
e. If this does not shut the app, repeat the procedure, but this time hold down the Alt key while the menu displays, and the Quit option will change to Force Quit. If you choose this, the software will shut instantly.
Force Quit via the Apple Menu
Another method to use the Force Quit command is to:
a. Change to an app that is operating properly.
b. Now, in the top left corner of your screen, click the Apple icon.
c. The Force Quit option key is available from the drop-down menu.
d. Don’t worry, this won’t Force Quit the app you’re using right now; instead, it’ll show you a list of all open applications from which you may choose the one that’s frozen (s).
e. Now press the Force Quit button.
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Force Quit on the Mac Using the Keyboard
Holding down the Command + Alt (or Option) + Escape keys will bring up the same Force Quit Applications box as seen above, allowing you to Force Quit a programme.
a. Using the keyboard, press Command + Alt (or Option) + Escape.
A list of all the apps presently operating on your system will display, with ‘Not Responding’ in brackets next to the one you’re having issues with.
The app should be highlighted.
b. At the bottom of the window, click the Force Quit button.
How to Force Quit an Application
In some cases, you won’t be able to perform the above commands because you can’t get out of the app. If this is the case, you still have a command available to you.
Simply hold down the Cmd + Alt (Option) + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard, and MacOS will exit the active program on your screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section sheds more light on how to copy and paste on Mac by providing clear and insightful answers to direct questions.
1. How Do I Copy and Paste in Word and Keep Formatting?
Ans: “You may use Ctrl/Alt/V to paste, or you can just Right-Click and pick paste from there, and Word will offer you a row of formatting options to choose from, the first of which, from recollection, is to maintain formatting.”
2. How Do You Copy and Paste on A Macbook Pro 2015?
Ans: “Instead of controlling, use command.
Copy (command C)
Cut (command X)
V is the Paste command.
Command has a sign on it that looks like a square pretzel ⌘”
3. How Do I Copy and Paste with Mac?
Ans: “To copy and paste with Mac,
a. Select the text,
b. Then click Edit, then Copy in the menu bar.
c. Click where you want to drop the text, then select file Edit from the menu bar, then Paste Done (keyboard shortcuts: Command c and Command v). if you’d rather take shortcuts)”
4. Why is there only ‘copy’ option in Mac and no ‘cut’?
Ans: “It does include a cut command, which is accessed by pressing the Apple key + X. All of the commands close to the selections are displayed in the Edit menu.”
5. How Do You Copy and Paste Pictures on A Mac?
Ans: “You may utilize the copy/paste feature on your Mac in two ways.
The first step is to use your trackpad to pick the text or media, then tap the highlighted material with two fingers on the trackpad and select Copy.
Next, browse to the location where you wish to paste the media, tap with two fingers on your trackpad, and select Paste.
The second approach is to use your trackpad to locate the text or media, then press Command and C to copy it, then Command and P in the chosen place.”
6. Is Apple’s Universal Clipboard Reliable?
Ans: “NO,” is the unequivocal response to this inquiry. It’s an untrustworthy protocol. After testing the Universal Clipboard across two Macs, the results were quite bad.”
7. How Do I Retrieve My Second to Last Item Copied on Mac?
Ans: “You don’t unless you use third-party applications. In MacOS, the built-in clipboard does not operate like that. There is just one clipboard, and copying something to it overwrites whatever was previously on it.
There are a host of third-party programs that give clipboard history or even many simultaneous clipboards, some of which are free and others that aren’t:
There may be others that I haven’t listed because this isn’t a complete list.
I’ve long used Quicksilver and, more recently, LaunchBar, and can strongly suggest either — albeit LaunchBar is considerably more stable and feature-rich, as well as being updated more frequently.”
8. Without Using a Mouse, How Do You Copy and Paste?
Ans: “Is it possible to do anything without using a mouse? Okay. To highlight a section of text, hold shift and press the arrow keys. To copy, use Control-c (or Command-c on a Mac).
Then you use a mix of arrow keys, page up/down, tab to move between fields on a form, alt-tab (on Windows) to switch between program windows, and so on to get it where you want it. Then, on a Mac, use control-v (command-v) to paste.”
9. How Do I Copy and Paste on Word?
Ans: “To copy and paste into MS Word, use the following steps:
a. First, highlight the part of the text you wish to copy by pressing down the shift key in combination with the arrow key for direction.
b. Next, press Ctrl C to copy the text to your clipboard.
c. Ctrl X is a shortcut to delete the highlighted material from your screen.
d. Place your cursor where you want to paste the copied material and press Ctrl V.”
10. How Can We Copy and Paste on A Mac Book Air?
Ans: “It is the same as on other devices with a keyboard.
Simply follow these steps:
a. Highlight the text you want to copy using your mouse or trackpad.
b. Hold the Command key, then press the “C” key to copy the highlighted text. …
c. Click to place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text.
d. Hold the Command key, then press the “V” key to paste.”
We hope this article resolves your query on how to copy and paste on Mac, proving further detail. Do well to share this article with your friend and loved ones.