If you’re a new Mac user, it can be confusing to understand how the cut, copy, and paste commands work on Apple’s Mac operating system. These three commands allow you to duplicate, delete, and move around content on your Mac, effectively increasing your productivity tenfold.

It’s important to know how these commands work, as it will make your life easier. Luckily, these commands are easy to carry out on your Mac, using a few keyboard shortcuts. You also have the option to use your trackpad and/or mouse in order to carry out these commands. No matter which method you use, you’ll be on your way to a productive day, once you learn how these commands work.

How to Cut, Copy and Paste on Your Mac Using the Mouse

In order to learn how to cut, copy and paste using your trackpad and/or mouse, follow the instructions below.

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1. Hold down your left mouse (or hold down on your trackpad) and drag the mouse across the content you would like to cut or copy. You’ll notice the section you drag your mouse across, will highlight and change colors.

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2. Once you’ve made your selection, right click on your mouse (usually accomplished with two fingers on your trackpad) in order to make a menu appear. From the menu, choose either Cut or Copy. Note: You can also use the Edit menu on the top left, instead of right clicking, in order to select the Cut or Copy command.

3. If you chose the Copy command and would now like to Paste, first move your cursor to the area where you would like to paste.

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4. Right click, as you did in step # 2 and click on Paste. Note: You can also use the Edit menu on the top left, instead of right clicking, in order to select the Paste command.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts in order to carry out these commands. If you tend to use these commands often, the keyboard shortcuts will save you ample time, and allow you to be more productive. Read on below to learn how to use the keyboard shortcuts.

How to Cut, Copy, and Paste on Mac Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts allow you to use the keys on your keyboard to carry out a wide variety of tasks in a matter of seconds. In order to use the keyboard shortcuts for cut, copy, and paste, follow the instructions below.

1. Hold down your left mouse (or hold down on your trackpad) and drag the mouse across the content you would like to cut or copy. You’ll notice the section you drag your mouse across, will highlight and change colors.

2. Depending on what action you would like to take, choose one of the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Cut: command + X
  • Copy: command + C

3. If you chose the Copy command, and would now like to Paste, first move your cursoer to the area where you would like to paste your content.

4. Use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Paste: command + V

That’s all you have to do. With the press of a few buttons, you can easily cut, copy and paste content, when necessary. You won’t be able to use the Cut command on PDF’s, but copying text or images will work just fine. Please note that you can only paste in areas that allow editing. You may have also noticed that the letters X, C, and V are all right next to each other on the keyboard, which makes remembering these keyboard shortcuts very easy.

There are a couple of other keyboard shortcuts you can use, in addition to the ones you just learned, in order to make your editing journey a breeze. If you press command + A then you’ll select all the text or items in your current view. This makes copying a whole document very simple, as you won’t have to drag your mouse across all of the content on the document.

Another command, known as the Undo command, can be carried out by pressing command + Z. This will undo the last action you took, such as an erroneous paste.

How to Copy and Paste a Picture on Mac

Copying and pasting a picture is even easier than copying and pasting text, on your Mac. All you have to do is right click on the image. A drop-down menu will appear. From that menu, you just need to select the option, Copy Image. The image has now been copied to your clipboard, and can be pasted anywhere where editing is allowed.

You also have the ability to copy the URL of an image. In order to do this, all you have to do is select Copy Image Address from the drop-down menu that appears, when you right click.