2.4 Cut, copy, and paste

Often in word processing, you will need to transfer information from one document to another. Instead of having to retype or replace this information, Word allows you to move a block of text, such as a word, sentence, paragraph, page, document, or graphic). Cut, copy, and paste are time-saving features. The Cut, Copy and Paste buttons are located on the Standard toolbar.

Cut, Copy, Paste Buttons

Cut and paste

  • The Cut feature allows you to remove selected text from the document and temporarily place it on the Office Clipboard.
  • The clipboard is a temporary storage file in your computer’s memory. Items placed on the clipboard will remain there until you exit Word.
  • The Paste feature allows you to get text from the clipboard and place it in the same or even another document.

Copy and paste

  • The Copy feature allows you to copy selected text from the document and temporarily place it on the clipboard.
  • The clipboard can hold up to 25 items. Once you copy the 26th item, the first copied item is deleted.
  • The Paste feature allows you to select any of the collected items on the clipboard and place them in the same or another document.

Important pointYou can copy information from many different sources, including websites, emails, and other Office applications like Excel and PowerPoint.

Working with blocks of text

To cut and paste a block of text:

  • Select the text you want to move.
  • Click the Cut button on the Standard toolbar.Cut Button
  • Place the insertion point where you want the text inserted.
  • Click the Paste button.Paste Button

To copy and paste a block of text:

  • Select the text you want to move.
  • Click the Copy button on the Standard toolbarCopy Button
  • Place the insertion point where you want the text inserted.
  • Click the Paste buttonPaste Button
  • Once the item has been pasted, you can determine the formatting by clicking the Paste Options button that appears just below your pasted selection. Check or deselect any of the following options:
    • Keep Source Formatting: This maintains the text formatting of the original document.
    • Match Destination Formatting: This formats the pasted text to match the text formatting in the document in which it was pasted.
    • Keep Text Only: This removes any graphics you may have copied along with the copied text.
    • Apply Style or Formatting: This allows you to choose a specific format from the styles and formatting menu.
Pasting Options

Viewing clipboard items:

  • Click Edit on the menu bar.
  • Select Office Clipboard.
  • The clipboard will appear on the right side of the Word window in the task pane.
  • The clipboard will display any of the 24 items you have copied.

Important point Menu commands:

  • Edit action Cut
  • Edit action Copy
  • Edit action Paste

Important pointKeyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+C = Copy
  • Ctrl+X = Cut
  • Ctrl+V = Paste

Become comfortable using keyboard shortcuts to increase your speed in word processing.

If you cut, copy, or paste something you didn’t mean to, use the Undo button or choose not to save changes to your document when you close it.

Drag and drop

The drag-and-drop method of moving text allows you to move selected text using your mouse.

This method is convenient for moving text when:

  • Moving text from one location to another within a document
  • Moving text to another document

To drag and drop selected text:

To drag:

  • Select the text you want to move.
  • Place the mouse pointer anywhere on the selected text without clicking.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button until the insertion point changes to a white arrow pointing up to the left.
  • Left click and drag the selected text to the new location.

To drop:

  • During this process, the mouse pointer changes to a box with a small white arrow over it to indicate that you are dragging text.
  • When you reach the new location, release the mouse button to drop the text into place.
  • Once you release the mouse button, a menu list will appear that offers you the following options:
    • Move Here
    • Copy Here
    • Link Here
    • Create Hyperlink Here
    • Cancel

Be sure to remove the selection highlight before pressing any key so you don’t delete newly moved text. IF you do accidentally delete, press the Undo button.


  • Open an existing document, or create a new one.
  • Select some text.
  • Click the Copy button on the Standard toolbar.
  • Place the insertion point where you want text to be located.
  • Click the Paste button.
  • Select the copied text.
  • Press the Delete key.