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How to Cut, Copy, and Paste in Windows XP

You can cut, copy, and paste in Windows XP to move items or copies of items to other locations within a file, or to a different file or application. Using the cut, copy, and paste features allows you to organize the items within your files quicker and easier, and Windows XP makes cutting, copying, and pasting easy by giving you a few simple steps to get the job done.


Select the text or object you want to work with.

Do so by clicking and dragging across the text that you want to work with or by clicking an object to select it.


Copy or Cut the item.

If you want to copy the item so that it remains in its current location, choose Edit→Copy, which makes a copy of the item to place elsewhere. Or you can choose Edit→Cut to remove the selected item from its present location and place it elsewhere.


Choose Edit→Paste.

Move your cursor to the location (in the current document, another document, or another application) where you want to place the item; choosing Edit→Paste places the item at that location.

Most applications also offer toolbar buttons for Cut, Copy, and Paste, as well as keyboard shortcuts. The common keyboard shortcuts are: Cut, Ctrl+X; Copy, Ctrl+C; and Paste, Ctrl+V.

One slick feature of Microsoft applications is Paste Special. This displays a smart tag icon when you paste an item. If you click this icon, you get some choices about whether you retain formatting from the original item or assume the formatting of the location where you’re pasting it.

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