How to Cut, Copy & Paste Using Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac keyboard shortcuts are a convenient way to cut, copy, and paste using key combinations rather than your trackpad or mouse.

Did you know that you can cut, copy, and paste on your Mac using key combinations rather than your trackpad or mouse? Keyboard shortcuts are useful for the iMac and MacBook. Here's how to copy and paste on a MacBook or iMac with keyboard shortcuts.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

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We've already written several articles about how to copy and paste on your iPhone and iPad. These tips include how to copy from your iPhone and paste to your Mac (and vice versa), how to copy and share multiple photos and videos from your iPhone, and how to copy and paste a number into your iPhone keypad. For more great Apple technology tutorials, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's learn how to copy and paste on your Mac (desktop or laptop), including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. We'll go over the Command-A, Command-C, Command-V, and Command-X keyboard shortcuts in this tip. To begin, find the text you want to copy and paste on your Mac, then: 

  1. Locate the Command (or Cmd) ⌘ key on your keyboard. My keyboard has a Command key on both sides of the Space Bar.

    where is the command key on mac keyboard
     
  2. To select all items on the page, press and hold the Command key, then press A, then release both.
  3. To highlight just one area to copy and paste, click and drag with your mouse or trackpad, then release when the desired area is highlighted.

    command a selects all items on the page
     
  4. Now, press and hold the Command key, then press C and release both to copy everything highlighted. 
  5. Press and hold the Command key, then press V and release both to paste the highlighted items into your document.
  6. You can also highlight the desired area, then press and hold the Command key, then press X and release both to simultaneously cut and save the highlighted area. Use Command-V to paste the content as before. 
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.