We're starting with the basics today. The first tool is the good old "copy & paste" (C&P) function. This is one of the most basic computer functions we should all know and use on a daily basis. There are probably a lot of people out there who think that it is silly for me to bring this one up because everyone must already use C&P. So, why bother mentioning it? Because I still know a large number of people who don't know how to C&P. And some people don't realize you can C&P between different applications. For example, you can copy from a web browser and paste into a Word document or into an e-mail. I rarely retype anything. If I can copy it and paste it, I do it. I do this for web addresses – some are short and simple, but many these days are long and complicated. I use it for web site titles and descriptions. Anything that will save me time while building a new link.
To copy and paste you have to first highlight the text that you want to copy. Insert your cursor in front of the first character, hold down the mouse button and drag the cursor to the last character you want to copy. The text you want should now be highlighted.
To copy, Windows users can use any of the following commands:
- Edit, Copy
- Right-click, Copy (click the right mouse button)
- Ctrl+C on the keyboard
To copy, Mac users can use any of the following commands:
- Command+C (Apple/propeller key) on the keyboard
- Right-click - hold down Command and the mouse button, Copy
The text you copied has been placed on a clipboard in the background. You can't see the clipboard. It is invisible. Trust me, it is there.
To paste, you need to place your cursor in the spot into which you want your text to be copied. For example, if you are copying something from a web page and into a Word document, you first need to open that Word document. Place your cursor in the Word document and paste.
To paste, Windows users can use any of the following commands:
- Edit, Paste
- Right-click, Paste (click the right mouse button)
- Ctrl+V on the keyboard
To paste, Mac users can use any of the following commands:
- Command+V (Apple/propeller key) on the keyboard
- Right-click - hold down Command and the mouse button, Paste
Examples of when and where you might use C&P in your daily research:
- research notes
- web browser
- a word processor document
- notes software such as Evernote
- your genealogy software program