Text Basics

Copying, cutting, and pasting text

You may find that sometimes it's easier to copy and paste text that repeats often in your document. Other times, there may be text you want to move from one area of the document to another, in which case you'll need to cut and paste or drag and drop the text.

Typically, the copy, cut, and paste commands are found in the Edit menu of many word processing applications. However, Google Docs uses keyboard shortcuts—or a combination of keys—to perform these commands. If you try to select copy, cut, or paste from the Edit menu in Google Docs, Google reminds you to use keyboard shortcuts.

Viewing the Keyboard shortcuts

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, you can download the free Chrome Google Docs app from the Chrome Web Store. It will allow you to select copy, cut, and paste from the Edit menu, as well as to right-click the mouse to copy, cut, and paste text.

To copy and paste text:

  1. Select the text you want to copy.
    Selecting text to copy
  2. Press Ctrl+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac) on your keyboard to copy the text.
  3. Place your insertion point where you want the text to appear.
    Placing the insertion point
  4. Press Ctrl+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac) on your keyboard to paste the text. The text will appear.
    Viewing pasted text

To cut and paste text:

  1. Select the text you want to copy.
    Selecting text to cut
  2. Press Ctrl+X (Windows) or Command+X (Mac) on your keyboard to cut the text.
  3. Place your insertion point where you want the text to appear.
    Placing the insertion point
  4. Press Ctrl+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac) on your keyboard to paste the text. The text will appear.
    Viewing the pasted text

To drag and drop text:

  1. Select the text you want to move to another place in the document.
    Preparing to drag and drop text
  2. Click and drag the text to the location where you want it to appear. The cursor will have an insertion point under it to indicate you're moving text.
    Dragging text to a new location
  3. Release the mouse button, and the text will move to the new location.
    Viewing dropped text