How to Copy & Paste on an iMac

by Matt Skaggs

No matter what you do on a computer, from writing an email to backing up data, you use certain common functions on the mouse and keyboard. Some of these are so basic you probably don't even think about it, like when you need to click the mouse or press the spacebar. One very common function on the iMac and other Apple computers is copying and pasting. It applies to pictures, files, folders, text and many other things you see on your screen. Because of its common usage, it's a straightforward process you can quickly implement whenever you need to.

Using the Keyboard

Select the object or objects you wish to copy and paste. If this is a single item, like a file or a picture inside a document you're viewing, just click it to select it. For text, put the cursor over the first portion of the text, click and hold, then drag to the end of the text you want to copy. Alternatively, put the cursor at the beginning of the text, hold the "Shift" key on your keyboard and then use your arrow keys to highlight the text you want.

Press and hold the "Command" key. Depending on your keyboard, this key may have the Apple logo on it rather than the word "Command."

Press the "C" key while still holding down the "Command" key, then let go of both. This copies the text.

Move your cursor to the location you wish to paste the object. Move it to another place in the same document, or move to a new program, such as Safari or TextEdit.

Press and hold the "Command" key again.

Press the "V" key while still holding the "Command" key, then let go of both. This pastes the object.

Using the Mouse

Select what you want to copy. Click a single object, like a file, or highlight text if you want to copy that. To highlight text, place the cursor at the beginning of the text, then click and hold while you drag the cursor to the end of the text you need. Alternatively, hold the "Shift" key down and navigate with the arrow keys to highlight text.

Bring up the editing options for the highlighted object. One way to do this is to click the "Edit" menu in the menu bar at the top of your screen. Another option is to press and hold the "Control" key and click the object, which brings up options for that object at the same location as your mouse cursor.

Select the "Copy" option.

Navigate to the place you wish to paste the object. This can be within the same document or even in a different program.

Move your mouse cursor to the location you wish to paste the object, and again bring up the options available by clicking the "Edit" menu or by using the "Control" key and clicking your mouse.

Select "Paste" to paste the object.

About the Author

A lover of technology in all forms, Matt Skaggs began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in Windows computers and Android devices. His writing has appeared on many websites providing a plethora of technology information and tutorials. In 2008 Skaggs graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities.

Photo Credits

  • David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images