Friday, September 7, 2007

#17 Cut Copy & Paste

by Jeff Smith

It seems that last weeks article about email attachments helped out more than a few people, so I'm going to get back to basics for a while. If you're moderately computer literate you'll probably not learn much from this article. But if you are one of those people who sometimes mistakes the CD-ROM tray as a cup-holder, then this one is for you. (that means you Alfred)

When using your computer you may find the need to make a duplicate of a file or move a file from one folder to another. Or perhaps you wish to take some text from a webpage and email it to someone. These are instances where CUT COPY and PASTE will come in handy.
In Windows, you can access these functions via your right-click menu. For instance, lets say you wish to copy some text from a web-page. You can hi-lite the desired text by clicking and dragging over it. Then by right-clicking somewhere in the selected text you should see a menu with "Copy" as one of the options. Alternately, you can use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+C to whatever is selected.
At this point that text is now residing in what is called the "clipboard." This is a virtual space for files or text that is in transition. Kind of like a holding-area for what you're trying to copy or move. If you select and copy something else before pasting, it will clear the previously copied data and only hold the last thing that was cut or copied.
The next step is to open your email or a text file where you wish to put the copied text. Right-clicking in an open document in an empty area should give you the option to "Paste." Clicking that will deposit the text right there. The keyboard shortcut for Paste is Ctrl+V.
Cutting works in the same way, except that it deletes the original text (only works in documents you can edit, or on writeable disks) and it exists only in the clipboard until you paste it elsewhere. Keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+X.
In linux its even further simplified... at least for copying text. To copy text in Linux, you only have to select the text to be copied and then middle-click (on your wheel) to paste where you want it.
Doing these operations is very easy. And quite handy when it comes to organizing your files. You can cut a file from anywhere and navigate to where you want it and paste it. Remember not tot move Windows system files unless you know what you're doing.

Selecting multiple files using keyboard modifiers.
When selecting files, you can use the keys CTRL and SHIFT on your keyboard to help you select mutliple files. For instance, clicking one file then holding CTRL while you click another will keep both files selected. You can keep adding to the selection until you have everything you want selected, and then CUT or COPY as you need to for all the selected files at once.
If you click one file then hold SHIFT while clicking another file, it will select those two files and every one between them.
Using CTRL and SHIFT in this way works for both Linux and Windows.

Thats about all I have for this week, if you have any questions about this or any article I write, feel free to write to me at the email address below.


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