How to copy and paste on a Mac computer, and from a Mac to other Apple devices

Crystal Cox/Business InsiderThere are several ways to copy and paste on a Mac.
  • There are multiple ways to copy and paste on a Mac, as well as across all your Apple devices.
  • Mac users can copy and paste using the mouse, using keyboard shortcuts, or with a combination of methods.
  • If your Apple devices are linked with the same Apple ID account, you can even copy and paste text or other media from your Mac onto other devices.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories .

The copy and paste function is one of the great triumphs of the computer era.

Whether you’re copying and pasting a quote or a statistic while writing an essay for class, or adding a link to an email you’re sending a friend or colleague, copying and pasting text saves time and ensures a proper transcription.

You can also copy and paste images, GIFs, charts, tables, and all sorts of other media.

And if you’re using a Mac, you can copy and paste in multiple ways.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (From $US1,299.99 at Best Buy)

iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Best Buy)

iPad (From $US329.99 at Best Buy)

How to copy and paste on a Mac a mouse or trackpad

1. Highlight the text to be copied or hover your cursor over the other file type, then right click.

2. Click the word “Copy” from the popup menu that appears.

3. Navigate to the space where you want to put the text or file, then right click.

4. Click the word “Paste” from the popup menu.

How to copy and paste with Mac shortcut keys

1. Highlight the text to be copied.

2. Hold the “command” key (by the space button) and then hit the “C” key.

Steven John/Business InsiderPress Command + C to copy.

3. Click on to the space where the text is to be pasted, then hold command and hit the “V” key.

Steven John/Business InsiderPress Command + V to paste.

How to copy and paste to match formatting on a Mac

The above methods will transfer the text in the same style as it appeared in its original context, which might not be a fit for its new destination. To change the text to match the style of its new location, follow these steps.

1. Highlight the text to be copied and pasted, then right click and hit “Copy” or hit Command + C.

2. Navigate to the spot where the text is to be placed, then hit the word “Edit” from the task bar at the top of the screen.

3. Click “Paste and Match Formatting.”

Paste and match formattingSteven John/Business InsiderClick ‘Paste and Match Formatting.’

Alternately, you can use a keyboard shortcut to accomplish the same thing.

1. Highlight and copy your selected text.

2. Navigate to the spot where the text is to be placed, then press Command + Shift + V on your keyboard to paste the text without its original formatting.

How to copy and paste between Apple devices

If you use an iPhone or iPad with the same iCloud account as your Mac computer, you can use the Universal Clipboard tool included with the operating system Sierra to paste between two different devices. Note that you also have to make sure that you are signed into the same iCloud account on your Mac computer and all other apple devices as well as turn on your Bluetooth and WiFi network.

1. Go to your MacBook’s system preferences, and under the General tab, enable the “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices” setting.

2. On your iPhone (or iPad) go to Settings, General, then tap the Handoff tab and make sure the function is enabled (switch is green, e.g.).

HandoffSteven John/Business InsiderActivate Handoff to copy and paste between devices.

3. Highlight and then tap “Copy” on your mobile device.

4. Hit Command + V on your computer, and the text should copy to the document (or email) open on your Mac.

The pasting process may takes a bit longer than the usual copy and paste as you are working across different devices.

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