How to Copy and Paste on Mac

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by William on May 22, 2024 | Approved by Christian Cawley

If you're new to Apple computers or have been using one for a while but still don't know how to copy and paste on Mac, iMac, or Macbook Pro/Air, you've come to the right place. Whether you're copying an image from a web page, a document, or an email, this guide will quickly walk you through the steps to copy paste with a Mac. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be surprised how much more efficient you will be.

Table of contents
Part 1. What You Need to Know About Copy Paste with Mac Basics
Part 2. How to Copy and Paste Text on a Mac (Matchable Styles or Only URL)
Part 3. How to Copy and Paste Images/Other Files on MacBook And More
Part 4. How to Copy Text from an Image with a Mac
Part 5. How to Fix Copy-Paste Not Working on Mac
Part 6. Tip to Recover Files Lost Due to Copy Paste on Mac
Part 7. FAQs

What You Need to Know About Copy Paste with Mac Basics

Copying is the process of creating an exact replica of specific data from one source so that it can be used elsewhere. When you copy text, images, files, or other data on your computer, what you're doing is essentially telling your computer to remember that specific data. This 'remembered' data is stored temporarily in a part of your computer's memory known as the clipboard.

The clipboard is a particular storage area in your computer's memory. It holds the data you've copied and keeps it there until you decide to paste it somewhere else or until you copy something else and replace the previous data.

Pasting is when you insert the data you've copied from the clipboard into a new location. When you paste, you tell your computer to reproduce the data stored in the clipboard into the chosen spot.

In essence, the copy-and-paste functions allow you to duplicate and move data around quickly, whether working with text, images, files, or other data types. These are fundamental skills for computer usage and can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency.

How to Copy and Paste Text on a Mac (Matchable Styles or Only URL)

Do you find yourself constantly entering the same information repeatedly into your Apple computer? Learning how to copy and paste on MacBook or other macOS computer may be your best solution. To this end, you can do this:

  1. Select the text you want to copy, highlighting it.
  2. After selecting the target text, copy it on Mac in the following three ways.

    Keyboard Shortcut: Press Command + C.

    Menu Option: Go to the menu bar at the top, click on Edit, then select Copy.

    Right-Click Option: Right-click on the highlighted text, then select Copy from the dropdown menu.

  3. Now, navigate where you want to paste the copied text or image. There are three ways to paste:

    Keyboard Shortcut: Press Command + V.

    Menu Option: Go to the menu bar, click Edit, then select Paste or Paste and Match Style.

    Right-Click Option: Right-click in the area where you want to paste, then select Paste from the dropdown menu.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Paste and Match Style: If you want the pasted text to match the style of the destination document, use Option + Command + Shift + V instead of Command + V.

2. Paste and Copy Link: If you just want to copy a link to the text, please choose the content and right-click, then select "Copy link URL."

How to Copy and Paste Images/Other Files on MacBook And More

Copy paste on Mac is an essential task that everyone who uses a computer should know how to do. This simple yet powerful feature can save time and effort when working on any project. If you are not familiar with how to copy and paste on Mac, then please follow these steps:

  1. Click on the file you want to copy.
  2. As explained above, Use the keyboard shortcut Command + C, the menu option, or the right-click Option.
  3. Navigate to where you want to paste the copied file and press Command + V.

Tip: If you want to copy and paste on Mac multiple files, hold down the left mouse button and drag to select multiple targets.

How to Copy Text from an Image with a Mac

Copying text from an image on a Mac can be done in a few different ways, depending on the tools and software you have at your disposal. Here are some methods:

  1. Using the Live Text feature in Preview: This is a native feature in Mac's Preview application. To use this, open the image in Preview, drag to select the text, Control-click your selection, then choose Copy. You can then paste it to another document or application.

    If the target text is selected, choose Tools > Text Selection to open the Text Selection tool.
    If the text in the photo is a phone call, email, or website address, you can also click the down arrow for more interactions, such as sending messages, opening links, etc.
  2. Using third-party software like TextSniper: You can extract text from images easily if installed it. Click on the TextSniper icon in the menu bar > Capture Text or press Shift + Command + 2.

Remember, these methods might not work perfectly with text. Accuracy largely depends on the quality of the photo or the clarity of the text within it.

How to Fix Copy-Paste Not Working on Mac

If you're struggling with the copy-paste function not working on your Mac, there are several solutions you can try to solve this issue:

Remember to back up your data before attempting any significant changes to your system. If these steps don't work, consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance.

Tip to Recover Files Lost Due to Copy Paste on Mac

Getting mislaid files after copying and pasting on a Mac can be done using several methods. Here's how:

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how to copy and paste on Mac:

Conclusion

Copying and pasting is a simple yet essential task on our Macs. Whether you're copying text or images, knowing how to copy and paste on Mac efficiently can save you valuable time and effort. This article provides a comprehensive solution (using shortcut keys or menus); with these tips, you can copy files quickly and seamlessly like a pro.