Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Copy and Paste without a mouse, putting it all together

Posted in Applications by estephen on March 9th, 2007

Last week we learned how to navigate using the keyboard. At the beginning of this week, we learned about the Shift key, combined with the navigation keys, to select text. We learned how to use Alt+Tab to switch back and forth between applications. And we covered Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+X to cut, and Ctrl+V to paste.

So, let’s put all of that together. Suppose you want to copy some text from a Notepad document into an e-mail. Here’s what to do:

  1. Hold down the Alt key, and press Tab until Notepad is selected, then let go of the Alt key.
  2. Use the arrow keys or other navigation keys to move to the beginning or end of the text you want to select.
  3. Use Shift key and navigation keys to move to the other side of the text; notice how it highlights as you go as long as you’re holding down the Shift key.
  4. Once the text is highlighted, press Ctrl+C. Nothing to seems to happen, but behind the scenes, the text you selected has now been copied to the clipboard.
  5. Now press Alt the key again and hold it down while you hit the Tab key until the e-mail is selected.
  6. Move your cursor using the arrow keys to the point where you want the text to appear.
  7. Press Ctrl+V. The text appears.

You’ve just copied and pasted text between two different applications without using the mouse. Congratulations!

9 Responses to 'Copy and Paste without a mouse, putting it all together'

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  1. Matt Lucas said,

    on March 11th, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Also, ALT+ESC is the same as ALT+TAB but only to previous window.

    WINDOWS KEY+ PAUSE= System Properties
    WINDOWS KEY+E=My Computer
    WINDOWS KEY+D=Go to Desktop
    CTRL+SHIFT+F10=Right Click

  2. Pulak Paul said,

    on December 18th, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Really this tip is very much useful for them who are using “copy paste” protected software and want to copy & paste like me………

  3. Joshua said,

    on March 10th, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Thankyou, I neaded that my hands keep on aching the way that you have to keep right clicking moving the mouse all the time it really helps once again thankyou hope more people comment and give positvie feedback.

  4. Dazel jane principe said,

    on July 25th, 2011 at 2:56 am

    nice, easy to learn and understand… T Y…

  5. Don said,

    on August 26th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Why can’t more than one copy of different parts of a document be stored via a right click of the mouse and a dialog box be opened showing your recent copy choices; then we can choose the one to paste? Am I the only person who thinks this would be very handy when bits and pieces of documents need to be copied and pasted?
    Or…is this function available and I need to be educated about it?
    Thank you for considering my question. Have a safe and blessed weekend.
    Don Russo

  6. Pronto said,

    on October 30th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    My question is if I am copying over a 100 select pages out of 150 pages document in MS word,
    Is there a way I can do so by pointing cursor at the beginning and just look for the end may be use control F. I guess I am trying to avoid Mouse right click -hold and drag??

  7. Michelle said,

    on November 15th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    THANK YOU!!!! So helpful with all these protected documents and sites we use at work and there are some thing that i have to copy and paste!! :) THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

  8. jordan said,

    on December 3rd, 2013 at 9:19 pm


    do anyone here knows how to copy text in a webpage like this using keyboard alone? even the selecting? thank yOU!

  9. Forest said,

    on October 3rd, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Ditto for me. In the Goggle Chrome browser, is there a way to copy the whole page with just the keyboard? i.e. select it all, then I can use “control” and “C”.

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