Glossary Entry: Clipboard operations

Quick Definition

The clipboard* is a useful tool included with every operating system*. There are three ways to interact with it, and these are known as the "clipboard operations".

More details

The three clipboard operations are Copy, Cut, and Paste. Paste always follows a Cut or Copy operation, so these are generally just referred to as "Copy and Paste" or "Cut and Paste".

The simplest operation is the Copy operation. This places a copy of something onto the clipboard*, replacing whatever was already there. The original information is not altered. The keyboard shortcut for this operation is usually CTRL+C.
This works just like the Copy operation, except that it also erases the original data. If it can't alter the original information, it will just behave like the Copy operation. This operation's usual keyboard shortcut is CTRL-X.
Once something has been placed on the clipboard*, it can be retrieved with the Paste operation. This places a copy of the information on the clipboard* into the target program. Information store in the clipboard* is only changed when you Copy or Cut something, so you can Paste this information as many times as you want and in as many places as you want. The keyboard shortcut for Paste is typically CTRL-V.

<Back to the list of technical terminology

<Back to the Table of Contents