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vertical line divider Knowing how to select, copy and paste text is an important computer skill, whether you are creating/editing document files using application software or simply emailing a URL (i.e. a Website address) to share with a friend.

The copy-paste procedure involves selecting "something" to be copied. Selection highlights, showing you exactly what you are working with. Then, you perform a copy operation - described below. Next, you change over to your destination, i.e. where you want to paste what you have copied. This might be inside an email message or a document you are creating. Once the destination is selected, you perform a paste operation. There are several ways to perform copy-paste operations -- right-clicking then selecting "Copy" from the drop-down menu, using the Edit menu, or doing it by keystrokes -- whichever works for you

Let's first see how you would copy and paste a URL.

Copying URLs

1. Click/double-click within your browser's " Location textbox." As is indicated by the highlighting, this selects the entire URL.
Location textbox
2. Once selected, copy it into the clipboard, the "saving space" the system reserves for copied items. Copy-paste menuCopy options
  1. Click the Edit > Copy option on the Toolbar menu, as available in Firefox and IE.
  2. Right-click, then select Copy from the context menu that appears.
  3. Use the ctrl+c (Windows: While holding down the ctrl key, press the letter c.) or command+c (Mac) keystroke
3. Change over to where you'd like to paste it and click to position the pointer.
4 Paste the clipboard contents. Paste options
  1. Click the Edit > Paste options on the Toolbar menu.
  2. Right-click, then select Paste from the dropdown context menu that appears.
  3. Use the ctrl+v keystroke. (While holding the ctrl key down, press the letter v.)
Good ideaA "tech tip" from an old-timer: Using the keystroke method (ctrl+c or ctrl+v) works in contexts where menu options may not be available -- the sure-fire technique to copy/paste. Practice it!
Creating a click-able link in Sakai is a two-step process. You copy-paste the URL, as above, into your message, highlight the URL you've pasted (shown in gray below), then click the "Hyperlink" icon (red arrow) in the text-editing options.

In the "Link" dialog box that appears, you copy-paste the URL into the textline (green arrow). Optionally, you can click the checkbox to open the link in a new window. Then, submit.


Copying the whole document text
Pressing ctrl and "a" ("a" meaning all) selects (usually) all the text in a document. Or, select Edit form the Toolbar menu, then Select All. Now follow steps 2 - 4 in the table above, which allow you to copy the selected text, then position the pointer where you want to paste what you have copied.

If ctrl+a or Edit > Select All don't seem to work, use the "click, hold and drag" technique described last.

copy from Word
Copying from word
A special case of copying all the text is when you copy a document,  prepared first in Word, to then paste it into Sakai, e.g. into a forum posting. Pasting it directly into Sakai, however, causes problems. Word includes a large amount of formatting code that gets copied with the text, and this formatting code can be visible to other users, making it very hard to read. There is a solution! Use Sakai editor's "Paste From Word" icon, described in this tutorial.

Copying rectangular text areas
Selecting text in document files involves a "click, drag and hold" technique to highlight/select a rectangular "box" of text.
Click, drag and hold to select an area of text.
Now follow steps in the table above, which allow you to copy the selected text, then position the pointer where you want to paste what you have copied.

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Alexander Graham Bell Association | UNC-CH Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences

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