The Windows Clipboard

What We'll Learn

  1. How the Windows clipboard works
  2. How to store and move text or pictures

The Invisible Clipboard

Microsoft Windows has an invisible clipboard that is very convenient for temporarily storing information. This information can then be moved or copied to other places on your computer or other programs that you are using. It is very similar to the Memory and Recall Memory button that you often find on a calculator.
Here are the general steps for using the Windows Clipboard:
  1. Select the text or picture you wish to copy to the Clipboard
  2. Copy the selected text to the Clipboard
  3. Go to the program or location where you wish to copy to
  4. Paste the information from the Clipboard to the destination

Exercise 1 - Copying Text Between Windows

Open two windows:
  • One Internet Explorer window
  • One Wordpad window
In Internet Explorer, copy some text to the Clipboard using the following steps:
  1. Highlight some text
  2. Move your mouse over the Highlighted Text
  3. <Right-Click> your mouse on the highlighted text
  4. Choose Copy from the menu
A copy of the text is now on the clipboard.
Now, let's paste this into our Wordpad program.
  1. Click on the WordPad window or related task bar icon to bring it into focus (on top)
  2. <Right-Click> on a blank area.
  3. Choose Paste from the menu
A copy of the text should appear in Wordpad. 
Now try this same exercise, this time copying a picture.

Clipboard Smarts

Since the Clipboard is used so much in Windows, there are a number of ways to use it.
  • Use the <Right-Click> menu after making a selection.
  • Pick the Clipboard action from the Edit Menu
  • Use <Ctrl+C> to copy or <Ctrl+V> to paste
If you wish to Move some text, you can also use Cut instead of copy.  This will move the selected contents to your clipboard instead of making a copy.