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[2022]How to Copy and Paste Text/File/Folder on Mac

Updated on Tuesday, May 17, 2022

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Written by

Amanda Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

Quick and Easy Ways to Copy and Paste Text/File/Folder on Mac

copy and paste on Mac

Table of Contents:

Whenever you want to move a block of text from one location to another location, you can copy and paste it without any hassle on a Mac. However, if you switch from Windows to macOS, not familiar with macOS, you may be confused since the shortcuts on the two OS are different.

In addition to that, there are some tricks about copying and pasting on Mac to make your work easier, faster, and more effective, including how to copy text/files/folders on mac, how to strip off the format to paste the text, and how to copy and paste between Apple devices.

With or without third-party software, you can find a way to meet your needs in this post. There are system-wide solutions and built-in shortcuts you can opt for. Move on to know the specific details.

Copy and cut on Mac

Text, pictures, and other objects can be copied and cut on your Mac. When you copy an item, you can paste it to your destination without changing the original one, and cutting will remove the item from the original location.

Whether you use Touchbar, Trackpad, or mouse on the Mac, you get covered here. There are multiple methods to choose from. Here is how to do it:

To copy on your Mac:

  1. Double-click or press and drag the pointer to select the desired item. Then:
  2. Use the keyboards combination Command + C to copy it.
  3. Or control-click the selected item and choose Copy from the pop-up menu.
  4. Or click Edit > Copy from the menu bar.

To cut on your Mac:

  1. Press and drag your cursor on the Touchbar, Trackpad, or the mouse to select the object. Then:
  2. Press the Command + X keys at the same time to cut it.
  3. Or control-click the selected item and choose Cut from the pop-up menu.
  4. Or click Edit > Cut from the menu bar.

Paste on Mac with or without format

After you copy and cut an item, it stays in the clipboard, ready for use. Then you can paste it anywhere you want, in an email, a report, or a dialogue. And if you do not paste for a while after copying or cutting, the item will be automatically erased from the clipboard.

By default, when you paste on your Mac, the original format remains including bold, italic, front, etc. But it will be messy if the format is different from that of your document. Therefore, how to paste without formatting on Mac is also a concern for Mac users. Choose the appropriate methods according to your needs.

To paste with the format on your Mac:

  • Press the two keys Command + V.
  • Or control-click the item you selected, then choose Paste from the shortcut menu.
  • Or choose Edit > Paste from the menu bar.

To paste without format on your Mac:

  • Press four keys Option + Shift + Command + V.
  • Or choose Edit > Paste and Match Style from the menu bar.
  • Or change the System Preference to always paste without format on the Mac.
  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Click Shortcuts, then choose App Shortcuts from the left list.
  3. Click the Plus icon to create a new shortcut.
  4. Then select All Applications in the Application field.
  5. Type Paste & Match Style for the Menu Title box, then Cmd + V in the Keyboard shortcut box.    
    Click Add.

paste without format on Mac

Copy and paste between Apple devices

Thanks to the built-in Universal Clipboard on Apple devices, you can copy an item on one Mac and paste it onto another Mac, iPhone, or iPad, which is convenient to share items between two Apple devices. This is a feature called Handoff. Follow the steps below to enable it on your devices.

  1. Enable Bluetooth and connect to the same WiFi on two Apple devices.
  2. Sign in to the same iCloud account.
  3. Enable Handoff:  
    On a MacBook Air/MacBook Pro/iMac: click Apple menu > System Preferences > General, then select the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices option;  
    On an iPhone/iPad: go to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff and turn on the switch for Handoff.
    enable handoff Mac
  4. Copy or cut an item on one device as usual, and double-tap or long-press on the area where you want the item to appear on another device, then tap Paste.

Bonus Tip: Copy files/folders faster with iBoysoft MagicMenu

If there are quite a lot of files or folders that need to be moved or copied to another location on your Mac, are you still going to copy them with Command + C and paste them with Command + V one by one? Indefinitely, in this way, it would be a time-consuming task.

Thus, we recommend the Mac right-click enhancer iBoysoft MagicMenu, a small easy-to-use tool to help customize and enhance the right-click menu on Mac. By adding a folder shortcut to the right-click menu, you can select the target file/folder and then choose to Move to/Copy to a location faster without using the keys combination. 

 copy files with iBoysoft Magicmenu

Final Words

After reading this post, you have learned how to copy and paste on Mac in different ways. And if you find the copy and paste not working on Mac, don't worry, it's quite easy to be fixed.

Besides, among all the methods to copy and paste on Mac, shortcuts are widely used for the sake of saving time and effort. Except for the shortcuts used for copying and pasting, others like Command R and Ctrl Alt Delete are also hotkeys on macOS.