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I’ve recently realised something…….that our lives would be very different without the copy and paste function.

It’s true!

What on earth would we do without it? We couldn’t cope!

I use this functionality A LOT!

As a Virtual Assistant helping busy business owners, I need to know that there are some tasks I can do as efficiently as possible. Copy and paste has definitely become my best friend to help with this.

Such a simple action but one that can save so much time.

On Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheet I often use keyboard shortcuts which save even more time, and means you don’t have to wiggle the mouse around trying to highlight something that won’t bloomin’ highlight – aaargh!

It comes into its own – when you’re moving information between documents, copying information from a useful resource, or you simply want to avoid typing the same information over and over and over and over and over and over again…get my point?  Eesh!

Of course, there are times that copy and paste causes more grief than happiness.

These are the times when you find out that you’ve copied the wrong bit of information and you can’t find the original source, or you’ve copied a perfectly laid out page and the minute you hit paste it rearranges itself into an entangled mess (like a snakes wedding – aargh!) that only vaguely resembles the original, or you’ve copied something only to find out that it comes with all sorts of extra bits that you don’t want and now have to delete one by one (hold head in hands moment).

Here are my top tips for successful and happy copy and pasting (hopefully minus the aargh moments):

  • Most of us highlight the text or data that we want to copy and then right click our mouse to scroll down to click copy. Sometimes it de-selects what you wanted to copy (that’s your aargh moment). There is a quicker way that also avoids de-selecting the highlighted area. Highlight the area you want to copy and then press Ctrl C on your keyboard. Then, instead of right clicking and scrolling to paste – press Ctrl V. Simples!


  • If you want to copy and paste everything on a page and avoid the old way of left clicking your mouse and dragging it up or down to highlight the page and then right click to scroll to copy – there is another way that is easier and quicker. Woohoo I hear you say! No matter where you are on the page, left click your mouse and leave the cursor somewhere (anywhere), and then press Ctrl A. This action selects all of the text/area you want to copy. Then place the cursor where you want to paste it and hit Ctrl V.


  • If you want to copy and at the same time move a section of text or data, highlight the section to move and then press Ctrl X. This automatically copies and removes it. You can then move it to where you want it to go – such as another page or further up or down the current page.


  • Remember that each time you copy it goes to your clipboard, but also that the last thing you copied will be the last thing on your clipboard.


  • One last tip is a great keyboard shortcut I often use (yep – for those arargh moments too). To ‘undo’ something just press Ctrl Z. This is frequently my saviour when the mouse takes over (my excuse…) and I accidentally delete something or it moves places.

So to recap:

Ctrl + A = Select All

Ctrl + C = Copy

Ctrl + V = Paste

Ctrl + X = Cut

Ctrl + Z = Undo

I hope this Blog has been useful to read. Do let me know if you start trying any of these shortcuts and how you find it – hopefully it will help you to have less of those aargh moments! Good luck.