Get a Bigger Clipboard! Cut / Copy / Paste / Format Painter

MS Word for Writers Intermediate Skills You Wish You'd Known Before You Started Writing Your Book
10 minutes
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Welcome back. Here in the intermediate area of our course, we're going to take a deeper dive into some of the cool tools that you can use to make your writing life easier. The first of which is cut, copy and paste. Now, you'll often hear it referred to with all three terms, cut, copy, paste, but in reality, you can cut and paste, or you can copy and paste, but you can't cut and copy and paste all at once. So let's talk about why you would want to use such a feature. Let's imagine that in the text of my book, this is more of a romance novel I started years ago, so it's perfectly dreadful, so no judgment, okay.

In this text, let's imagine, for example, that I changed my mind about which paragraph I wanted to start with. What if I realized all of a sudden that I was going to commit a cardinal error and open my book with dialogue, which I would never do. At this stage of my game, but let's imagine that I wanted to move this line of text up to the beginning in front of the maestro Conti line. Well, one of the ways that I can do this is to select that line by clicking and dragging out to the right to highlight that text. And then since I want to move it, I'm going to cut it. Notice we'll head to the Home ribbon toolbar to the top left hand corner to the cut tool if your screen is more narrow, or if you have your restore feature on which narrows the controls there, it may look only like the scissors.

So watch out for that. But in full screen mode, it should show also the name of the tool which is cut. We're going to cut this text out of here and notice how it disappeared from our screen and our document. Next up, I want you to move your cursor to the spot where you're going to place that text Don't have any text highlighted. Otherwise, the text you paste in will replace that first word. So just have the cursor blinking in front of the spot where you want it to go.

And if you're super worried, you can press enter to force that text down a little bit so that you have a whole blank line ready to go that may help you feel more confident. And then we're going to paste our text that we cut out earlier, we're going to paste it back in. But notice how it added a blank line with that text. So I would need to or were delete or backspace to get rid of that extra line anyway, but use the feature that makes you feel the most comfortable. So if you need that extra line in there to make you to help you feel confident about the cutting and pasting process. Just add it in.

It's only an extra second. Now, perhaps you're like me though, and you love those keyboard shortcuts. How can I do this without needing to go up to the toolbar to grab my mouse and go up to the toolbar? I can instead highlight text and one option is Ctrl X to cut. How would you find that out if you don't remember, move your mouse up to the tool and hover over top of it. Remember that it will show you in that pop up box Ctrl x is the keyboard shortcut.

So using the Ctrl or Command key on your keyboard, hold that down and then type the letter X, which is what I'm going to do right now. Boom, it cut the text that I was looking for. Then I'm going to move my cursor back to where I want to place it. And I could either click paste on the toolbar, or notice that keyboard shortcut is Ctrl V. I'm going to instead of using my mouse I'm going to hold down the Ctrl or Command key, type the letter V and it brings back the text that I cut earlier. Now what's the difference between cut and paste and copy and paste well Think about the definitions of cut versus copy. If you've ever cut coupons out of a newspaper, you know that that newspaper does not look the same once you've cut it out, but however, if you put it on a copy machine, your original newspaper is going to look the same, you'll just have a photocopy of it.

So instead of cutting, if I selected my text, and copied it, notice that as soon as I click the Copy button, that text stays where I put it. If I want to repeat that text somewhere else, that's when I would use copy. So then I could paste it in where I want to put it in the identical same text, and same formatting would copy elsewhere. Now that would be just silly to have those lines repeat. So if you've done something similar, you can use the Undo feature using the arrow at the top of your easy access toolbar or the Ctrl Z to take that back off so that you have your text in exactly the order you wanted it in. Now, for my ninja stealth trick friends, here are a couple of shortcuts.

If you would like to highlight a line of text to move, notice I place my mouse in the left hand margin, and I click one time, it highlights a whole line at a click, boom, right like that. I did not have to gently place my mouse and slide and drag out. No, I just put it in the left hand margin and boom, one click highlights the whole line. What if I wanted to grab a whole paragraph though, place your cursor in the left hand margin again and double click boom. It highlights an entire paragraph. What if you want to collect select all the text in your document.

Place your cursor in that left hand margin and triple click, click click. There we go. Click Click Click I have to get my clicker fast enough. It will select all the text in your entire document and if you want to check on that, you can go to the scroll bar out to the right there, drag it down and verify it did indeed select all of your document. So this is a nice handy trick that you can use along with copy and paste or cut and paste. So single click in the margin will grab a line, a double click will grab a paragraph, those are the most common ones, and then you can make your cut or copy selection.

Now here's another trick that you might not be aware of at all. Let's say that you don't know about the style settings yet but you've wanted to dress up your chapter headers by making them a little bit larger, and maybe a fun color. I like purple and maybe bold and italic. Okay, if you've decided to do this, and then you want to change all of your chapter headings throughout the document to look like this. Here's a cool trick you can use highlight the text that has the formatting you want to copy. So in this case, we're copying formatting rather than just text itself, and come to the Format Painter on this clipboard area and double click it.

So double click Format Painter. Notice how the button stays lit up now. And when I move my mouse into the text, notice that it's not an arrow or cursor all by itself anymore, but rather it's a cursor with a paintbrush attached to it. And so if I highlight more text, it's going to apply that same formatting that we had before. But of course, this is not a bit of text and I want to use that formatting for so I'm going to undo and instead, I'm going to show you how to apply that just to your chapter headers. We'll do this in a couple of ways over time, but first, for today.

Just a quick way of using scrolling kind of old school. So highlight your text Double click the Format Painter so that the button stays lit up even when you move your mouse away. And then you can click in the scroll bar area to quickly move down through your document until you find oops, there it went, the next chapter heading, and then paint over top of that chapter to add that formatting that you've already created one other place, and then slide down some more on your scroll bar and highlight your text to add that same format painting. When you're done, you can either click one time to click off the button, notice how the light goes out on it, or you can press the Escape key to turn that feature off. And the Escape key is located in the upper left hand corner of your keyboard. It's labeled e SC, and that will turn off the feature so that your cursor comes back to either being a arrow or cursor, sort of eyebeam shaped cursor there make sense?

All right now, last ninja trick Cut, Copy and paste that you may not be aware of. If you've been copying multiple things and pasting them or moving them around cutting and pasting them in your document, you may have thought that you only have access to paste the thing that you most recently cut or copied. But that's not true. So let me show you an example. I'm going to grab this next paragraph and copy that. But what if I have decided that the line I really want to add in is not this one that I most recently copied, but one that I copied earlier or earlier even place your cursor where you want the text to go and accessing the More button that exists on the corner of the clipboard tool, click that open.

Then notice that you have multiple choices on your clipboard based on All the things that you've copied recently, meaning in the current work session. So, since the time that you opened your document there, all those items are available on this clipboard and you can from the drop down arrow out to the side of them either remove them from the clipboard by choosing delete, or paste them into the current spot where your cursor is right now. Make sense, or if you want to clear them all, that's an option too. But this is a way to find clips that you may have done earlier in your session, but don't want to have to go back through your document to find them later. They may still be available on your clipboard for you hope you enjoyed this secret trick.

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