Cut & Paste Is Key

by Kendall Callas

Sure, sure, you've heard it all before. Even if you read this column only occasionally, you've probably caught my rant about using keystrokes because they're faster than mousing, less vulnerable to error, and contribute less to repetitive stress injury.

Cut/Copy/Paste with Ctrl+letter keys

Just to remind you, I'm talking about these universal Windows keystrokes:

Importantly, these keys work in ALL windows programs, not just WordPerfect For Windows (and also in WordPerfect for DOS version 6.0 or later).

They're faster and more convenient, since you don't need to look. Because they're all typed with the left hand, they help reduce wrist/hand/arm stress for right-handed mouse clickers.

Select First

Before you can cut & paste, you need to select (highlight) the text to work on. Here are a few handy techniques in any version of WordPerfect for Windows:

(Of course, this is the way you bound many other kinds of action, including:

as well as spell check, font, line spacing, margins, color, justification, sorting, etc.)

Paste Simple

WordPerfect also offers a variation of paste called Paste Simple:

Paste Simple delivers just raw text. With ordinary paste (Ctrl+V), the pasted text will carry along with it its font, font size, emphasis, color, etc. This is a problem when moving text between differently formatted documents. Paste Simple strips out all attributes (all codes) — unfortunately including bold, italics, and underline — to conform with the new context.

Copy Text From Preview

At the FileOpen screen, you can also copy text from a document — without even opening it. (Handy on large documents, or on large numbers of documents.)

To see a picture of a file at the FileOpen screen in WordPerfect 6.1/7/8/9/10, click on the filename, then click the Preview button (looks like a tiny page) on the toolbar, just right of center (in version 6.1, click the View button). This is very handy to make sure it's the correct document before you delete, print, or move it. Often it helps to right click in the image and select Content so you can see the words better.

In the Preview window, “drag” with your mouse to select text copy it with Ctrl+C or click the Copy button on the toolbar. Then, back at the appropriate location in your document, paste it with Ctrl+V or click the Paste button.

Copy Text to E-mail

In this age of e-mail, it's handy to compose messages in WordPerfect, taking advantage of all its features, such as spell check, grammar check, thesaurus, macros, QuickCorrect, etc.

To copy text from WordPerfect into your e-mail software (or any other program): Select (highlight) the paragraphs of your message (or Ctrl+A for all), Ctrl+C to copy, then open your e-mail software, open a new message (Ctrl+N), click in the message text area, and Ctrl+V to paste. (Unfortunately, due to the nature of e-mail, pasting text into a message conveys only plain text, stripping out all formatting and attributes; tabs, symbols, fonts, bold/italics/underline, headers/footers, etc. — all codes are lost.)

Oops! Undo with Ctrl+Z

If you mistakenly cut the wrong text, or paste in the wrong place, it's easy to reverse the error. Just click the Undo button (or use Ctrl+Z) to reverse the last change to your document. It's repeatable, up to 10 times (more if you change the default setting). Each time you Undo, the previous layer of change — typing, deleting, font changes, any code placement — is peeled away.

Move Text Between Programs

Cut & paste is an easy way to move text within a document and between documents. You may also use it to move text between any Windows programs. You can cut & paste from WordPerfect to e-mail, from Excel to WordPerfect, from Quattro Pro to GroupWise, etc. — a wonderful feature!

Cut/Copy/Paste at the FileOpen Screen

Twist your perception a bit to think of cut & paste with files, instead of paragraphs. The same keystrokes work at the FileOpen screen:

Of course, before you can cut & paste files, you must select the ones to work on. Click to select a file at the top of a list, then aim lower and Shift+Click to highlight a continuous grouping. If you want to make a hop scotch' selection of non-contiguous files, use Ctrl+Click. The FileOpen screen is where Ctrl+A is extremely useful — to select all the files in a folder and copy or move them to a diskette or another folder. As an example, display the FileOpen screen (Ctrl+O), use Ctrl+A to select all the files, Ctrl+Click to deselect a couple of files, Ctrl+C to copy them, navigate to another drive or folder, then Ctrl+V to paste them. This approach is easy, fast, and very controllable.

In sum, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, and Ctrl+V are great keys to remember, since you can use them in any Windows software. In general, the keystroke approach is faster and better — tell them Kendall says so!

Copyright (C) 2002 by microCounsel. All rights reserved.

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