How to Copy & Paste on Chromebook

When you switch a new computer that doesn’t run on the same operating system as your old one (like going from a Windows laptop to a Chromebook), it takes some time to figure out how to operate it .

The habits you’ve developed on your previous device may not translate in quite the same way.

Copy and paste are two simple yet necessary actions that can drastically improve your productivity.

Fortunately, utlizing the copy and paste feature on a Chromebook is basically the same as on a Windows device.

If you’ve just got yourself a shiny new Chromebook, here’s everything you need to know about copying and pasting text on it.

Methods for Copy & Paste on Chromebook

Copy & Paste with Trackpad or Mouse

The most common way to copy and paste on any computer is by using the right-click of their mouse. For trackpad users, this command can be achieved by tapping on its surface with two fingers. Chromebooks have the exact same operation.

Chromebook copy paste menu

After right-clicking or tapping with two fingers, you’ll get a context menu where you’ll find the copy and paste commands. Then, use your regular left-click or single tap to select the operation you need.

Copy & Paste with Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts is one of the simplest ways to copy and paste on a Chromebook, especially if you’re from a Mac background.

Press and hold the control button (usually in the left corner of your keyboard) while pressing “C” or “V” to copy or paste. You’ll usually find these shortcuts abbreviated as follows:

  • Ctrl + C (to copy)
  • Ctrl + V (to paste)

If you’re not used to copy-pasting with keyboard shortcuts, you may need some practice before getting used to the finger motions.

Chromebook copy keystroke

Most people who are new to these keystrokes may have never pressed their Ctrl button before. Given time, though, you’ll get the hang of it.

Chromebook paste keystroke

Other Useful Chromebook Shortcuts for Handling Text

How to Select All on Chromebook

Chromebooks are also capable of using a Select All command. This enables you to highlight all text in a text area or page.

Chromebook select all result

You can also use the control and “A” keys to highlight all of the text on a page, then copy it using either the Ctrl + C shortcut or by using the mouse/trackpad method. This shortcut is typically abbreviated as follows:

  • Ctrl + A

Chromebook select all keystroke

How to Paste without Formatting on Chromebook

Sometimes, you want the text you’re copying to be stripped of the formatting it had from its source. Chromebooks have a quick keyboard shortcut to help you accomplish this. Start by selecting and copying the text you need, then head to the destination where you want to paste it.

Now, hold down control and the shift key (usually above the control key) while pressing “V” — this will paste text without any formatting. Here’s a quick abbreviation of this keystroke:

  • Ctrl + Shift + V

Chromebook paste no formatting keystroke

How to Cut on Chromebook

If you’re moving text and don’t need it to remain in the source page or file, you can use the cut command, which is also available on Chromebooks.

This operation can be found in the right-click or two-finger tap menu and can be selected just like the copy and paste functions.

Chromebook cut menu

Doing so will copy the selected text into your clipboard and delete it from the source.

On a keyboard, simply hold down the control key then press the “X” button. This has the same effect as above. The keystroke is abbreviated as follows:

  • Ctrl + X

Chromebook cut keystroke

Which Copy-Paste Method on Chromebook is Better?

Copying and pasting text is a typical function people use pretty regularly. Most users still use the right-click menu out of habit, while “power users” take advantage of keyboard shortcuts.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to deciding which method works best in terms of productivity and efficiency. Objectively, using a keyboard shortcut is always faster and more flexible. With a bit of practice, you can develop enough ambidexterity to use your mouse of selections and your left hand for copy-paste shortcuts.

On the other hand, some people feel that a change of habit is challenging and, thus, slow. It can take some time before you can instinctively place your fingers at the correct keys. And, If you’re not doing that much copy-pasting on your Chromebook as often, switching to keyboard methods may be overkill.

Yannis Vatis

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.

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