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How to Copy and Paste on a Chromebook | Digital Trends


We live in a world full of digital shortcuts. They’re a bit different when using a laptop touchpad, but overall, some shortcuts — such as copy and paste — are seemingly universal across platforms. That holds true with Chromebooks, which offer identical copy and paste functions found in Windows and MacOS.

However, there are a few different ways to go about the traditional Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V methods. Learn them all here.

Copying a text selection

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Copying and pasting text on a Chromebook is easy. In fact, the method is similar to MacOS and Windows. All you need to do is follow three simple steps.

Step 1: On a touchpad, tap and hold one finger, use another finger to drag the mouse cursor over the text you want to copy, and then release both fingers — the text should now be highlighted. On a mouse, press down on the button, create a box around the text, and release.

Step 2: To copy, press the Ctrl + C keys simultaneously. Alternatively, you can select Copy on a pop-up menu when you right-click using a mouse, press the Alt key while tapping a touchpad, or tap with both fingers on a touchpad.

Step 3: To paste, click in the area where you want the copied text to reside and press the Ctrl + V keys simultaneously. Alternatively, you can select Paste on a pop-up menu when you right-click using a mouse, press the Alt key while tapping a touchpad, or tap with both fingers on a touchpad.

Since the text remains in the clipboard until you type Ctrl + C again, you can paste the current text multiple times. Chrome OS does not copy text formatting, however, so adjust the style as needed.

Further reading

Copying images and video

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Want to copy a funny cat meme? How about a URL you really want to share? As long as the original source allows you to copy (not all do), this is a simple process.

Step 1: Hover the mouse pointer over the picture or video you want to copy and right-click. On Chromebooks, you can press the Alt key while tapping the touchpad with one finger or use two fingers to tap the touchpad.

Step 2: We divided this into two parts:

  • If copying an image: Select Copy Image or Copy Image Address on the pop-up menu. The URL is useful for certain coding or publishing tasks, but generally, copying the image itself is what you want.
  • If copying a video: Select Copy Video URL, Copy Embed Code, or Copy Video URL at Current Time on the pop-up menu. You can use the URL and embed code to copy a video link. For pasting a video into a chat stream or other casual use, you only need the URL.

Step 3: To paste, click in the area where you want the copied text to reside and press the Ctrl + V keys simultaneously. Alternatively, you can select Paste on a pop-up menu when you right-click using a mouse, press the Alt key while tapping a touchpad, or tap with both fingers on a touchpad.

Note that if you are clicking a thumbnail or a linked image, you will see an option to Copy Link Address. This merely provides a link to the parent website hosting the photo or video. Otherwise, you can copy a thumbnail and its URL.

Copying a full web page

If you need to copy everything that’s on a particular web page, follow this method. It copies everything, including headers, buttons, and other web content objects, but not necessarily with the layout intact.

If you want a full picture of the website instead, your best bet is to use the screenshot function.

Step 1: Click anywhere within a webpage (no images) and press the Ctrl + A keys simultaneously. This keyboard shortcut highlights (selects) everything on the page.

Step 2: Without clicking again, press the Ctrl + C keys simultaneously to copy everything that is highlighted.

Step 3: To paste, click in the area where you want the copied content to reside and press the Ctrl + V keys simultaneously. Alternatively, you can select Paste on a pop-up menu when you right-click using a mouse, press the Alt key while tapping a touchpad, or tap with both fingers on a touchpad.

Copy and paste extensions for more specific tasks

One of the advantages of Chrome is that users have access to a plethora of extensions to make their work easier — including copy-and-paste extensions. They can overcome copy-and-paste obstacles that the native tools can’t always handle. Below are a few of our favorites and the tasks they set to accomplish.

MultiCopy Clipboard: MultiCopy Clipboard is a tool for those who need to copy many different sections simultaneously and manage them all at once. It works with Chrome Storage to create extra space so you can store as many copies at once. You can either select these copies one at a time to paste as needed or paste them all at once. The copies are backed up on Chrome to help avoid losses.

Office — Enable Copy and Paste: This adds a small set of untraditional tools to your Office web app to quickly copy or paste with a right-click menu. This useful tool is for the web app and not an independent Office app.

ADP Copy & Paste: Working with Automatic Data Processing sheets can be a real chore. It can be doubly frustrating when web formats don’t have copy-and-paste functionality enabled. This extension helps put the “automatic” back into your ADP document workflow. It also reduces time spent on mundane data-entry tasks and helps eliminate processing errors.

Copy Paste Pro: Copy Paste Pro is a feature that lets you override preventative measures some sites enforce on copying and pasting their content. This extension lets you copy, paste, select text, and right-click on websites, even if the website’s code blocked these features.

Copy As Plain Text: Copy As Plain Text is a browser extension that copies text from a webpage without formatting. You can right-click and select Copy as Plain Text from the menu. You can then right-click to paste or employ your computer’s keyboard shortcuts. This is a quick and efficient feature that doesn’t take up too much memory and doesn’t cause any hiccups in program performance. 

You can save time on formatting and grammatical editing for files and correspondence by copying and pasting from a website using the plain text option.

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