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Clear and Delete

So have you practiced cutting, copying, and pasting? Let me explain what you did. When you cut or copy, the iMac puts the text (or graphic) into an invisible place called the Clipboard. The Clipboard can only hold one item at a time, so as soon as you copy something else, whatever was in the Clipboard disappears. When you paste, you are actually pasting whatever was on the Clipboard. For instance, if you cut three different pieces of text and then you paste, you will paste the last item that you cut.

You can paste items forever (well, until you turn off the computer). Whatever you cut or copied will stay in the Clipboard even when you change to a different program or come back in several hours. As soon as the power is turned off, though, whatever was in the Clipboard disappears.

Tip

If you want to see what is currently stored in the Clipboard, go to the Edit menu and choose "Show Clipboard." When you're done, close the Clipboard just like you close any window.


The Clear command from the Edit menu, or the Delete key, will get rid of whatever you had selected, but it does not go to the Clipboard! Think about this for a minute. Let's say you have a photo of your daughter in the Clipboard because you copied it from one document, and you are pasting it into several different letters. If you want to get rid of some text now, you should use the Delete key instead of the Cut command so your daughter's photo stays in the Clipboard, ready to paste again.

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