How to Copy and Paste on MacBook Pro in 2023 [3 Simple Methods]

copy paste on macbook

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You can copy and paste with your MacBook Pro using Command+C for copy and Command+V for paste. Or you can right-click and select copy or paste from the popup menu. 

I’m a macOS expert and owner of a 2019 MacBook Pro. I have over ten years of experience with Macs, and I put together this guide to show you how to copy and paste. 

So keep reading to learn how to copy and paste on your MacBook Pro. 

How to Copy and Paste on MacBook Pro 

Here are three ways in which you can copy and paste on your Macbook:

  1. Key Commands.
    1. The key command for Copy on your MacBook Pro is Command (⌘) C.
    2.  The key command for Paste on your MacBook Pro is Command (⌘) V.
  2. Right Click/Control Click.
  3. Use the Edit Menu.

How to Copy and Paste on MacBook Pro

Here are all the methods to copy and paste on your MacBook Pro. 

Method 1: Key Commands

First, let’s show you the basic key commands that will allow you to copy and paste on your MacBook Pro. These key command shortcuts are easy to use and will become second nature after you use them for a week or two:

  • The key command for Copy on your MacBook Pro is Command (⌘) C.
  • The key command for Paste on your MacBook Pro is Command (⌘) V.

In my opinion, this is the quickest and easiest way to copy and paste on your MacBook Pro.

For example, all you have to do is highlight some text with your trackpad or mouse. Then with the text highlighted, hit the Command (⌘) and C keys simultaneously.

Next, place your cursor in an email, document, web browser address bar, or any other location where you want the copied text to be pasted.

Once the cursor is in the location you desire, hit the Command (⌘) and V keys at the same time. Your copied text is now pasted to your desired location.

It’s as simple as that.

Learn here how to copy and paste on Mac with key commands like a pro. 

  1. These keys let you highlight and select content with precision and speed. It ranges from text to images and emojis to checklists.
  • Command + A key: it’s the fastest way to select everything in a text block or on a page, including graphics
  • Shift + Command + Left Arrow: it highlights text that begins a line
  • Shift + Option + Right Arrow: it highlights text at the start of a word
  • Shift + Command + Up Arrow: it highlights all the text between the start and the current location
  • Shift + Command + Right Arrow: it highlights text to the end of a line
  • Shift + Option + Right Arrow: it highlights text at the end of a word
  • Shift + Command + Down Arrow: it highlights all the text between the current location and the end

  1. You can press Command-C on your MacBook Pro keyboard to copy a selection. The command key on any Apple or Mac keyboard is next to the left-hand side of the space bar.

3, Ensure your cursor is in the right place in a document, then press Command-V. That action will paste whatever was previously copied.

Method 2: Right Click/Control Click

Sometimes, it might be easier to use another method to copy and paste, like if you’re copying photos or images. 

You can copy and paste using the right-click (or control-click) function on your MacBook Pro and selecting copy or paste from the popup menu. 

Let’s say you want to copy and paste an image. Hold the Control key down, and then click on the image with your trackpad or mouse. 

A menu will pop up, and you can scroll down to click on the Copy option.

To paste this image, you can place the cursor in the correct location, just like before, and hit Command (⌘) V, or you can use the right-click method and click on Paste.

right-click method and click on Paste

Holding down a modifier Ctrl (or Control) key while clicking an object on your computer screen is sometimes called right-clicking. On a MacBook Pro, you can right-click using the trackpad, mouse, or keyboard keys.

  1. Select and highlight the characters, words, and paragraphs that you want.
  • One or more characters: Select the characters you want by clicking in front of them and dragging your cursor across.
  • Single words: double-clicking a single word will highlight the entire word.
  • A paragraph: select a paragraph by triple-clicking it to highlight it.
  • An item on a list: You can click on its bullet, number, or letter to highlight it.
  • A range of text: to select a range of text, click in front of the first character you want to select, hold down Shift while clicking at the end of the text, and then release both buttons.
  1. Copy and paste the selected items.

A small contextual pop-up menu will appear if you control-click/right-click on the mouse. Click on copy inside the menu and navigate to the space where you wish to paste this text. You can right-click on it with the mouse and select Paste on the pop-up menu.

Method 3: Use the Edit Menu

The final method to copy and paste on your MacBook Pro is to highlight the text, image, etc., you want to copy and use the options in the Edit menu at the top of your screen to copy and paste.

Once you highlight what you want to copy, click on the Edit menu at the top of the screen and click on Copy from this menu.

Again, place the cursor where you want things to be pasted, click back on the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

On the Edit menu at the top, you’ll find several useful commands like copy and paste.

  1. Select the text.
  2. Copy and save the text by clicking on Edit > Copy.
  3. Click the spot where you want the text to appear.
  4. Choose Edit > Paste from the Edit menu to paste the text in the new location.

Why Copy and Paste is Useful on Your MacBook Pro

Your MacBook Pro is a high-end laptop computer capable of running multiple demanding computing tasks.

Even though it is a powerful and highly engineered machine, basic computing tasks are still essential and knowing how to use these simple functions will allow you to utilize the more powerful aspects of your computer down the road.

The copy and paste functions on your computer are extremely useful and come into play with many normal daily tasks. Say you want to copy a web link from another website or email into your browser. Instead of typing a long website address, copy and paste allows you to insert the address in your browser with a few clicks. Or maybe you are working on an email and want to insert a quote or photograph – copy and paste makes quick work of this as well.

You can see how important the ability to copy and paste is and unless you are completely new to using a computer, chances are you’ve used these functions at some point before. You might only know of one way to perform the task but there are actually several ways to accomplish the function on your MacBook Pro.

Getting familiar with all of these can be beneficial as there are different situations in which you might want to use different copy and paste methods.


Do you have a question, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. This is an FAQ that addresses the most common questions regarding copying and pasting on a MacBook Pro.

How Do You Copy and Paste on a Mac Without a Mouse?

To highlight text while using the up and down arrow keys, hold down the Shift key. To copy this highlighted text, press Command-C. Go to the location to paste this text and press Command-V.

Is There a Keyboard Shortcut to Paste Text Only on Mac?

You can paste text without formatting using Shift + Option + Command-V on Macs.

How To Copy Multiple Items on Mac?

There are various methods on a Mac. You can use Click + Drag to select more files at once. Shift-Clicking will select the files between the first and last ones. You can select multiple files that aren’t grouped by using Command + Click. Command + A selects all the text and graphics on a page.

How Do I Find My Clipboard on Mac?

The clipboard is a temporary storage space where Mac stores items you’ve copied. You can view the contents of the clipboard by opening Finder, then choosing Edit > Show Clipboard.

How Do I Recover a Copied Clipboard on Mac?

To see what you’ve copied to your clipboard on a Mac, open Finder and select Show Clipboard. This is the last thing you copied. To view your history, go back to the Edit menu and select Show Clipboard.

Final Thoughts

The Copy and Paste commands on your MacBook Pro are easy to learn. You can use keyboard shortcuts, the right-click method, or the edit menu to complete the job. 

Just follow the steps above, and you’ll be copying and pasting data like an expert and improving your efficiency in no time!

What is your go-to method for copy and paste on your MacBook Pro?

About Lorena
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Lorena holds a 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip. Her role involves editorial management from writing to editing and ensuring that the articles are informative, useful, and relevant to readers who are new to Mac.

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  • Avatar


    . i use copy & paste for pitchers of birds .i want to put three different birds in one pic.

    • Avatarwp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo


      You would need a photo editing software like Canva.

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    Malcolm H Jarvis

    Concise, clear and complete. Very Nice. TY

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    Mike Byrne

    I have a Macbook Pro. When I try to highlight text I get a pop-up screen to
    Wikipedia or dictionary. So I can’t copy anything. Drives me nuts. I have to re-type everything.