Use a Secondary Cut And Paste Function to Avoid Overwriting Clipboard Contents

Feb 1, 2012 - 5 Comments

Secondary Cut and Paste function in Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a secondary Cut and Paste function that provides the ability to cut and paste additional information without overwriting existing clipboard contents. Highlight something and use the following keystrokes:

  • Control+K cuts the content
  • Control+Y pastes the content

This cut and paste function works with images and text, but notice that it will remove any rich text formatting or styling. It’s also important to remember the difference between cut and paste and copy and paste, cut removes the item from it’s source to then be pasted elsewhere, whereas copy makes a duplicate of it within the clipboard buffer.

These two control key shortcuts work in the Finder for elements, but not files, folders, or file system items. For that, cut and paste came to OS X Lion on a filesystem level, providing for a Windows-style system of moving items around the Finder.

If memorizing another keyboard shortcut isn’t for you, try using a simple clipboard history app like ClipMenu instead. These apps allow you to store and recall tons of data in the clipboard, retrievable with the standard Command keys.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dr Megalith says:

    This is an old Unix thing, cool that works everywhere in OS X though.

  2. Dmitry Dulepov says:

    Does not work in Apple Mail. Using Lion 10.7.2.

  3. clasqm says:

    Does not work from Safari to Textedit, just pastes blank lines. Jumpcut rules!

  4. sev7en says:

    Hi,
    thanks for this tip, as usual. As our Italian STM community spotted out, it’s the Cmd the special key to use than the CTRL as reported.

    Regards,

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates