Dear Computer Lady.

I am a 75 yr old lady living in my “rusty” age!  I learned the computer all on my own by trial and error over the past 6 years. I do not know how I managed before a friend turned me on to your site.

Could you explain to me what a clipboard is and does?  

Thank you, Freddie



Dear Freddie,

The clipboard is a part of your computer’s operating system that you don’t normally see, but it has a valuable function when you are using your computer.

Let’s say that your friend has sent you her new mailing address in an e-mail message and you want to use that address in a letter that you are typing. You could print the e-mail out and then re-type the address in the letter, but the computer has a much easier way.

Using your mouse, you can highlight the address (Just point to the beginning of the address and hold down the left mouse button then drag the mouse to the end of the address. The whole thing will have a blue background and we would say it is highlighted.) and then click on “Edit” in the menu bar, then click “Copy”. This copies the address to the clipboard, which is just a storage place in your computer’s memory.

Once the address is on the clipboard, you can paste it anywhere on your computer that you would like. Go to your letter that you are typing, click once where you want the address to go, and click “Edit” then “Paste” and the address will come from the clipboard to your letter.

One other thing about the clipboard is that it will keep the information you put on it and you can paste it over and over again until you replace the information by copying something new.


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