How to Copy and Paste in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Copying and pasting text in Google Docs is a simple yet essential skill for anyone using the platform. Whether you’re working on an essay, a report, or just taking notes, knowing how to move text around quickly and efficiently can save you time and hassle. In just a few clicks or keystrokes, you can duplicate text from one part of your document to another, or even from a different source altogether.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Copy and Paste in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re going to accomplish. Copying and pasting in Google Docs allows you to duplicate text or images from one part of your document to another, or from another document or web page into your Google Doc. This function is handy for reorganizing your work, compiling information from various sources, or simply saving time by not having to retype information.

Step 1: Select the Text

First, you’ll need to highlight the text you want to copy. Click and drag your mouse over the text until it’s all selected, or if you’re using a keyboard, hold down the shift key and use the arrow keys to select.

Selecting the text is the most crucial step because if you don’t highlight exactly what you need, you might end up copying the wrong thing. Make sure your selection is precise, especially if you’re only copying a specific section of the text.

Step 2: Copy the Text

With the text selected, you can copy it by either right-clicking and choosing ‘Copy’ or by using a keyboard shortcut. On a PC, the shortcut is Ctrl+C, and on a Mac, it’s Command+C.

Using keyboard shortcuts can make your work much faster. Once you get the hang of them, you might find that you’re copying and pasting like a pro without even thinking about it.

Step 3: Place the Cursor

Now, move your cursor to where you want the copied text to go. Click in the spot where you want the text to appear, and you’re ready to paste.

Remember, wherever the blinking cursor is placed, that’s where the copied text will end up. So, be sure to put the cursor exactly where you need the text to be.

Step 4: Paste the Text

To paste the text, right-click and choose ‘Paste,’ or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V on a PC or Command+V on a Mac.

Once you paste the text, it should appear exactly where you placed your cursor. If it doesn’t look right, don’t worry! You can always undo your action by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z and try again.

After completing these steps, the selected text will be duplicated in the new location of your choice. You can then continue editing your document as needed.

Tips for Copying and Pasting in Google Docs

  • Always double-check your selection before copying to ensure you have the right text.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process.
  • If you’re copying text from a web page or another document, make sure to check the formatting once you paste it into Google Docs.
  • To copy and paste formatting as well as text, use the “Paint format” tool after copying.
  • If you need to paste text without formatting, use the “Paste without formatting” option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I copy and paste images as well?

Yes, you can copy and paste images just like text. Simply click on the image to select it, then follow the same copy and paste steps.

What if I want to copy text from Google Docs to another program?

The process is the same. Copy the text from Google Docs, then paste it into the other program. Keep in mind that formatting may not always transfer perfectly between different programs.

Can I copy and paste text from a PDF into Google Docs?

Yes, but you might need to use a PDF converter tool first, as copying directly from a PDF may not preserve the formatting or even the text accurately.

Is there a way to copy and paste multiple selections at once?

Not directly in Google Docs. You will need to copy and paste each section individually.

How do I copy and paste a whole page?

To copy a whole page, click at the beginning of the page, scroll to the end of the page, hold down the shift key, and click to select the entire page. Then, follow the regular copy and paste steps.


  1. Select the text.
  2. Copy the text using right-click or keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Place the cursor where you want the text to go.
  4. Paste the text using right-click or keyboard shortcuts.


There you have it, a step-by-step guide on how to copy and paste in Google Docs. As you can see, it’s a straightforward process that can greatly improve your workflow and productivity. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be copying and pasting like a seasoned pro in no time. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to use this feature as much as possible to get comfortable with it. And always keep an eye on the formatting to ensure your document looks its best. Happy writing!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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