SELECT, COPY AND PASTE
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In previous Folders And Files sections you have been taught how to Select, Copy, Cut and Paste a folder, amongst other things. Now I am going to show you how to put the whole thing together, using Files as well, so that you know what is meant by the terms Copy & Paste, Cut & Paste and Drag & Drop for example.
To make the learning even easier I am going to be using two windows. The first window will be the DOCUMENTS folder. This is where I am going to Copy from and Cut from. And the second window will be my empty Flash Drive (Memory Pen/Stick) folder. This is where I am going to Paste (put) the copied and cut items into. So basically I am going to show you the Select, Copy, Cut and Paste procedures using files (folders will apply to the examples though) so that in turn you know how to move items from one storage folder to another.
To get started the first thing you need to do is open your Source folder (window), which you use as the COPY From folder (window) or CUT From folder (window). You then need to open your Destination folder (window), which you use as the PASTE Into folder (window). See the How To Move A Window and How To Re-Size A Window sections for more information, if need be.
In this example I have chosen to use the DOCUMENTS folder (window) as my Source folder (window). It has two sub-folders inside it, called Important Files and Microsoft
User Data, and nine assorted files inside it called Accounts.xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2011 file), AudioVideo1.m4v (Audio/Video file), AudioVideo2.avi (Audio/Video file),
Letter.docx (Microsoft Word 2011 file), London1.jpg (Photo file), London2.jpg (Photo file), Paris1.jpg (Photo file), Paris2.jpg (Photo file) and Research_Notes.rtf
(Text file). The Flash Drive folder is empty.
For the Destination folder (window) I have chosen to use my empty FLASH DRIVE folder (window) which is the root folder of my physical Flash (Memory Stick) Drive. I named it FLASH DRIVE so you can see what is being worked with in these examples (a physical Memory Stick), but I could of easily named it something else such as Work Pen, Business or whatever. FLASH DRIVE is known as the Destination because it is here where I will end up putting (Pasting) the example files.
Saying the above; The source and destination folders can be any folders/sub-folders of your choosing. You could use a Floppy Disk, Website, DOCUMENTS folder, Flash (Memory Stick) Drive, DVD, etc as your Source folder and/or Destination folder. Here I have chosen DOCUMENTS as the Source folder because it is on your computer and FLASH DRIVE as the Destination folder because it is portable - It can be removed from your computer and then inserted into another computer, therefore any folders and/or files pasted (put) into it will be portable too.
After opening the two folders (windows) the next thing to do is to decide which folders and/or files you want to COPY (or CUT). And then where you want to put (PASTE)
them. For example. If I COPY the Letter.docx file do I then PASTE it straight into the FLASH DRIVE folder or do I want to create a sub-folder for it first? It is this
kind of thing you must decide before doing any copying/pasting or cutting/pasting. In other words; Map out where you would like each sub-folder and/or file to be pasted
(put), create any needed sub-folders inside your destination folder, and then COPY & PASTE your sub-folder(s) and/or file(s).
The first thing I am going to do is create a sub-folder called HOLIDAY PHOTOS inside the FLASH DRIVE folder. This can be done by clicking on the NEW FOLDER button or NEW FOLDER menu-item for example. See the How To Create A Folder and How To Rename A Folder sections if you need help.
The next thing I am going to do is double click on the HOLIDAY PHOTOS sub-folder (Fig 1.4 below) to get inside it (Fig 1.5) and then create two sub-sub-folders inside it called LONDON and PARIS. So the hierarchy is then FLASH DRIVE (the main folder), HOLIDAY PHOTOS (a sub-folder inside FLASH DRIVE but also a main folder for LONDON and PARIS) and then LONDON and PARIS (sub-folders inside HOLIDAY PHOTOS but also sub-sub-folders to FLASH DRIVE).
Now that the LONDON and PARIS sub-sub-folders have been created inside the HOLIDAY PHOTOS sub-folder I will double click on the PARIS sub-sub-folder to get inside it, which I will now treat as my Destination folder. Remember, a sub-sub-folder and sub-folder are both a folder in their own right. The reason I am entering the PARIS folder is because I want to copy the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg photograph files from the DOCUMENTS source folder into the PARIS destination folder.
Before I do any copying I need to explain how you select more than one file (or sub-folder). The How To Copy A Folder section for example only explains how to select one sub-folder at a time, but in this section you will need to know how to select more than one sub-folder and/or file at a time.
There are two basic methods for selecting multiple items (folders and/or files). The first method is to use the CMD keyboard key, which allows you to select individual items. And the second method is to use the SHIFT keyboard key, which allows you to select a range of items.
Select with CMD
With the CMD keyboard key method you start by selecting your first item (folder or sub-folder) as normal, by clicking on it with the left mouse button (Fig 1.8), but you
then press the CMD keyboard key down and keep it held down as you then select your second item, your third item and so on (Fig 1.9). When you are happy with your selection
you let go of the CMD keyboard key. If you make a mistake you can always deselect an item by clicking on it again, with the CMD keyboard key still held down.
If you do not keep the CMD keyboard key held down as you are selecting or deselecting an item you will cancel your selection and have to start all over again.
Select with SHIFT
With the SHIFT keyboard key method you start by selecting your first item (folder and/or file) as normal, by clicking on it with the left mouse button (Fig 1.10), but you then press the SHIFT keyboard key down and keep it held down as you then select the last item in your range (Fig 1.11). So if you had 1,000 items you could click on item 4 as your first item, hold down the SHIFT keyboard key and then click on item 990 as your last item; therefore creating a selected range of 986 items. This is very good when selecting e-mails you want to delete because you can delete 986 e-mails in a matter of two clicks, as opposed to clicking on 986 individual e-mails and pressing the DELETE keyboard key.
When you are happy with your selected range let go of the SHIFT keyboard key. If you make a mistake with the last item you can always select a different last item by clicking on it, with the SHIFT keyboard key still held down. If you do not keep the SHIFT keyboard key held down as you are selecting a last item only the last item will be selected. The other items in the range (selection) will be deselected, therefore no range (selection) will be created.
The SHIFT and CMD methods can also be used in combination. For example. You could select a range of files (and/or folders) with the SHIFT method and then select individual files (and/or folders) with the CMD method (Fig 1.12). You cannot do the reverse though. You cannot select individual items with the CMD method and then select a range of items with the SHIFT method because the SHIFT method will deselect any items selected with the CMD method. Therefore, either use the SHIFT method first and then the CMD method (as in Fig 1.12) or use the CMD method first and then use the mouse pointer to select a range of items (Fig 1.13).
In Fig 1.13 I first selected the Accounts.xlsx file and then the Audio_Video2.avi file using the CMD method. With the CMD keyboard key still held down I then used the
Drag-Select method to select the range of files from London1.jpg to Paris2.jpg - The Drag-Select (elastic band) method was shown in the
How To Paste A Sub-Folder section (towards the end, near Fig 1.15), but I will refresh your memory
With the CMD keyboard key still held down; Starting from the top right-hand-side of your selection, click the left mouse button. Keep it clicked (held down) and then drag (move) the mouse pointer towards the bottom left-hand-side of your selection. Then let go of the left mouse button. So in Fig 1.13 I started by moving the mouse pointer to the top right-hand-side of the London1.jpg file. I then clicked the left mouse button and kept it clicked whilst I then dragged (moved) the mouse pointer towards the bottom left-hand-side of the Paris2.jpg file. When I knew that was what I wanted selecting I let go of the left mouse button. You do not have to be perfect with your positioning of the mouse pointer, as Fig 1.13 shows, because OS X (Mountain Lion) automatically selects the folders and/or files that are within range of your selection box (rectangle/elastic band) for you.
Here is another example with the folder's view changed to Icon View, so you can see the elastic band (drag-select) method. I have just selected the Accounts.xlsx file and Important Files folder with the CMD keyboard key held down and will now, with the CMD keyboard key still held down, select the range of files from London1.jpg to Paris1.jpg - I will position the mouse pointer at the top-right-side of London1.jpg and then click the left mouse button. From there I will keep the left mouse button held down whilst I then drag (move) the mouse pointer towards the bottom-left-side of the Paris1.jpg file. Once I see the rectangle (elastic band) I can then let go of the left mouse button and the CMD keyboard key because my range of files will have been selected.
Now that you know how to select items the next thing to do is the actual copying (or cutting) and pasting.
The word COPY, when used in the context of COPY & PASTE, means to make an exact copy (photocopy) of the currently selected item(s) and put that exact copy (photocopy) of the currently selected item(s) into the computer's memory (into its Clipboard area); So that when the currently selected item(s) need pasting (moving to another place) it is the exact copy (photocopy) that is pasted (moved to another place) and not the original currently selected item(s). In other words. The currently selected item(s) stay where they are and are kept selected. It is the exact copy (photocopy) of the currently selected item(s), now in memory, that is pasted.
So the COPY & PASTE process is as follows - First select the item(s) you want a copy of. Then click on the ACTIONS button or EDIT menu of the source folder (i.e. the DOCUMENTS folder) and select (left click on) the COPY menu-item (Fig 1.15 above) - This will create an exact copy (photocopy) of your selected item(s) and put that exact copy (photocopy) into computer's memory (Clipboard area), therefore creating a memory copy of your selected item(s). You then go to your destination folder (i.e. the FLASH DRIVE folder), click on its ACTION button or EDIT menu and select its PASTE menu-item (Fig 1.16 above) - This will put (paste) the exact copy (memory copy/photocopy) of your selected item(s) into your chosen destination folder. So in the above example I have selected the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg files from the source folder (DOCUMENTS), clicked on its ACTION button >> COPY 2 ITEMS menu-item, gone over to the destination folder (PARIS) and then clicked on its ACTION button >> PASTE 2 ITEMS menu-item.
Remember; With the COPY function the originally selected item(s) stay intact. They will still be in their original, source, folder. If you need/want them deleting from their original, source, folder after you have PASTEd them into the destination folder you should use the MOVE TO HERE menu-item instead.
OS X (Mountain Lion) does not have a CUT function as such if you remember from previous sections. You have to COPY your selected item(s) as shown above but then use the MOVE TO HERE menu-item on the EDIT menu or ACTION button, instead of using the PASTE menu-item, to perform the actual PASTE. The MOVE TO HERE function will PASTE the originally selected item(s), and not a copy, into the destination folder as shown above but will then remove (delete) the originally selected item(s) from its source folder.
So the CUT & PASTE process is as follows - First select the item(s) you want a copy of. Then click on the ACTIONS button or EDIT menu of the source folder (i.e. the DOCUMENTS folder) and select (left click on) the COPY menu-item (Fig 1.15 above) - This will create an exact copy (photocopy) of your selected item(s) and put that exact copy (photocopy) into computer's memory (Clipboard area), therefore creating a memory copy of your selected item(s). You then go to your destination folder (i.e. the PARIS folder), click on its ACTION button or EDIT menu and select its MOVE TO HERE menu-item (Fig 1.18 above) - This will put (paste) the originally selected item(s), not a copy, into your chosen destination folder thereby deleting (removing) the originally selected item(s) from their source folder. So in the above example I have selected the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg files from the source folder (DOCUMENTS), clicked on its ACTION button >> COPY 2 ITEMS menu-item, gone over to the destination folder (PARIS) and then clicked on its ACTION button >> MOVE 2 ITEMS HERE menu-item.
DRAG & DROP is a variant of COPY & PASTE. It allows you to DRAG (move) one, or more, items (sub-folders and/or files) from one place to another using just the
mouse pointer and left mouse button. Below is an example of dragging (moving) the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg files from the source folder (DOCUMENTS) to the destination
Begin by selecting two files. When the left mouse button has been released upon making your selection of two files, click on any one of those now selected files (i.e. click on Paris2.jpg). As you do this, do not let go of the left mouse button. Keep it held down as you now move the mouse pointer away from the source folder and towards the destination folder. As you do this the mouse pointer will also move your two selected files with it, as though the two files are being dragged around with the mouse pointer. This is quite normal and is known as: Dragging.
As the mouse pointer comes away and out of the source folder, towards the destination folder, it will place a number next to itself. In this case the number 2. That number represents how many items (folders/files) you are currently dragging. And as the mouse pointer goes over the destination folder it will also change into the COPY (Drag/Add) mouse pointer to denote the items you are now dragging over the destination folder can be dropped into that destination folder. This is because the destination folder allows other folders and files to be dropped into it. To drop the selected item(s) into the destination folder simply release the left mouse button - That's what Dropping is; letting go of the left mouse button when the mouse pointer has some items attached to it.
Over the Folders & Files sections I have shown you how to paste your item(s) inside a sub-folder, so that (1) you know your item(s) were definitely pasted inside that sub-folder and (2) you could see what else was inside that sub-folder, but what if you do not care about what is already inside a sub-folder and you trust OS X (Mountain Lion) to paste your item(s) into a sub-folder? Is there a way of pasting into a sub-folder without actually opening that sub-folder?....Yes there is. This next example shows how to paste already selected and copied items, from the above examples, into the PARIS destination folder without actually opening the PARIS destination folder.
Once the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg files have been selected and copied into memory (EDIT >> COPY or ACTION >> COPY), the next thing to do is make sure you are inside the HOLIDAY PHOTOS sub-folder. When you are inside the HOLIDAY PHOTOS sub-folder, where you can see the LONDON and PARIS folders (sub-sub-folders), right click on the PARIS folder (destination folder) to bring up its Context (Options) menu. From there, left click on the PASTE menu-item (PASTE 2 ITEMS). This will then paste the Paris1.jpg and Paris2.jpg files into the PARIS destination folder, without you having to open it.
You can also Drag & Drop selected item(s) into an unopened folder simply by dragging the mouse pointer over the folder and releasing the left mouse button, thereby PASTE-ing the selected items into the folder without opening it.
Another way to PASTE selected items into a folder, besides using its PASTE menu-item from its EDIT menu or ACTION button, is to enter the folder as normal (by double clicking on it to get inside it) and then right-click on its white display area. This will bring up its Context (Options) menu whereby you can then click on its PASTE menu-item.
What I have explained so far is one COPY and one PASTE. In other words; The copying of two selected files from one place to another, which is okay if that is all you need
but what happens if you need to paste the same selected items into more than one place? Do the same selected files need a COPY & PASTE to the PARIS folder and then
another COPY & PASTE to the LONDON folder for example? Answer? NO! Because the COPY function has already put a copy of your selected files into the computer's memory
(Clipboard area), ready for the PASTE function, you can simply use the PASTE function over and over again.
So to clarify; COPY a selection of files once and then simply PASTE that selection of files where ever and whenever you like - COPY and PASTE, PASTE, PASTE. Go into the PARIS folder and PASTE, go into the LONDON folder and PASTE the same selection of files.
Note. If you remove the source folder (i.e. your Flash Drive), even after doing a COPY of your selected Flash Drive files, you will receive an error due to the memory copy then being cleared on purpose by the OS X (Mountain Lion) operating system. For example. If you select all the files on your Flash Drive, perform a COPY, and then unplug your Flash Drive you will not be able to PASTE to the DOCUMENTS folder for example. This is because COPY and PASTE work together, on a much more technical memory buffering level, whereby they would both need the Flash Drive to be plugged in. It is about Memory Management basically.
This section has covered most of the basics about COPY & PASTE, CUT & PASTE and Selection in general. Meaning, although the above exampled and concentrated on the two Paris photo files the information above can also be used for Selecting, Copying, Cutting and Pasting folders only, files only or a combination of folders and files.