Cutting, copying, and pasting on Macs is a little bit different than on the PCs many people grew up using, but it’s still quite simple. There are three ways to cut and paste files—using the context menu, using a keyboard shortcut, and using the mouse.
Whichever method you use, you must first browse to the file you want to cut. You can browse to the location where you want to paste it after you’ve cut, or you can open a separate window so you can paste it right away. I prefer to open a separate window so I can watch the original file disappear after it’s been pasted.
Note that if you move a file from one drive to a different drive, it may take several seconds to appear when you paste it—that’s because Mac OSX needs to physically copy the file from the first drive to the second drive.
Cut And Paste With The Context Menu
Open Finder, the Mac OSX file manager, to the directory containing the file or directory you want to cut and paste. Click once on the file or directory you want to cut. Then go to the Edit menu on the top of the screen and click Cut.
Browse to the directory where you want to paste the file or folder (or open the window you used to already browse to that folder). Go back to the Edit menu on the top of the screen and click Paste. The file should disappear from its original directory and appear in the new directory.
Cut And Paste With A Keyboard Shortcut
Once again open Finder to the directory containing your file and click on the file once. But this time press and hold the Command key, press X, and then release both keys. The command key is the key with the clover-shaped icon on your keyboard next to your space bar. It’s similar to the Alt key on a PC.
Browse the directory where you want to paste your file and press and hold the Command key, press P, and then release both keys. The file should disappear from the first directory and appear in the new directory.
For short, remember that Command-X cuts and Command-P pastes.
Cut And Paste Using Just The Mouse
You can also drag and drop files from one folder to another just like on Windows. To make it easy, open two Finder windows. In the first window, browse to the file you want to move. In the second window, browse to the directory where you want to move the file. Then click on the file in the first window, keep holding down the mouse button, and drag the to the second window. Release the mouse button and the file will disappear from the first directory and appear in the new directory.
You Can Also Copy Files
To copy files instead of cutting them, follow the instructions above with the following differences:
1. Using the context menu, select Copy instead of Cut.
2. Using the keyboard, press Command-C instead of Command-X.
3. Using the mouse, press and hold the command key while you press and hold down the mouse button. When you get the file in the destination directory, release the mouse button before you release the command key.