Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides let you copy and paste text and images between all of your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations — even if you're going from one type of file to another. And if you copy an image from a desktop application on your computer, you can paste it right into your document, spreadsheet, or presentation. You can use keyboard shortcuts, the right-click menu, or the web clipboard menu to copy and paste in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
For most copying and pasting, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+C for Copy, Ctrl+X for Cut and Ctrl+V for Paste (⌘+C, ⌘+X and Cmd+V on a Mac). This even works when going from one file type to another.
There are a couple of exceptions when keyboard shortcuts don't work as well. In these cases, you should use the web clipboard menu:
- If you're copying between presentations and another file type
- If you want to copy on one computer and paste on another
- If you want to copy something you aren't going to paste right away
The right-click menu
When working in Chrome, you can use the right-click menu to copy and paste content (or select "Copy" or "Paste" from the Edit menu in the toolbar). To install the app, visit the Chrome Web Store.
The web clipboard tool
There are a few cases in which the best way to copy and paste is using the web clipboard tool. With the web clipboard tool, you can copy more than one selection and then choose which one to paste later; it also lets you copy something on one computer and then paste it on another.
- Select what you'd like to copy.
- Click the Edit menu and select Web clipboard.
- Click Copy selection to web clipboard.
- In the destination file, click the Edit menu and select Web clipboard again; you'll see the selection that you previously copied. If you copied multiple things, you'll see a list of the items you've recently copied.
- Place the cursor where you want to paste the content.
- Select Web clipboard from the Edit menu.
- Select what you want to paste. Depending on your selection, you'll see different formats that you can choose from to paste what you've copied (for example, HTML or plain text).
- Select a format.
You can use the web clipboard to copy shapes from drawings and paste shapes into drawings embedded in Google spreadsheets, documents and presentations, or to copy and paste a drawing from a doc into the standalone drawing editor.
Click the Edit menu, select Web clipboard, and then select Copy shapes to web clipboard. Then, open the document that you want to paste the drawing into. Select Web clipboard from the Edit menu, and then select the drawing you want to paste from the menu.
You can't use the web clipboard to copy and paste regular text and images in Google Slides yet. You can select entire shapes on a single slide, and if the shape is a text shape, then the text will be copied to the server clipboard.
You can use the web clipboard to copy and paste charts from a spreadsheet into a document or drawing.
How content on the server clipboard is stored and protected
You can access the content copied to the server clipboard only by signing in to the same Google Account you used to copy the content originally.
Content you copy to the web clipboard is stored on Google's servers and remains there until 30 days have passed since you last took action on (for example, copied) a given content selection. Even if a document is deleted, anything you copied from that document to the server clipboard will still exist on Google's servers for that 30-day period. You can delete all items stored on the server clipboard by clicking the drop-down menu and selecting Clear all items.