Chromebook copy and paste logo

Should you need to copy text from one document into another, don’t worry. Copying and pasting on a Chromebook works identically to how it works on any other operating system, and you can do it in a couple of ways.

How to Copy Text

The first thing you want to do is open up a document or webpage and highlight the word(s) or line(s) you want to copy. Right-click the selection—either with two fingers on a trackpad, with a mouse, or by pressing Alt while clicking—and then click “Copy.”

Highlight some text, right-click it, and then click "Copy."

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Alternatively, instead of using the right-click context menu, you can press Ctrl+C to copy the highlighted text to the clipboard.

Tip: If you want to altogether remove text from a document while copying it to the clipboard, click “Cut” from the context menu or press Ctrl+X instead.

How to Paste Text

Now that you have text copied to the clipboard, open up a document, word processor, or text box (such as Chrome’s address bar) to paste it into place. Click the mouse cursor where you want to paste the text, right-click, and then select “Paste” from the context menu that appears.

Go to the document you want to paste the text, right-click, and then click "Paste."

If you prefer a keyboard shortcut instead of the context menu, press Ctrl+V to paste the text from the clipboard.

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The text inserts into your document with all its formatting intact.

How to Paste Text without Formatting

Chances are if you’re pasting text into a document, you’ll want it to follow the format already in place—especially when copying an entire page. Pasting something that brings along its bold, italicized, and 16pt styling to ruin your document can be frustrating.

However, if you prefer to paste all text as plain text, you can strip away all formatting and do just that. Right-click the area where you want to paste the text, but this time, click “Paste as Plain Text.”

Don't like seeing the formatting? Right-click, and then click "Paste as plain text" to strip all formatting from the text.

Sometimes, depending on the text field or document where you’re pasting text into, you might have to click “Paste without Formatting” from the context menu.

Sometimes it shows up as "PAste without formatting." This is interchangeable with "Paste as plain text."

Alternatively, the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+V does the same thing and removes all formatting from the text when it gets pasted into your document.

When pasting without formatting, the text abides by the formatting your document uses where you pasted it.

Access Your Clipboard with an App

Although Chrome OS doesn’t have an accessible clipboard for you to view previously copied items, you can download an app for your Chromebook that does this for you. Clipboard History lets you view, edit, favorite, and copy from a list of recently copied items. Clipboard History works in the background, so it doesn’t need to be open for it to operate.

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Once you install and open the app, click the two pages icon to the right of an item to send it to the top of the clipboard. The next time you press Ctrl+V, it will paste into your document.

Click an item to edit the text.

Click an item to edit its contents.


Swipe an item to delete it permanently from the clipboard history.

Swipe an item to either side to delete it from the list.

That’s all there is to it. Copying and pasting on a Chromebook is a simple thing to do, especially as the keyboard shortcuts work almost identically to those for Windows and macOS.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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