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Computing for the Everyman 4 - The Edit Menu

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Transcript:Last time, I talked about the fundamental commands contained in the File Menu on nearly any computer system. These commands allow you to create new documents, save documents, open them again and print out your work. The next menu to the right, the Edit Menu, contains important commands that allow you to work with your documents...adding, deleting and moving information as you create the final version. There will certainly be other commands in the Edit Menu, but Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo will always be found there.

Let's take the commands in the order they normally appear in the menu, from the top down.

Undo, Undo ...

One of the most important commands on any computer, Undo allows you to undo the last change you made to your document. Maybe you made your text bold by accident, or deleted an entire paragraph. No need to fear, simply select Edit, Undo and your changes will be removed. In most programs today, you even get multiple levels of undo, where you can step back through any number of changes one at a time.

You may notice that often the Undo menu choice will read Undo typing, or Undo bold or Undo followed by the name the action it will undo. This gives you an indication of what exact action the Undo will perform.

In the hierarchy of computer commands, Undo ranks as one of the highest, as it protects us from ourselves and our own mistakes.

Cut

Cut removes information from your document and places it in a hidden area called the "Clipboard". First, you select whatever text you wish to cut using the mouse, then select CUT. You can then place your cursor at another point in your document or another document entirely, and PASTE it into that document. Usually, you use CUT to take a paragraph from one part of your document and move it to another location.

Since Cut actually removes the content from your document it is important that you use Paste immediately after. This is because the clipboard can only hold one item at a time. If you were to Cut or Copy another item, the current item on the clipboard would disappear.

Copy

Copy works much like Cut, except it leaves the item in the document. You can then use Paste to insert a copy of the item into the current document or any other document you might have open.

Paste

The Paste command inserts whatever item is on the clipboard into your current document, wherever the cursor is located. For example, if you were moving a paragraph in a document, you would select the paragraph using your mouse and select CUT. Then you would move your cursor to where you wanted the paragraph to appear and then select Paste. Paste works exactly the same if you COPY a selection or CUT it.

Select All

This command does exactly what it says, it selects all the information in the current document. Then you can copy or cut the selected text or items and PASTE them into a new document.

The Edit menu is your most important ally when creating and modifying your documents. These commands are to your computer work, what walking, running and jumping are to your life. They make up most of your every day actions when working with your computer.

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