Knowing how to copy and paste on Mac is a handy skill that can be applied to a whole load of different applications.

If you want to quickly copy an image into an email or document to send to someone, then copying and pasting can do just that, and a whole lot more. It’s all taken care of thanks to one keyboard shortcut or via a drop-down menu, and works whether you’re using macOS Monterey, Big Sur, Mojave or before.

Hardware Used

  • 2020 13″ MacBook Pro
  • macOS Big Sur
  • Copy & Paste

The Short Version

  • Use the Cmd+C and Cmd+V shortcuts
  • Use the Finder drop-down menu
  1. Step

    Use Cmd+C to copy

    Copying and pasting on a Mac is a remarkably simple process with the entire operation being taken care of thanks to a pair of keyboard shortcuts.

    To copy an item, simply select it (within Finder for instance) and press down Cmd+C. This will copy it into your Clipboard, ready for pasting.

  2. Step

    Use Cmd+V to paste

    And to paste it (be it into an email or a Word document for instance) then select the destination for it and press Cmd+V. 

  3. Step

    Or alternatively, use the Finder drop-down menu

    You can also use the relevant drop-down menu within Finder when you select a file which will allow you to copy.

    Simply press Copy and the image will then be saved to your clipboard. To paste it, either use the Cmd+V shortcut, or select ‘Paste’ from the drop-down menu of the app you’re using, such as Word.

    In the likes of Word, if the image you’re pasting features special formatting, you can choose to paste it with that specific formatting, or paste it in the same way as a normal image. In addition, macOS also provides a specific shortcut for pasting to match the formatting and style of existing text, which is Option+Shift+Cmd+V.

    As much as copying and pasting may seem like a simple task, it’s a little more versatile than you might expect.


My image won’t paste when I press Cmd+V. How do I solve this?

If your image won’t paste into your document, simply try copying and pasting it again, which should allow you to paste the image in. Or try a different image, or the Paste and Match shortcut, which may hopefully solve the issue, and allow you to paste in the required image. 

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