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Moving Text on Computers

A computer stores information as electric patterns in a computer file.

With this electrical store you can create your personal computer memory of information (a database).
store your computer files 
safely, but so that you can find
them again

Move with the cut, copy
and paste sisters The patterns can be converted to information that you can read on screen, print on paper, copy from one computer program to another or send across telephone wires.

This page looks at some of the basic principles for copying and moving text.

Cut, Copy and Paste:
This is a particular way many computer
applications have of moving or copying text, or other data.

In Windows Applications it is called Cut and Paste or Copy and Paste, and the material being moved or copied is stored temporarily in a buffer called the Clipboard.

Cutting and copying both put a copy of the selected text or item onto the Clipboard, but Cut removes it from its original place, whilst Copy leaves it there.

Paste means that you copy the contents of the clipboard into an application. For example, you may have copied material from a wordprocessor which you paste into an email.

You can copy and paste a whole file, or you can select part of a file and just copy that. You can practise this first by copying and pasting the whole of this web page.

Normally, you can copy a web page, but not paste into it. Here I provided a practice area that you can paste into. Normally, if you copied text from a web page, you would then switch to a wordprocessor and paste into that.

To copy and paste the whole of this page:

  • go to the Edit menu (at the top, next to file), and click Select All. This should highlight the whole page.

  • go to the Edit menu, and click Copy. You will not see anything happen, but the text from the page should now be stored in the clipboard.

  • Go to the practice area (below), place the insertion point in the area and click

  • go to the Edit menu, and click Paste. The text of this page should appear in the practice area.

Practice Area
But you do not have to copy everything on a web page, or in a wordprocessor. Instead of selecting all the page, you can just select the part you want, and copy and paste that. To practise this, click click here, read about "dragging" and follow the instructions.

WordPerfect 5.1 calls its similar functions Move and Copy.

file conversion:

File conversion is one of the most useful skills that you can learn on a computer. It is the way of changing files created in one software application (e.g. Word for Windows) into files that can be used in a different software application (e.g. WordPerfect 5.1) .

In Windows applications you can move material from one application to another by using cut, copy and paste. This is not conversion, but it achieves the same end of moving material between applications.

Conversion changes the format of a file created in one application into a format that can be used in another. Windows applications can convert files when they are called up by the Open command on the File menu or when they are saved by the Save As command.

Even if you always use a DOS wordprocessor , like WordPerfect 5.1 , it is useful to have a Windows wordprocessor to convert files from other formats and save them in the format of your DOS wordprocessor.

There are some basic points about conversion you should know:

 ASCII or DOS text files) just use letters, numbers and some simple formatting codes. They can be imported into any wordprocessor and they can be sent as emails. This is a way to make files that can be moved around without difficulty. The only serious problem is that you cannot use bold or italics.

 All wordprocessors that I know of can save a file as ASCII (DOS text). In Windows wordprocessors you do it via the Save As command in the file menu. In Write, for example, you select Text Files (*TXT) from the Save File as Type menu and the file is saved with a *.TXT extension. In other Windows applications you may find that you have a range of "ASCII" texts to choose from. Choose the simplest (e.g. ASCII (DOS) Text). In WordPerfect 5.1 you do this by using Text In/Out (Control/F5).

 Files written in relatively simple wordprocessors like WordPerfect 5.1 (WP5.1) or in Write can have bold and italics and can be converted by all Windows wordprocessors (as far as I know). This means that people who use Windows wordprocessors can save a file with bold and italics in a form that will almost certainly be usable in someone else's wordprocessor. To do this, use the Save As command, and select WordPerfect 5.1 or Windows Write from the "Save File as Type" menu.

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File conversion