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Lesson 14: Cut, Copy and Paste

In this lesson you'll learn to duplicate parts of your patterns using the Cut, Copy and Paste commands.

Common to many Windows programs are the three commands Cut, Copy and Paste. Cutting, copying and pasting are all interactions with the Windows "Clipboard." The Clipboard is simply a special storage place where items can be placed with Cut and Copy and retrieved with Paste.

Open the "Mushroom" file once again. After it loads, press the Zoom Out key (the "–" key) twice to reduce the image of the mushroom.

cut Using a select box, select the upper part of the mushroom — all but the stem. Now click the Cut toolbar button, shown at the left. The upper part of the mushroom disappears, and is placed on the Clipboard.

paste Let's open a new design and retrieve what we cut. Use the New command to get a new, blank design. Now click the Paste button. You have now pasted part of one design into another design. The pasted line sections are selected, so they are easy to drag to another location. Go ahead and drag the design to any corner of the view and then click Paste again. You now have two mushroom tops. As you see, a Paste copies the Clipboard contents and places them into your design, but it does not remove anything from the Clipboard.

If the crosshairs origin is visible in the view (meaning that you can see the point where the crosshairs intersect) then pasting centers the contents at that point; otherwise, pasting places the contents in the center of the view. Experiment again with pasting while having the crosshairs visible.

Close this design without saving it. We are now back to the mushroom design as we left it, with only the stem remaining. Click the Undo button to restore the top of the mushroom.

copy Now use a select box to select the entire mushroom. This time try a Copy operation by clicking the Copy toolbar button. (You will not see much feedback to let you know that the operation succeeded, other than the button going in and out.) Like Cut, Copy places the selection on the Clipboard, but unlike Cut it does not remove the selection from the design. Both Cut and Copy will erase the previous Clipboard contents to make room for the new selection, so the mushroom top that used to be on the Clipboard is now lost.

Now instead of opening a new design, let's scroll the current design. Using the bottom scroll bar (or using panning, if you prefer) scroll the view so that the mushroom is positioned at the very left side of the view. Now click the Paste toolbar button. You now have two mushrooms! You can probably imagine that this process is useful when your design contains repetitive patterns.

Now close the design without saving it.


Before we conclude this lesson let us mention the Delete command, which is similar to Cut. Delete does not have a toolbar button — you use either the Del key or the "Delete" item on the Edit menu. Delete removes the selection from the design, but it does not put the selection on the Clipboard. The only time to use Delete instead of Cut is when you want to remove something from your design but do not want to disturb the contents of the Clipboard.

Next Lesson: Advanced Lines

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