Why you should learn ⇧⌘C

The key combo will change the way you use your Mac.

I’ve been using a Mac since 1984, when my dad, who worked at the Open University, had access to one of the first Macs imported into the U.K. He’d sneak my brothers and me into a shared computer lab at night, and we’d spend hours making “art” in MacPaint. We printed out our creations on a noisy dot-matrix printer that was so violently energetic, it would literally shake the whole building. (The lab was in a rickety portakabin.)

However, in the 40 years hence, I’ve managed to learn about three keyboard commands — cut, copy and paste, basically. It’s true: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

This is a source of great shame, of course, but I’m in the process of learning a new one: ⇧⌘C (Shift-Command-C).

This command is going to fundamentally change the way I use my Mac, and it might do the same for you, too.

This keyboard combo brings up a menu in Maccy, a clipboard manager that allows you to cut and paste … and paste … and paste again. Maccy, you see, is a clipboard manager that stores all the things you’ve copied recently, instead of just the last thing.

It’s a fundamental change to the way the Mac does copy and paste, and it’s so good, we think it should be a standard feature of macOS. Here’s how to use it.

Interestingly, "cut and paste" comes from the old days of manuscript editing, when editors would cut sections from a page with scissors and paste them elsewhere with, well, paste. When developing the first GUI interfaces at Xerox Parc, researchers mimicked this system, choosing C for copy, X for cut (because it looks like a pair of scissors or a cross-out) and V for paste (because it looks like an insertion mark).

In addition, all these keys are clustered at the bottom left of a standard QWERTY keyboard.

These keyboard combos were first popularized on Apple’s Lisa, the first computer to have a temporary storage buffer called “the clipboard,” and then, of course, on the Mac.

Also in today’s newsletter:

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

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One more thing ...

There's an old Hindu saying that goes, 'In the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.'

— Steve Jobs, 2011.

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