Updated: 12/10/2023 by Computer Hope

Cut may refer to any of the following:

1. The process of removing an item and placing it in a temporary location called the clipboard. Once placed in the clipboard, the user can paste that item elsewhere. Only programs that allow text to be removed can be cut; other programs only allow the user to copy. For example, you cannot cut text from a web page but can cut text from a word processor document or text file.

Cut copy and undo

The picture is a simple metaphor for the cut, paste, and undo functions. Like a pair of scissors, you can cut text, images, files, and other objects, and if you wanted to paste what you've cut, you could use tape (the paste function).

What is the keyboard shortcut for cut?

Below is a listing of keyboard shortcuts for how you can cut on different operating systems. Remember that whatever is being cut must be highlighted or selected first.


On many devices, you can also right-click the highlighted text and select Cut from the right-click menu.

How to cut text

Before text can be cut, it must be selected (highlighted). Once selected, right-click the selected text, and from the right-click menu, click Cut.

On a smartphone, once the text is highlighted you'll be given a popup menu that gives you the option to cut text.

You can practice cutting text by selecting some or all of the following text and then follow the steps above.

When something is cut, where does it go?

When something is cut, it goes to the clipboard and remains there until something else is copied or cut on the computer. Anything cut and stored in the clipboard can be pasted multiple times.

Why does the text not disappear when cut?

If you are working with text that is not editable, it cannot be cut or placed into the clipboard. If text is not cut, it will not disappear because the feature and keyboard shortcut is not working. For text that is not editable, use the copy feature instead.

How is cutting different than copying?

When you cut something, you remove what is selected so it can be moved to another place. When you copy something, you leave what you are copying in the same place and make a copy of it in another place. In other words, copying creates a duplicate, and cutting does not.

What can be done once the text is cut?

The most common action done after cutting text is going to another area and pasting that text. For example, if you cut the text in the above example, you could open any other program and paste that text into that program.


Once text is in the clipboard; it can be pasted multiple times into as many programs as you want.

In addition to pasting the cut text, you can also do nothing and keep the text removed. This action is helpful if you want to delete a lot of text.


If you didn't mean to cut text, you can also undo the cut action.

What happens when nothing is selected and you cut?

If you press the Ctrl+X keyboard shortcut or attempt to cut through a menu and nothing is selected, nothing happens. Also, if something was in the clipboard, it would not replaced.

2. A Linux command. See the cut command page for additional information about this command.

3. CUT is also short for Coordinated Universal Time.

4. Cut is the name of a transition.

Clipboard, Computer acronyms, Copy, Ctrl+X, Move, Paste, Snip, Software terms, Word processor terms