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Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V . If you are reading this, you must have used it!  It’s perhaps the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts on planet earth. Their importance is such that a religion Kopimism has been founded upon this belief that everything should be available freely to copy paste. To become a follower, continue reading!

t is difficult to imagine to complete that 10,000 word essay without Ctrl + C, and Ctrl +V.  Ok I guess you are tired of my rants so lets talk business. This post will teach you how to copy and paste from anywhere or everywhere:-


PDF and web are the two places from where you will copy 99% of your stuff. We will tackle both of these medium individually.
See this webpage for example and try copying anything from here you will see you can’t do so. Suppose you want a paragraph or two from here you obviously don’t gonna type it down. So the following is what you could do:-
a) View Source Method: If you are using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome Press ‘Ctrl+U’ and press alt+v+c in Internet Explorer a new window/tab will open. This is your webpage without aesthetics in plain HTML/CSS/Javascript/PHP etc etc. Press Ctrl+F now and in the find box type a word from the paragraph/line you intend to copy for example I am gonna search ‘traditionally’ here
Now as  you can see I have got the text over here and I could simply paste it. The problem is what if I want several paragraphs then obviously it will become a pain as I will have to lift text in turns as otherwise the code gibberish will also be copied. There is a way to sort this out by using code cleaners. What you could do is select the entire text including the code in one go and paste it over here and press the strip button.


You will get output like this


b) Script Method:- The above method is quite lengthy. There is a shorter and better method to do the entire process. Install this plugin if you are using Google Chrome ,this if you are using Mozilla Firefox, this if you are using Opera and this if you are using Safari.  Still stuck on IE? Only God can help.
So these websites use client side scripts such as javascript to prevent you from copying text and using these plugin you could block these scripts from running on your computer and directly copy the text.
Warning: These addon may disrupt your regular browsing experience hence enable only for the time period when you intend to use them else keep them disabled.
c) Miscellaneous Websites:- What if you intend to copy from sites such as Google Books then the above methods won’t work. What you will need now is an OCR(Optical Character Recognition) software. The best in my view so far is Abbyy FineReader Professional Edition.
Say for example you want to copy some stuff from this Google Book over here. Run Abbyy Screenshot Reader and it will convert the captured screenshot into text.
Abbyy is a paid software. Some free alternative are FreeOCR and Google docs.

 Copying From PDF 

a) Protected PDF :- If you are using a protected PDF then you will have (SECURED) in its title like below:-



Anybizsoft PDF Password Remover, a paid software is the best way to go for removing the restrictions imposed on the file. BeCyPDFMetaEdit is another free good alternative. (Credits :Labnol)  To remove restriction run the program and locate the pdf file, change the mode to ‘Complete Rewrite’ and press OK. In the Security tab, set the ‘Security System’ to ‘No encryption’ and click the Save button.  It is not as effective as Anybizsoft and may not work sometime but then its free.
b) OCR Method:- Like mentioned in the previous post on copying from web OCR can also be used to copy from PDFs. They become really useful if the PDF is actually a scanned document. The best OCR are the Abbyy Fine Reader and Adobe X Pro.
Among the free OCRs FreeOCR and Google docs are good options.
To use Google Docs as free OCR upload the PDF and while uploading it tick the ‘Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents’ checkbox.
Now that you know it don’t trust OCR blindly (Accuracy of conversion varies depending upon legibility of text in PDF) and for heaven’s sake at least read your write-up once before you submit it. Come on it’s not that big a pain to read what you have written on your own. Or what you claim that you have written.
Paste Paste Paste (Ctrl+V) ….
a) Multiple Paste Method:- Suppose you are reading a judgment and pasting different extracts of the judgment in a doc file. Now each time you find something useful you have to open and then switch to your word processor be it be Notepad or MS Word or something else. This leads to wastage of time. What if you could copy all the stuff in one go and then paste it. This is where clipboard managers come in play. ClipXArsclipCLCL and Ditto are some of the famous ones. My personal favourite is Arsclip.
With a clipboard manager you could simply select the text you want to copy and press ( Ctrl+C) and then move on. Keep on copying text like this and paste it one go.
ProTip –  If you paste all text from Arsclip it will paste the text in the reverse order i.e. the last text is copied in the beginning and the first chunk of text copied in the end. You could fix this. First press ctrl+shift+z in Word where you intend to paste the text.
A similar drop down menu will pop up like this:
In it click on full mode then press ‘L’ or click on ‘pasting tools’ and then click on paste selected text. Select the desired text and then select ‘Paste in Reverse’.
b) Removing Line breaks in PDF:-  Often you will fact this problem you will copy something which looks normal in a pdf and when pasted in word processor it looks like this


Now you start the laborious process of deleting unnecessary line breaks. There is a way to automate this.
In word after pasting the text select it and press Ctrl+H, the replace dialog box will open in it write ‘^p’ (^p stands for a line break) without quotes in the Find What blank and give a space in the replace with dialog  and then press replace all.  After this dialog box will ask of you want to continue replacing in the rest of Document press “No’. Your text will be sorted. 
c) Making ‘Paste Special’ Method as Default Option:- Most of you would be knowing about the paste special method in MS Word and how pasting text in ‘unformatted text’ mode of Word 2007 or ‘merge formatting’ and ‘keep text only’ option of Word 2010 merges formatting.  In Fileà Options à Advanced  you could change the option ‘pasting from other programs’ to ‘merge formatting’ and now onward you could simply paste the text directly from pdf or web without using paste special. In case you want to retain formatting then you could use ‘paste special’ with ‘keep source formatting’ option.



d) Pasting in Protected Fields – Your college/university website may not allow you to directly paste text in the blank fields. This could be easily be overcome by disabling client side scripts. Install this plugin if you are using Google Chrome, this if you are using Mozilla Firefox, this if you are using Opera and this if you are using Safari. Disable all scripts and reload the page. Now, you are good to go.

e) Textarea backup for browsers - As a lawyer often feel obliged to make the shortest possible comment to a 1000 word essay. Often feel frustrated that your comment does not get posted and you will have to rewrite it again. This script will ensure that such situation never take place again and will backup whatever you type in a textarea even after reloading the webpage.

Thats all folks! Hope that helped!

This post is inspired from a series of 3 blog posts which was originally posted here Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

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