JAWS (and Windows) Copy and Paste Tricks

Did you know you can have JAWS read and interact with what you’ve copied to your clipboard without having to paste it? You can and it’s very simple.

To hear JAWS read the contents of your clipboard, press Insert + Windows + X. JAWS will verbalize what was most recently copied to your clipboard. It will also show it on any connected braille devices you have.

To virtualize the content of your clipboard (in other words, open a window containing the text you recently copied and interact with it by moving word by word, letter by letter, etc) you’ll need press Insert + Space followed by C. This layered keystroke may be new to some of you as it has not been around for long. Just press the Insert and Space together and once you hear the screen reader give you a prompt that sounds like a small “pop”, press the letter C. Once you are done interacting with the text in the virtual window, you can press Escape to close it.

Now on to a tip that can also be used by those who utilize screen readers.

Do you ever forget what the last thing you copied to the clipboard was? I do…a LOT! And sometimes what I want to paste into a document or form is something I copied an hour before but have since copied and pasted other text. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to paste some of the previous things you’ve copied to your clipboard? Good news, you can!

As you might remember, to copy selected text, the key command is Control + C and to paste that text the key command is Control + V (and yes, you can still perform these actions by right clicking, but the key commands are SO much quicker). Anyway, there is another command that brings up all of the text you’ve copied to your Windows clipboard and allows you to choose what you’d like to paste. This is called your clipboard history and to bring it up, the command is Windows Key + V. And yes, you DO need to use the keyboard command to get to your clipboard history.

Once you press Windows Key + V, you may use arrow keys (or the mouse if you prefer) to select what item from your history you’d like to paste. Generally, the last 25 items you’ve copied will appear in the Windows Clipboard, regardless of the application that you were using when you copied them.

If you click on the three horizontal dots next to the text (or use Tab to navigate there for those using a screen reader) you can pin frequently pasted text to the top of the clipboard so you can find and use it more easily. Once pinned, it will stay there, even after your machine restarts.

If your clipboard history does not come up when you press Windows Key + V, don’t worry! It’s easy to enable.

Here are some resources about the clipboard history you might find useful:

Microsoft Support – Clipboard in Windows 10

How to use the Windows Clipboard - YouTube

How to Enable Clipboard History - YouTube