If you’ve ever wanted to add some text or edit existing text in Google Drive on the web, you were out of luck. Until now! Starting this week, you’ll be able to use the standard keyboard shortcuts of Ctrl + X (Cut), Ctrl + C (Copy), and Ctrl + V (Paste) to quickly perform those actions from your browser’s address bar. The changes are live on Chrome Canary and can be enabled by going to chrome://flags/#enable-edit-actions-in-address-bar, but it looks like it will roll out officially to all Chrome users sometime in June 2018. Finally! Google Drive on Web Gets Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts

Introductory paragraph

For years now, users have been asking for cut/copy/paste keyboard shortcuts in Google Drive on web. And finally (finally!)—it’s here. On June 1st, you’ll be able to use your keyboard to cut and paste text and images between cells while using Google Sheets. This is a huge addition to what was already one of my favorite office productivity suites—Google Docs, Sheets and Slides—and I can’t wait to start using it every day. Here’s how it works

Finally! Google Drive on Web Gets Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts
Finally! Google Drive on Web Gets Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts

How the new keyboard shortcuts work

The new shortcuts are not exactly keyboard shortcuts as they take some extra steps to use. To cut or copy a file from your computer, you first need to select it using your mouse and then hit s for cut or c for copy. Then navigate to where you want to place it and hit v for paste. Alternatively you can use your mouse like normal and right-click when you get to where you want to place it. The process is similar if you want to move a file instead of cutting or copying it.

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Tips for using the keyboard shortcuts

If you use keyboard shortcuts often and especially if you have some need to move content between different programs, these new shortcuts will help a lot. Here are a few tips on using them well: Remember that these shortcuts only work for editing text inside of Google Docs and Sheets—not when working with presentation slides or creating drawings in Google Drawings. That’s something we’re working on. The select all shortcut requires that you hold down Control before you press A for Select All. That allows it to work in most apps (including Microsoft Office). If your browser has support for multiple keyboards languages—such as English and French—you’ll be able to quickly switch back and forth between them using these shortcuts. We’re also planning to add support for other keyboard layouts soon as well.

What is missing from these keyboard shortcuts?

The most obvious missing feature is copy and paste shortcuts. Even though it’s possible to right-click a selected item and choose Copy link address or Copy shortcut, they are not keyboard shortcuts. Also missing are cut and paste keyboard shortcuts which are still only available via a toolbar icon in Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Finally! Google Drive on Web Gets Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts
Finally! Google Drive on Web Gets Cut Copy Paste Keyboard Shortcuts

I understand that these features may be more relevant for users of Chrome OS who can’t easily select text with their mouse but for everyone else, having an easy way to cut and paste text is essential (I’m looking at you PowerPoint users).

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Conclusion (there will be no conclusion)

The final version of Drive will roll out to users over several weeks and should be available everywhere by June 1. The interface doesn’t look much different from what we first saw at Google I/O 2014, but there’s now an Insert drop-down menu for things like tables and graphics. This is a subtle difference for big productivity fans—the update makes it easier to change styles in your documents without switching tools. For example, you can highlight text, choose table settings and insert an Excel-compatible chart into your document without ever leaving the keyboard or clicking outside of Gmail.

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