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The story CTRL + Z, CTRL + X, CTRL + C, CTRL + V: why do you “copy” – “paste” like that, when it was the first time


Depending on how much time you spend on your computer, the first key combinations you learn are CTRL + C and CTRL + V, followed closely by CTRL + Z and CTRL + X. This is how we all copy-paste over 30 years.

When it comes to key combinations, there are people who know only a few, others who know a lot. Some work only in certain programs, others are valid in almost any corner of the operating system, whether we are talking about a Mac, a PC with Windows or Linux. When it comes to copy-pasting or the process of copying, pasting, cutting and undoing the last action, things are universally valid, and the source of inspiration is as clear as can be.

Where did the copy-paste start, CTRL + Z, CTRL + X, CTRL + C, CTRL + V

In the context of computer history, things are as well documented and archived as possible. For this reason, we know with Swiss precision that the origin of the ultra-popular key combinations for Undo, Cut, Copy and Paste in Windows starts from an Apple Lisa system, launched in 1983. It was a forerunner of the Macintosh and the first system of the giant in Cupertino that came with a mouse.

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Larry Tesler was a programmer at Apple at the time and the idea of ​​using Z, X, C, V for the above operations, in combination with the Apple key belongs to him. Moreover, in an email sent in 2016 to Dr. Brad A. Myers of Carnegie Mellon University, he explained the logic behind choosing those particular keys.

Lisa was the first system to associate ZXCV with cut, copy, paste and Undo (along with the “Apple” key). I chose them. X was a standard symbol for deletion. C was the first letter from Copy, V was a known reverse omission sign [n.r. similar cu ce foloseai la română când uitai un cuvânt dintr-o frază și îl inserai deasupra].

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Z was next to X, C, V on the standard US QWERTY keyboard, but its shape symbolized the “do – cancel – redo” action triad, the top line to the right of the letter – one step forward, one line to the bottom left – one step back , the bottom line to the right – a step forward again “, the programmer remembered. As a footnote, at that time, the action of Redo (Redo), to cancel a canceled action was done by pressing CTRL + Z, a detail that helps to make even more sense the above explanation related of the symbolism of the letter Z.

On Windows, the combinations detailed above, with CTRL instead of the Apple key, came with Windows 3.1. Previously, only Word for Windows 2.0, released in 1991, was present as a precursor to the Office suite.

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