Middle Click Paste

One of the biggest usability features I miss when using a windows computer is the copy/paste functionality built into the X server. After using this feature for even a short while, it becomes so intuitive, that the Windows way – of either finding an Edit menu (once when you copy, and once when you paste) or right clicking to copy, and right clicking to paste, or using ctrl+c to copy and ctrl+v to paste – seems clumsy and a hinderance to work flow.

Your desktop has a built in function that is often overlooked. You can copy and paste in two very simple mouse steps. Highlight the text you want to copy with the mouse. Go to where you want to paste it and press the middle mouse button. Hey presto – the text is pasted under the current mouse position. If you don’t have a middle button on your mouse, you can emulate a middle click by clicking on both the left and right buttons at the same time.

The only caveats to this are:

  • it only works with text;
  • the application that you highlighted the text from must remain open until you paste the text.

Nonetheless, this is a very useful tool, and has a big influence on workflow and productivity.