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How do I copy and paste a Web address into my Web browser?

Answer: E-mail messages and other documents often include URLs, or Web addresses, in their text. Sometimes, just clicking the link will open the page in your Web browser. Other times, however, you will be asked to copy and paste the address into your browser.

To do this, select the entire Web address using the mouse. Click and drag the cursor across the URL, starting with the "http://" part and ending with the last part of the address. The address may end in ".html," ".php," a slash, such as "/," or just the domain suffix, such as ".com." Whatever the case, make sure you select the entire address.

Once the link is selected, copy the text to the clipboard by choosing "Copy" from the Edit menu of the program you are using. You may also use the keyboard shortcut Control-C (PC) or Command-C (Mac). Next, open a new window in your Web browser, such as Internet Explorer. Select the entire address in the address field at the top of the window. This can often be done by triple-clicking inside the address field.

Once the complete address is selected, you can paste the URL you copied over the current text. You don't even have to delete the text before pasting over it (though doing so will accomplish the same thing). To paste the new Web address, select "Paste" from the Edit menu or use the keyboard shortcut Control-V (PC) or Command-V (Mac). The new URL should show up in the Web browser's address field. Finally, press the Enter or Return button on your keyboard and the correct Web page should open.

Note that Web addresses that take up two lines in an e-mail or text document often have to be copied and pasted in two parts. This is required when there is a line break (a.k.a. a return character) that separates the lines. You will need to copy one line at a time and paste them next to each other in the Web browser's address field. This is because the Web browser will only paste the text up to the line break at the end of the first line. Therefore, if you try to copy and paste both lines at once, you may only get half the address.

Published: March 6, 2005 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center