The Man Behind Cut, Copy, & Paste

February 21, 2020

Here’s a bit of computer history for technology fans out there: This story is from a long time ago, well before you were able to delete words so easily, cut out images and paste them elsewhere, or find a word and replace it with a fancier one. The commands, cut/copy/paste, or find/replace are fairly new (well, by new, we mean only about thirty years new).

By Yahoo! Blog from Sunnyvale, California, USA – Larry TeslerCC BY 2.0,

These features were first revealed in Apple’s software on the Lisa Computer in 1983 and were the brainchild of Larry Tesler. He took the idea of literally cutting out portions of text in printed documents and pasting them elsewhere into computers for the first time. Developing features like this made him an icon in user interface design, where he was tasked with the job of making computers easy to use and building functions that simplified processes. Larry Tesler died on February 17th at the age of seventy-four.