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Illustrator Copy & Paste not working

New Here ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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I made a rectangle and tried to select, Copy and paste- it wont work.  It lets me select but when I hit Ctrl -the selection tool changes to "direct selection" and shows a little curved line.  Then it wont let me Ctrl C-Ctrl V.  I also tried to just select and go to the edit menu and copy and that will not work either.

I used the pen tool to make a shape and see if I could copy that and its doing the same thing...so I think its some issue with the selection tool.

I dont know if I accidentally changed a setting or how I can fix this, but its very frustrating.  Please help!! 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Can you use Edit > Copy resp Edit > Paste?

If that works: check Edit > Shortcut keys.

If that doesn't work: Do you have a clipboard enhancement installed or turned on?

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New Here ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Edit >Copy is also not working.

How would I check to see if I have a clipboard enhancement installed or turned on?

Thanks so much for your help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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It sounds like you may need to trash your Illustrator preferences.

To do so:

You can try the quick way of resetting on a PC which is to hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift when launching Illustrator and respond affirmatively when asked if you want to reset. There have been some recent reports that the window asking if you want to reset is not popping up but that the prefs are being reset anyway. If this works great but if it doesn’t you may have to manually delete them.

To do so:

On Windows 7 and above the preference files are hidden. To find them go to the Control Panel and open Folder Options and then click the View tab. Then select “Show hidden files and folders” or “Show hidden files, folders or drive options” in Advanced Settings. Then delete (or rename) the folder at the end of this path: C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [version number]\ Settings\<Language>. Make sure that Illustrator is closed when you do this. When you relaunch the program it will create  new preference files and the program will be at its default settings.

The advantage of manually deleting preference files is that after you’ve reset up the program (make sure that no document window is open) to your liking, you can create copies of your personalized “mint” preference files (make sure that you quit the program before copying them—that finalizes your customization) and use them in the future to replace any corrupt versions you may need to delete.

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New Here ,
Oct 06, 2021 Oct 06, 2021

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LATEST

Thanks this helped!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2018 May 03, 2018

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Before resetting your preferences you might want to try and restart the computer.

Clipboard enhacement usually needs to be installed. You should remember this kind of thing.

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New Here ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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it worked form me - many thanks👌

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021

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Awesome! Glad it worked Ahmed.

Ben Sorum
Personal details removed by moderator.

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New Here ,
May 25, 2018 May 25, 2018

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Hi, I have this issue as well. Trashing my preferences, both through the keyboard shortcut and through manually deleting the folder, did not work. I don't have any clipboard management installed. Anyone have any ideas?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2018 May 25, 2018

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Is it just the shortcut that does not work?

Is it copy/paste inside Illustrator that does not work, or copy/paste to other applications?

What happens if you restart the computer and then launch only Illustrator, not even a browser or email or whatnot.

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Participant ,
Aug 22, 2018 Aug 22, 2018

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The issue is like the link

Illustrator Copy Clears the Clipboard

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2018 Oct 31, 2018

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I have the same Issue on Windows 10 with Illustrator CC 23.0 (although it started earlier, I think I encountered it first after the additional control handles like corner rounding were introduced). Sometimes the object is in the clipboard after ctrl+c, sometimes the clipboard is emptied instead. This is especially frustrating when I paste with ctrl+f, since I only find out a few steps later that the copy did not work. I think it does not happen for all types of objects, as far as I remember I have never encountered it for text, but often for rectangles, polygons or lines (every third time I try to copy maybe). The fact that it does empty the clipboard tells me that it did register the key press.

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Contributor ,
Feb 24, 2019 Feb 24, 2019

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same problem here...I can't copy anything from any Illustrator file now...I swear the software gets buggier and buggier

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New Here ,
May 25, 2019 May 25, 2019

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Simply reset the preference setting by pressing crtl+ alt+ shift while opening the app. Ive got the same issue and fixed it in 5 seconds.

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Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2020 Jul 23, 2020

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Just want to throw in there that I have also had this issue for probably at least the last 9 months. All the "fixes" others have mentioned here I have done. It's an oddity where sometimes it works (maybe 20% of the time?) but even when it is behaving it tends to fail during the same session. At one point I even had an adobe tech assist remotely controling my computer, doing once again all the recommended steps. After trying every troubleshooting step at least twice all the way through and it still not working for them, they seemed pretty stuck... then it magically worked once and they immediately stated the issue was resolved... until I asked them to do just one more copy and paste to verify it (because, as previously mentioned, it randomly works on occassion). Of course, the tech couldn't get it to copy and paste a second time. But they left me at that. No resolution, just a hey, we saw it work once, you can open a new issue if it stops again (which it had already stopped working while they were in control). They left a folder on my desktop filled with diagnostics they had run -which I finally threw away a couple weeks ago when I kinda gave up hope that this issue was being taken seriously. Sometimes quiting AI gets it to work for maybe one or two copy and pastes, sometimes restarting my machine does the same. I've been on the latest OS and done all software updates as they come out throughout this time period. Last year I even did a complete erase and new install of my entire machine... still having the same intermitent (mostly not working) buggy copy-paste issue. I feel like the majority of users have a one-off glitch and the general troubleshooting steps work, so the rest of us with the very real issue aren't being believed. 

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Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2020 Jul 23, 2020

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Also wanted to add in the caveat of the copy-paste bug: it is only for AI elements. eg. a copied-screenshot (command + shift + ctrl + 4) can successfully be pasted within an AI document. Text also can be - although not an AI text element, just actual highlighted text as content can be pasted.

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Explorer ,
Sep 01, 2020 Sep 01, 2020

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Just to add my voice. I have also has this problem for years. It goes away intermittently only to return again. I can’t believe this bug has been ongoing for so long. It is very frustrating and wastes an incredible amount of time. As someone else mentioned, especially annoying when pasting in place so it is not immediately obvious the bug has occurred.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2020 Sep 01, 2020

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" I have also has this problem for years. It goes away intermittently only to return again."

 

Clipboard operations interact with system functionality. And unfortunately a lot of third party applications mess with it as well.

 

Nobody will be able to help unless we know what exactly is currently running on your system besides Illustrator. This includes system extensions. And yes, also browsers resp. their plugins mess around. Chrome being famous for that.

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Participant ,
Dec 26, 2020 Dec 26, 2020

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I might have found a simple solution to this ongoing problem on my Windows 10 PC.  I started experiencing it just recently and I remembered something a tech had told me to do with regards to some unrelated problem.  Instead of restarting the PC, shut it down and let it stay shut down for a little while.  I don't remember how long, but it was a matter of seconds.  So just now I shut down my PC for about a minute.  After booting it up again, I've been able to work for at least an hour and so far I still haven't experienced the problem again.  I hate to say, problem solved, but an hour without a problem feels like it's solved.  Before this, copy/pasting was only working 30% of the time. Hopefully this will help people, maybe for years to come since it doesn't look like Adobe is actually going to resolve the problem which has been going on for years already on both Windows and PC.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021

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Like several other people, retstarting and deleting preferences didn't work for me either. And ignoring the people who just repeat those options that don't work for us, I'd like to specify that this is an ILLUSTRATOR problem (at least for me), NOT a windows problem. Illustrator is the ONLY program I have issues with copy+paste, so it is NOT something to do with updates or Windows settings or hardware, every other program like PS and AE and Word copy and paste just fine and I've never had a problem copying things there. Illustrator, however, has had this problem constantly over the course of several years on several different computers and types. 

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Participant ,
Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021

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This is definitely an Illustrator problem but I've only had it very recently.  25 years of using Illustrator and this problem is only showing up in the last couple months.  I tried shutting down my PC and letting it stay off for a little while then rebooting. After a reboot I thought the problem was solved but it wasn't, although the problem seems less severe.  I'm shocked that Adobe hasn't resolved this when people have been complaining about it for years.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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Can you please turn off all other applications and run only Illustrator?

Also: what kind of extensions are installed in the system?

 

The kind of artwork that gets stored on the clipboard makes Illustrator slightly more delicate. So anything interfering there has an input on if it's working or not.

System extensions that want to "enhance" the clipboard just do not work with Illustrator. Also antivirus and what not might prevent putting anything into the clipboard.

 

Just to make sure the clipboard isset up at all: Can you check the Illustrator preferences > Clipboard and file handling? How is the clipboard set up?

 

And if you don't believe people who write in this forum, then please contact Customer Care. They can login to your computer to check it out: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

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Participant ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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I don't have any extensions that enhance the clipboard or anything like that, but I do use Astute Graphics plugins.  It's hard to test this problem because it doesn't happen all the time. It doesn't happen every day.  I do not use any 3rd party anti-virus software.  Only Windows security that is a part of Microsoft Windows itself.  So, if this is a problem with plugins or extensions, then it must point to Astute Graphics because actually, I've only been using Astute Graphics for a few months as well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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This is not necessarily about Illustrator extensions (I've been using Astute Graphics for as long as they exist and they have never messed with the clipboard), but ones for the system or even other applications.

 

How is your antivirus set up? Does it check the clipboard?

 

And how are the Illustrator preferences set up?

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Participant ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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As far as I can tell, Windows Security doesn't have options such as checking the clipboard or not. There are only a handful of options there and I've never actually changed any of them.  Whatever the default setting are, that's what I'm using.  So that's basically it.  I have no 3rd party scripts either.  Thanks for the advice.

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