Computer scientist who pioneered ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ has died


Larry Tesler, the Silicon Valley pioneer who created the now-ubiquitous computer concepts such as “cut,” “copy” and “paste,” has died. He was 74.
He made using computers easier for generations as a proponent and pioneer of what he called “modeless editing.” That meant a user wouldn’t have to use a keyboard to switch between modes to write and edit, for example.

In 1973, he joined Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, a division of the copier company that worked on creating computer products.

There, he pioneered concepts that helped make computers more user-friendly. That included such concepts as moving text through cut and paste and inserting text by clicking on a section and just typing.

He continued that work when he joined Apple in 1980. At Apple, he worked on a variety of products including the Lisa computer, the Newton personal digital assistant and the Macintosh.


ht/ illustr8r

21 Comments on Computer scientist who pioneered ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ has died

  1. So, he used the ESCape key to avoid the dreaded CTRL-ALT-DEL sequence after the BLUE SCREEN of death.

    Wait, he was an Apple guy – so he pressed ANY key.

  2. What did he die of?
    What did he die of?
    What did he die of?
    What did he die of?
    What did he die of?
    What did he die of?

  3. If you never had to use some of the first editor functions that every manufacturer implemented differently this may not seem like a big deal.

    It was.

  4. God bless his family.
    Copy paste has saved my ass as a writer and graphic artist more times than I can count. 🙏

  5. Who would have known?? I just cut and pasted your photo ,Larry, into my never ending cut and paste photo album, thanks and we will carry on in your footsteps as best we can.

  6. The first computer I had was an Atari 800 that had a ROM word processing cartridge. Cut, copy and paste were revelations to me. That’s really all it offered in the way of tools but back in ‘83 that was a lot.

  7. RIP Mr. Tesler. Well done!

    I remember teaching an older co-worker on how to use the copy, cut, and paste functions. The poor guy was retyping the same things in maintenance logs, many times long paragraphs that had to be entered into different databases. I even made him a Word document with standard information and responses so he could copy them and paste.

    He was very grateful and after that embraced the online logs.

  8. Larry was a good guy.

    Not so good are the three jerks who invented cookies. I have had daydreams about hunting down the three of them, cutting them out and pasting them permanently to oblivion.

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