Computer scientist who pioneered 'copy' and 'paste' has died

Ruben Fields
February 25, 2020

They're so rudimentary to modern computer functions, and yet there was a time they didn't exist. He was also against wars waged overseas, such as the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

He first worked on AI research and then joined Xerox " s Palo Alto Research Center, known for its early work on GUIs and making them accessible with a mouse.

On his website, Larry Tesler described himself as the "primary inventor" of modeless editing and cut, copy, paste. While he's most famous for the invention of the copy-cut-paste function, that wasn't his only achievement!

He continued that work when he joined Apple in 1980.

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The computer scientist who invented the cut, copy, paste options for computers dies at 74. Tesler rose to the position of Apple's Chief Scientist in 1993, succeeding Steve Wozniak in that role, where he served with the company until 1997. However, Tesler's work went far beyond that, as he was also a well-known champion of the concept of "modeless" computing, which referred to the idea that the user should never be "stuck" in a single mode. But there was a time when word processors could be switched between multiple modes where typing on the keyboard would either add characters to a document or alternately allow functional commands to be entered.

A few complex applications like Adobe InDesign and Photoshop are notable exceptions, with tools and functionality not being homogenous, with certain key combinations used to perform multiple operations.

Esther Dyson, from EDventure Holdings, looks over the shoulder of Larry Tesler, from Apple Computer, as he uses a pen tablet computer at the annual PC Forum in 1992. Tesler founded the educational company Stagecast Software.

After working for information technology giants by the likes of Amazon and Yahoo - from 2009 onwards - he established a UX consultancy in California.

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