A college student in 1981 is sitting in front of a typewriter working on a term paper for a course in Western Civilization realizes that a lengthy quote he just typed would work great in the paper he is writing for a philosophy course. At this point in history, he has to retype it.
Four years later that student is working in the computer lab on his senior thesis. The Macintosh he is sitting in front of allows him to copy and paste quotes and other passages from one document to another.
The clipboard built into modern operating system and applications has become common place. People use the feature billions of times per day. Typically they copy one passage of text, graphic, or other object at a time. Then they paste it immediately.
More advanced users like to paste several different items in a clipboard, so they can paste different ones later.
The clipboard is an advantage Microsoft Office has over LibreOffice. It comes with a feature that allows up to 24 items to be copied and pasted when the user desires. LibreOffice’s clipboard only allows one item to be pasted at a time.