Larry Tesler was also an advocate for an approach to UI design known as modeless computing (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Larry Tesler, one of the innovators who influenced, inspired and shaped modern computing, passed away on Monday at the age of 74. While Tesler was behind many innovations, he perhaps will be most remembered as the man who was responsible for the 'cut, copy and paste' commands. Tesler worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Apple Computer making countless known and unknown contributions to the world of modern computing.
Born in 1945 in New York, Tesler studied computer science at Stanford University and started working in Silicon Valley in the early 1960s. He joined Xerox PARC in 1973 helping develop the mouse-driven graphical user interface. There, Tesler worked with Tim Mott to create a word processor called Gypsy. It used the terms "cut", "copy", and "paste" as commands for removing, duplicating, or repositioning chunks of text.
According to BBC, Tesler's most famous innovation, the cut, copy and paste command, was reportedly based on the old method of editing in which people would physically cut portions of printed text and glue them elsewhere.
In 1980, Steve Jobs poached Tesler for Apple, where he spent 17 years and rose to chief scientist- the title once held by Steve Wozniak.
Tesler was also an advocate for an approach to UI design known as modeless computing, which is reflected in his personal website. So strong was this belief that Mr Tesler's website was called "nomodes.com", his Twitter handle was "@nomodes", and even his car's license plate was "No Modes".
"The inventor of cut/copy & paste, find & replace, and more, was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler," Xerox tweeted as tribute.
"Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas."