In computing, Control-V is a control character in ASCII code, also known as the synchronous idle (SYN) character. It is generated by pressing the V key while holding down the Ctrl key on a computer keyboard.


In many GUI environments, including Microsoft Windows and most desktop environments based on the X Window System, and in applications such as word processing software running in those environments, control-V can be used to paste text or other content (if supported) from the clipboard at the current cursor position.[1] [2] Control-V was one of a handful of keyboard sequences chosen by the program designers at Xerox PARC to control text editing.

IBM Input/output devices utilizing the Bisync link protocol use the SYN character code to signal the beginning of each data frame transmitted.[3]

Unix interactive terminals use Control-V to mean "the next character should be treated literally" (the mnemonic here is "v is for verbatim"). This allows a user to insert a literal Control-C or Control-H or similar control characters that would otherwise be handled by the terminal. This behavior was copied by text editors like vi and Unix shells like bash and tcsh, which offer text editing on the command line.[4]


The ASCII and Unicode representation of "Synchronous Idle" is 22 in decimal, which is 26 in octal and 0x16 or U+0016 in hexadecimal.


Since P usually refers to print, in computer V is used to paste. This is due to V being next to X and C.

See also


  1. "Keyboard shortcuts for Windows". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  2. "Mac Keyboard shortcuts". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  3. "Bisync Protocol". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  4. "Unix Manual - vi reference". Retrieved 2012-05-23.

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