Edit Box. An edit box is a standard Windows control into which the user is expected to enter text input. The most telling characteristic of an edit box is the fact that, when, using the mouse, the cursor is placed over the edit box, it will turn into a flashing I-beam cursor. On occasion, however, a user will not be able to insert text into what otherwise appears to be an edit box. If that is the case, it is because the programmer has designated that particular edit box as "read only," meaning that the program can insert text into that edit box, but the user cannot insert text by means of the keyboard.

More often than not, an edit box will have a Copy and Paste button associated with it, meaning, with respect to Copy, that the user can block the text (by means of dragging the I-beam cursor across and down through the text to be selected) and copy that selected text to the Windows Clipboard (and later Paste that information into another Windows program). And, with respect to Paste, the user can paste text previously copied to the Clipboard into that edit box (unless it is "read only") at the last I-beam insertion box in the edit box.

If there is neither a Copy nor a Paste button associated with an edit box, it may still well be that text can be copied and/or pasted to an edit box or other valid text window. For further information concerning buttonless (and menuless) copying and pasting in Windows edit controls and other valid text windows, see Buttonless Copying and Pasting elsewhere in these instructions.