I feel this is a ridiculous question, but I can't figure copying and "paste special". All I want to do is copy and paste between feature classes. Sometimes it works - I copy select everything, then "paste special" lights up and I can click on it an bring up the dialog box. But most of the time, it just stays greyed out. I can copy, I can paste, but I can't "paste special". I can't figure out what the difference is. Sometimes if I close down the program and reopen it, it suddenly works. I've looked through forums can get the sense people are struggling with the same thing, but I never see a clear answer... just links to the copy/paste/pastespeical page that doesn't answer my question.
I've had issues with this in the past as well, but I just went in to Pro and tested out my workflow and it worked for me. I selected my features using the rectangle select tool and then clicked copy. Then the paste special option appeared for me in the drop down.
I think I remember having issues with it not showing up previously when I tried selecting my features within the attribute table. When you say it works intermittently for you, are you following the exact same workflow every single time?
Paste is context sensitive.
If you have features on the clipboard and you want to paste them into a map, focus the map you wish to paste them into.
The screenshot below shows a map called "Layers" has focus (the solid blue view tab) and paste is enabled.
The screenshot below shows the Contents pane has focus (the thin blue bar at the top of the pane) and paste is disabled because there are features in the clipboard and you cant paste them to the contents tab. Its expecting to copy/paste layers only.