Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting.

Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 4, 2019)

3

If you are working with a document that is highly formatted, and you are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of any and all formatting for a selection of text, here is a quick way to do it:

  1. Highlight your text selection.
  2. Cut or copy the selection to the Clipboard.
  3. In Windows, start the Notepad accessory.
  4. Paste the Clipboard contents (your selection) into the Notepad.

Since the Notepad accessory can only work with unformatted text, all formatting for your text selection is removed. You can then either save your selection as a text file or copy it back to the Clipboard and paste it back into Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7065) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Off Automatic Numbered Lists

Type what Word thinks is a numbered list, and it will helpfully format the text to match what it thinks your numbered ...

Discover More

Showing a Scenario

When you create and save scenarios in a workbook, you can later pull them out and display them. Here's how to do it.

Discover More

Setting Program Window Size in a Macro

The macro programming language used in Excel gives you a great many tools that allow you to modify the way that Excel ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Turning Off Highlighter Display

You can use the highlighter tool to add all sorts of color to your document. If you want to turn off those colors so that ...

Discover More

Working with Other People's Files

When you get files from other people, you may want a quick way to apply your formatting to their text. Provided that the ...

Discover More

Italic Typing Doesn't Stay Italic

If you turn explicit formatting on and off as you type, you may notice some quirky behavior in Word. This tip examines ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 4?

2019-05-23 14:05:09

STEVEN BENEFIELD

If you copy and paste, text only, in another Word document, does it also get rid of all formatting?


2019-05-04 21:29:09

George Sutton

One thing which bothers me from time to time in many blogs and posts is the use of the word "Highlight" to describe selecting text or other data. The correct word to use is "Select". Highlight and Select mean two totally different things.

To highlight means to use the highlighter tool and change the background colour of a piece of text. All it does is add colour. You cannot copy, delete or change font when you do this. It is the same as grabbing a highlighter pen and highlighting a passage in a book or other printed medium.

To Select means just that: you select some text so you can perform some action on it like copy, delete, change font and so on.

Cheers to all.


2019-05-04 10:32:48

Erik Eilertsen

I imagine an easier way (for me) would be to open an email and format it for plaintext then paste my copy into it. Then agree to the warning that you will lose all formatting? You now have your text in plaintext and can copy it back to wherever you want it and reformat it as you like


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.