Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables.

Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 4, 2017)

Sue is running into problems pasting tables into her documents. Often the pasted information (whether from another document or a Web site) will have tiny Roman numerals appear at one side or the other of the rows.

These numerals are actually characters which, in the font being used by Word, appear as the numerals. They may not appear as numerals in the source table, but automatically display in Word when pasted. They are in the source material (what you are copying from) but are not visible because the source material uses different formatting or character mapping than what Word uses.

There are only a few things you can try to get better results when pasting. The first is not use a standard paste operation. Instead, use Paste Special by following these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow under the Paste tool, in the Clipboard group.
  3. Select the Unformatted text option.
  4. Click on OK. Word pastes the text.

The table is inserted, but as regular text. Columns are separated by tab characters. You can convert the text back to table format by following these steps:

  1. Select the text you just pasted.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Tables tool (in the Tables group). Word displays a drop-down series of options.
  4. Select Convert Text to Tables. Word displays the Convert Text to Table dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Convert Text to Table dialog box.

  6. Select Tabs as the Separate Text At character.
  7. Confirm that the correct number of columns has been auto selected at the top of the dialog box.
  8. Click OK to perform the conversion.

If pasting in this manner doesn't do the trick, then there is very little you can do—the source information includes the characters, and you can't instruct Word to ignore those characters when pasting. If the table you are pasting is large enough, you may want to use Find and Replace to get rid of the extraneous characters.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8763) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables.

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

Understanding Click and Type

The Click and Type feature of Word allows you to use the mouse to click somewhere on a blank page, and then begin typing. ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hyperlinks in Footnotes

When you add hyperlinks to a document, Word makes them active, meaning you can click them to open the target of the ...

Discover More

Easily Running a Program as the Administrator

In order to run some programs properly in the Windows environment, you'll need to do so using administrator privileges. ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Placing Text in Empty Table Cells

Tables are often used to organize information into an understandable format. If your company requires that tables in ...

Discover More

Table Won't Flow to Second Page

Have you ever created a table that never seems to flow to a second page, even when it should? This could be caused by any ...

Discover More

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

When creating a table, you can turn the orientation of the text, within a cell, by ninety degrees in either direction ...

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 minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.