Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 May 5, 2018)

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, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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

Nudging an Equation

You can adjust where an equation is printed by moving it minute amounts in any direction.

Discover More

Inserting Fields

Fields are used for a variety of dynamic purposes in a document. There are a couple of ways you can easily insert fields, ...

Discover More

Determining If a File Exists

Your macro may need to know if a particular file exists. This is easy to figure out using the Dir command, and even ...

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)

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

Copying All Tables to a New Document

Need to make a copy of every single table in a document? There's a quick and easy way to do it using the macro in this tip.

Discover More

Setting a Default Table Border Width

When you insert a table into your document, it uses a standard-weight line around each cell in the table. If you want to ...

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 two more than 9?

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.