Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Understanding the Clipboard.

Understanding the Clipboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2015)

Any long-time Windows user knows that the Clipboard is the place where information is temporarily stored when you are cutting or copying. The Clipboard is a feature of Windows, but it is supported completely by Word. (There is also an Office Clipboard; more on that in a moment.) You place information in the Clipboard by first selecting it and then choose Copy or Cut from the tools available on the Home tab of the ribbon. You can also press Ctrl+C (to copy) or Ctrl+X (to cut).

When information is stored in the Clipboard, Windows also keeps track of the type of information stored. For instance, if you copy some text to the Clipboard, Windows tracks the source of the text. The reason for tracking the source is so the information can be correctly pasted into a different program. This means that if you copy cells from an Excel worksheet, you can paste them into Word in a variety of formats.

If you have something in the Clipboard, you can either paste it into Word by clicking the Paste tool on the Home tab of the ribbon or by pressing Ctrl+V. If you want more control over how something is pasted from the Clipboard, use the Paste Special tool on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Microsoft Office (which includes Word) also has an expanded version of the Clipboard. The Office Clipboard interacts with the regular Windows Clipboard in that the latest item copied to the Clipboard is in both the Windows and Office clipboards. The Office Clipboard, however, will keep track of many more than a single cut or copy. You can display the contents of the Office Clipboard by displaying the Home tab of the ribbon and then clicking the small icon at the bottom-right of the Clipboard group. Word displays the Clipboard pane at the left side of the document.

Clicking any of the items in the Clipboard pane pastes it wherever the insertion point is in the document. The Options drop down list at the bottom of the Clipboard pane sets options of when to automatically display the Clipboard pane and Clipboard indicators displayed at the system taskbar.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10415) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding the Clipboard.

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

Activating a Hyperlink

Excel worksheets allow you to include hyperlinks that lead to resources on the Internet. Here's how to activate those ...

Discover More

IEEE Citation Format

Different style guides describe different ways of formatting information that appears in a document. One such style guide ...

Discover More

Maintaining Formatting when Inserting Documents

Word allows you to easily insert the contents of one document into another. Doing so, however, may result in unintended ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Ruler Disappears when Entire Document Selected

The rulers in Word can be quite helpful when formatting your document. The rulers may not be displayed all the time, ...

Discover More

Understanding ASCII and ANSI Characters

Two of the most common character coding schemes used in computers go by the acronyms ASCII and ANSI. This tip explains a ...

Discover More

Keeping Word Open after Closing Documents

Usually when you are done working on a document, you want to close Word completely and move on to something else. There ...

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 7 + 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.