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: Pasting Clean Text.

Pasting Clean Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 5, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


7

I paste a lot of text. (I mean a LOT of text.) When I am copying and pasting text within the same document, it is no problem. When I am copying text from other places, however, pasting that text into a Word document can have strange effects. This isn't a Word problem; it is something about the text I am copying and pasting that causes funky appearance of the text.

To get around this, I normally use the Paste Special capabilities of Word to make sure that the text I am about to paste will be added to the document as unformatted text. Of course, since I paste so much text, continually displaying the Home tab of the ribbon and using the Paste tool's options can be bothersome.

The solution, for me, was to create a very short macro that does the pasting I want—as unformatted text. The following macro, PasteClean, does just that:

Sub PasteClean()
    Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, _
      DataType:=wdPasteText, _
      Placement:= wdInLine, _
      DisplayAsIcon:=False
End Sub

To make this macro an even more valuable editing tool, I assigned it to a shortcut key. Now, when I want to paste a clean copy of whatever text is in the Clipboard, I simply invoke the shortcut key and the macro does the rest.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10624) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Pasting Clean Text.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is two minus 1?

2021-02-05 14:41:02

Paulo Almeida

Correcting my last comment, what I really think it would be useful for me and others, but it seams not yet available, is a way to paste text "almost as clean text", not including paragraph style attributes from the original text, but preserving hypertext (with its embedded links) and character formating like Italic, Bold, Underscore, etc.


2021-02-05 14:38:46

Paulo Almeida

What I really thing it would be useful for me and others, but it seams not yet available, is a way to paste text "almost as clear text", not including paragraph style attributes from the original text, but preserving hypertext (with its embedded links) and character formating like Italic, Bold, Underscore, etc.


2016-07-19 20:33:32

David W

I use a free Windows utility PureText which works very well with Word and every other Windows application. Default hot-key is Windows-V but is configurable. http://stevemiller.net/puretext/


2016-07-19 11:15:26

Kevin

I do something similar in that I assigned a similar macro to CTRL+V to paste just the text and use the INSERT key to paste formatted text.


2016-07-19 11:01:44

Michael

I like the idea of pasting only text option but understand how activating the home tab can be an extra step.
You can also set defaults for the regular Paste command so that when you use the standard Ctrl+V you'll end up with text only as well. This is done using the "Set Default Paste..." option from the Paste Menu (or File... Options... Advanced).
The right click solution noted below works too or you can just create that button on the quick access toolbar (Paste and Keep Text Only). I prefer to set the Default Paste Option so I can use the keyboard paste command that I've used for years, decades...


2016-07-19 10:59:27

David Gardner

Alternatively, right-click where you want to paste and in the short-cut menu that displays, click the Keep Text Only icon.


2016-07-19 08:55:33

Henry Noble

To each his own, but I simply right-click to invoke the Paste Special option for plain text.


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