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: Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard.

Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 29, 2018)


Here is a trick that was first introduced in Word 5 for DOS and is still valid in all succeeding version of Word. Suppose you want to move something (a word, sentence, graphic, table, etc.) from one location in the document to another. You probably know the standard way of doing the move (using cut and paste), but there is another way. You can do the move very quickly via the following:

  1. Highlight (select) what you want to move.
  2. Display the spot in the document where you want to move the information.
  3. Holding down the Ctrl key as you right-click the mouse on the spot where the item should be moved. Word moves the highlighted item to where you right-clicked.

The beauty of this technique is that the Clipboard is not involved. This means that if you had something on the Clipboard before the move, it is still there for later use; it hasn't been disturbed.

You should note that if, instead of moving, you want to just copy, all you need to do is hold down both the Shift and Ctrl keys in step 3.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12899) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Moving Text without Affecting 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. ...


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What is 5 + 9?

2018-01-30 15:05:45


Another way is to use the spike (Ctl-F3 and Shift-Ctl-F3) commands

2018-01-29 16:05:28


A useful shortcut but I note that copying or moving this way produces a slightly different result from a conventional copy/cut and paste via the clipboard.

This shortcut places the highlighted word and its following space EXACTLY where the cursor rests whereas a copy or move via the clipboard causes Word (I assume) to adjust the spacing to place the word in the correct (surrounded by spaces) position.

As an example, if you double-click on the word "sentence" in the example phrase below and then CTRL +right click immediately adjacent to the word "This" you end up with "Thissentence" followed by two spaces. Using cut and paste the word "sentence" is placed with spaces around it.

Example Phrase: This is a sentence result
CTRL + right click: Thissentence is a result
Cut and Paste: This sentence is a result

I suggest you add a note about this difference to the tip .

2018-01-29 10:53:13

Peter Roth

Now THAT is a TRICK!

2018-01-29 07:36:12

David Hamilton

Interesting alternative. Clipboard can be a menace. Delete an item while in Clipboard by accident, i.e. before pasting, and the 'redo' button does not restore it. It is gone.

2015-08-12 10:20:14


Worked like a charm in Word 2010. What a time-saver! Thank you!!!!

2014-12-06 08:34:32

Virgilio Alvarez

I tried the procedure with W7 and it did not work.

Thank you,

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