Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Using the Spike to Edit.

Using the Spike to Edit

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 23, 2020)

5

Word has a feature that allows you to collect groups of text and paste them in another location. It is different than the Clipboard, which allows you to work with only one item at a time. The Spike is named after an old-fashioned paper holder onto which people poked papers as they were done with them. To collect information in the Spike, simply select the text and press Ctrl+F3. This cuts the information from your document and places it in the Spike. You can continue this process, and Word will add all the selected text to what already exists in the Spike.

When you are ready to paste the information somewhere, simply press Ctrl+Shift+F3. All the information in the Spike (not just the last text you placed there) is deposited in your document at the insertion point. This action also erases everything in the Spike. If you want to paste the contents of the Spike without clearing it, you can follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the Spike contents pasted.
  2. Type spike.
  3. Press F3.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13355) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using the Spike to Edit.

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

Limiting Searching to a Column

When you use Find and Replace, Excel normally looks through all the cells in a worksheet. You may want to limit the ...

Discover More

Controlling Footnote Placement

Footnotes are normally placed at the bottom of the page on which the footnote is referenced. However, Word provides some ...

Discover More

Showing Filter Criteria on a Printout

When you print out a filtered worksheet, you may want some sort of printed record as to what filtering was applied to the ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inserting a Dynamic Line Count

Word provides fields that allow you to insert a variety of informational items about your document into the document ...

Discover More

Using Go To with a Percentage

Need to jump a certain percentage of the way through a document? You can do it using the familiar Go To tab of the Find ...

Discover More

Editing a Document with Many Pages

Working with large or long documents in Word can present some interesting challenges. The most common challenge is that ...

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 6 + 4?

2020-07-23 15:28:17

Alison Miller

Wow. This is genius. Why did no one tell me about this years ago? This will save me so much time. Thanks so much.


2020-07-23 09:44:11

Deezzaa

I'd never heard of this facility - astonishing!

But isn't it a bit like continually selecting text using CTL-c or CTL-x then opening the Clipboard and clicking on Paste All? The advantage of this latter method is that you can retain the original text rather than cutting it out.


2015-12-28 22:45:58

Karellen32

Forgot to mention: in Word 2016, if there is anything on the spike, typing "spike" brings up an auto-completion box which prompts you to press "Enter" to insert the contents, without having to use F3. (This does NOT empty the spike.)

Actually, the box pops up after typing only the first four letters...


2015-12-28 22:14:48

Karellen32

I've been using Word for eons and had never heard of this useful feature. Thank you so much for the info!


2015-03-03 17:16:28

V S Rawat

Hi Allen,

I am simply amazed on finding from you this gem of word. Having used word almost everyday for some 20 years, there still are such nuggets that are revealed by a genius like you.

Can't thank you enough.

It has made copying and pasting so easy. Previously, I had to copy 100s of things one by one and paste them in other doc one by one, now no need of other doc, just keep on copying from a single document to spike, and then paste to another doc in a single go.

It is superb. Increased my productivity so much.

Thanks again.
--
Rawat
India


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.