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 February 5, 2022)

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

Formatting Currency

If you want to format currency values so that Excel uses periods between groups of thousands and commas as a decimal ...

Discover More

Can't Copy Data between Workbooks

Edit a group of workbooks at the same time and you probably will find yourself trying to copy information from one of ...

Discover More

Unwanted Graph Paper Effect

When you open a document or start to use Word, do you see a background that looks like graph paper? It could be because ...

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)

Selecting Sentences

Need to select an entire sentence at once? You can do so by creating a short macro that does the task for you, or you can ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Characters

If you have two characters in the wrong order, you might be interested in a shortcut you can use to switch their order. ...

Discover More

Adding Circles around Letters or Numbers

Want to add some handy circles around text in your document? Believe it or not, Word provides three ways you can ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 4 + 8?

2022-03-15 15:14:32

Phil Reinemann

Rob, and others, I recently found out that the Win+V list does have an an option for each item to "pin" it, which will keep it in the clipboard for after a restart.

Just go to the right of the item and click on the ellipsis (three dots).


2022-03-09 00:09:19

Rob

Dear Allen,

I am not in the habit of posting on the internet, but after having accidentally stumbled on this tip I had to make an exception. The spike tool is something I had wished I had learned about 15 years ago - but somehow I had never ever heard of it until today. So thanks for sharing! The comment below about the Win+V clipboard is also very useful. These are true efficiency hacks!


2022-02-15 19:08:21

Phil Reinemann

If you're using Windoze 10, it has a built in multiple item clipboard history.

You can access that clipboard with WindozeKey+V (lowercase V is okay).

If the clipboard history isn't turned on (it's off by default), then it will let you turn it on with WindozeKey+V.

(it will be empty until you start copying things after you turn it on.)

Unlike the spike, you can selectively paste only one of the copied items. It shows you a list and you just click on what you want pasted.

The history is wiped out if you restart or Shift+shutdown, and maybe if you log off. Not sure about shut-down which by default in W10 basically hibernates you. (I think it's called Fastboot. On a Mac now so can't check that.)

The Microsoft Store (W10) also has multiple clipboard apps to download.


2022-02-14 01:47:46

John Walker

Allen
Using the Spike to Edit This tip (13355)
Thanks for the post. As you say, the spike is a handy gadget it CUT and copy.
However, when I tried it I nearly swooned as the text disappeared.
Reading somewhere else, I found out I had to CTRL+Z to back out of the cut.
Then al was OK.
Please stop others having a swoon by putting that in the tip.


2022-02-14 00:00:40

Fran

Spike sounds very useful. Thanks for the tip.
It appears that Spike "cuts" the text from its original location and pastes it into the new location.
Is there a Spike like feature that would allow me to just "copy" the text I want to collect?


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.

Videos
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.