How To Paste Text Without Formatting


If you reference information from online sources, sometimes when you copy the information directly into Word, there can be issues, such as it does not look exactly the way you thought it would or how you wanted it.

In most instances, you will not want to keep the original formatting of what you are copying, plus it is much quicker to paste it without formatting.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Copy some text from whatever source you like.
  3. Click Paste Unformatted to insert the text without formatting. Alternatively, you can right-click where you would like your copied text to appear and select Paste Unformatted from the resulting menu.

It does not get much easier than that folks! AND, you can also set a default so that your text is automatically pasted in that format!


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About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.

7 Comments

  1. Carol, yes that works, but I found long ago that using a small program called GetPlainText works just as well for Word and has the advantage that you can paste the plain text into ANY program – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, your browser, or pretty much anything else, using the exact same procedure with any program, Microsoft or not.

    I have the icon for GetPlainText on the taskbar, all I have to do is copy the text to the clipboard, click once on the GetPlainText icon, select the place for the text to be pasted, and paste. Done.

  2. Sadly, the Author doesn’t say which version of Word she’s using, or how to access the Paste Unformated option. So I’m guessing everyone that understands this has the same version? I’m using Word 2010 and the only thing I saw that was remotely close to what the author was suggesting was if I selected the button “Paste” at the top left of the menu bar and then the “Paste Special” option which brought up a dialog box that offered pasting in “Unformated Text,” “HTML Format,” and “Unformated Unicode Text.” Nothing I saw said “Paste Unformated” as the author suggested. Is this a Windows 2013 and above thing? Is she using a Mac?

    Conversely, if I copy something from the web (or elsewhere), I would simply right click on the Word document in which I want to paste the copied content, and there would be three options under the Paste command which looked like little clipboards. One had a brush in front, one had a curved arrow, and one had a bold letter A.

    I believe choosing the bold letter A option was the same as “Unformated Text,” or “Paste Unformated” as the author tries to explain.

    Hopefully this is helpful to someone. : )

    • Sammy: Below her description is a linked small text area “Posted in: How-To Word 2016.” I am pretty sure that indicates she is using Word 2016.

      Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) Microsoft changes menus regularly in new releases, sometimes it seems to me without any logical reason. I use Word 2007 and it is displayed somewhat differently from her description when clicking on the Menu Bar and when right-clicking it does not have any option to paste other than simply “paste” which does it with formatting.

      The above, plus in the past when I was teaching, creating and maintaining a website, etc., I started using GetPlainText as I mentioned earlier and never looked back -simple, easy to use, and works with pretty much every application I have ever tried to paste into.

    • Yes, I said pretty much what you just said. “Alternatively, you can right-click where you would like your copied text to appear and select Paste Unformatted from the resulting menu.” When you right-click in your document. This will work in Windows 10, 13, 16, and 365.

      I hope this clears things up for you.

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