How to Paste Like BOSS!

One of the most common tasks in Microsoft Word is copying and pasting text in documents. While most users know how to paste text in documents, not many know how to change Word’s paste behaviour so that the pasted text appears the way they want it to look. As a result, they end up having to reformat the pasted text, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

You can avoid having to reformat pasted text two ways. You can change Word’s paste behaviour on a case-by-case basis or at the default level.

Changing the Paste Behavior on a Case-by-Case Basis

When you paste text, Word will follow one of three formatting rules:

  • Keep Source Formatting. Word preserves all of the copied text’s formatting when you paste it into your document.
  • Merge Formatting. Word changes the copied text’s formatting (e.g., font, font size) so that it matches the text in your document but keeps certain elements such as bulleted lists and links.
  • Keep Text Only. Word removes all of the formatting from the text you are pasting.

By default, Word follows the Keep Source Formatting rule. You can easily change that behavior while pasting text. After you have copied the text you want to insert in your document, you need to click the arrow under the toolbar’s “Paste” button instead of the button itself. This will bring up four “Paste Options” icons, as Figure 1 shows. These icons represent the rules. Hovering your cursor over each icon will display the rule it represents. For instance, “Merge Formatting” appears if you hover your cursor over the second icon. If you click that icon, Word will paste the text using the Merge Formatting rule rather than the default Keep Source Formatting rule.

Changing the Default Behavior

If you find that you often change Word’s paste behaviour while pasting text, you can change the default rules that Word follows in specific situations. That way, you can simply paste text into your documents without having to manually change the paste behaviour, which saves time.

To change the default rules, open a Word document, click the arrow under the “Paste” button, and choose “Set Default Paste”. In the “Word Options” box that appears, scroll down to the “Cut, copy, and paste” section. As Figure 2 shows, you can set which rule you want Word to automatically follow when you are:

  • Pasting text within the same document
  • Pasting text between documents
  • Pasting text from other programs

In each case, you can choose to use one of the three basic rules. For example, if you always want to have the formatting merged when you are pasting between documents, you would change the “Pasting between documents” option from “Keep Source Formatting (Default)” to “Merge Formatting”.

There is another situation covered in the “Cut, copy, and paste” section: pasting between documents when style definitions conflict. Sometimes the style definitions (i.e., the predefined styles shown in the toolbar, such as “Normal” and “Heading 1”) in the source file (the document in which you copied the text) conflicts with the style definitions in the destination file (the document in which you are pasting the text). In this situation, there is a fourth rule from which to choose b Use Destination Styles. When selected, Word will use the style definitions in the destination file if such a conflict occurs.

The “Cut, copy, and paste” section also includes other copy and paste options, as Figure 2 shows. One of them is “Use smart cut and paste”. If you leave this option selected (the default), Word will automatically perform tasks such as adjusting the sentence and word spacing in the pasted text. Clicking the “Settings” button next to the “Use smart cut and paste” option will reveal some of the other tasks you can have Word automatically do.

The changes that you make in the “Cut, copy, and paste” section of the “Word Options” box will apply to the current document as well as any documents you create or edit in the future.

Get the most from your IT

As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

Most commented posts

Google’s Chrome 68 Web Browser Will Flag All HTTP Sites “Not Secure”

In Google's eyes, websites using HTTP are not secure, so it is marking them as such, starting in the Chrome 68 web browser. Find out why Google is taking this stance.

Read More

When It Comes to Diagnostic Data, Windows 10 Is a Chatterbox

By default, Windows 10 sends a large amount of diagnostic data to Microsoft. If you are concerned about the types of data being sent, you might want to take advantage of the Diagnostic Data Viewer. Learn how to use this tool and what you can do if you do not like what you see.

Read More

Find Out What Data Microsoft Is Saving about You

If you use Windows 10 and have a Microsoft account, you can easily see the types of data that Microsoft has stored about you. Learn where you can find this data and how to delete it.

Read More

Why Using Gmail’s Confidential Mode Is Not a Good Idea for Businesses

As part of Gmail's redesign in 2018, Google introduced the Confidential Mode to protect sensitive information sent by email. Learn how it works and why you should avoid using it in your business.

Read More

What You Need to Know about Google Tracking Your Location

Google is tracking the whereabouts of billions of its customers, even when they tell the tech giant not to. Here is what you need to know about this practice, including how to minimize the amount of data being stored about you.

Read More