Paste Unformatted Text, Revisited

A while back, I published an article in Dian Chapman’s TechTrax about how to create a keyboard shortcut for pasting the contents of the clipboard as plain text. That article, entitled Paste Special Unformatted Text at Your Fingertips, was mostly about Word 2003 and earlier. Here’s a quick update on how to do the same thing in Word 2007 and the upcoming Word 2010.

Word 2007 and Word 2010

There are several ways to accomplish the underlying goal. If you want unformatted text to be the default when you press Ctrl+V, click the Office button and choose Word Options ? Advanced. In the Cut, Copy, and Paste section, set the first four Paste options to Keep Text Only, as shown here. If you ever want a different action, then you’ll need to use Paste Special, which is assigned directly to Alt+Shift+V in Word 2007 and 2010.

Another method is to assign the following macro to the desired keystroke:

Sub PasteUnformatted

Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, DataType:=wdPasteText

End Sub

Yet another method requires three keystrokes, starting with Word 2007 and Word 2010’s, Paste Special keystroke: Ctrl+Alt+V. So, using this method requires that you press Ctrl+Alt+V, tap the “u” key, and press Enter.

Word 2010 Only

In Word 2010, there finally is a dedicated built-in command that can be assigned directly to the keyboard, without need for an intervening macro. If you’d like to have a “paste text” keystroke while leaving the default paste keystroke intact, then assign the PasteTextOnly command to the desired keystroke. Shown here, I’ve assigned it to Ctrl+Shift+V, no longer using the macro I’d been using for the previous ten years.

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3 Responses to Paste Unformatted Text, Revisited

  1. Barb says:

    Thank You Thank You Thank You!
    I finally bit the bullet and went totally Windows 7 for tech writing (place where I work upgraded) because I was using it only at home, I had not yet had the opportunity (or the inclincation – work is work and home is home) to figure this out and – Voila, I did not have to! I have not looked at your blog for a while (as I was stuck with Word 2003).
    Again, my undying gratitude.

  2. Nigel says:

    My thanks also for the 2010 comment – and for screen shot of the dialog box. PasteText only is not accessible from the Home tab as would be expected but you have to choose “All Commands”. Cheers.

  3. iEditor says:

    A gadget I like to use for this is called ClipX (it’s free but I don’t like linking in posts, so Google it). When you type ctrl-shift-v, it pulls up a list with the last 25 items you copied. Then click on the one you want. They all paste as unformatted text.

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