Tuesday Tip: Word – Controlling the Formatting When You Paste Text

By Richard Stokes

Control the format when you paste image 1We love getting requests and suggestions from clients on topics for our tech tips .  Mostly because it allows us to give back to those desktop warriors out there, but also because it can sometimes be a challenge to come up with an interesting tech tip for our reading audience.  So, thank you to Brad Groff of the law firm Gardner Groff for asking about this topic.

If you are a frequent user of Word (and who isn’t?) and you find that you’re cutting and pasting text from other sources into a document, you may have battled with the issue of formatting the text to match the document in which you are working.  In Brad’s case he would be copying and pasting a particular phrase repeatedly and then all of a sudden it would start pasting in a completely different font.  And, like Brad, if you’re doing it over and over again, the process of having to stop to reformat the text is not only annoying but also time-consuming.

So, here’s how to fix that.  Let’s first look at how to copy/paste and change the formatting to match the text in the document in which you are working.  Then, we’ll look at how to make this a default setting in Word so it automatically pastes this way every time.

Copy/paste and change the formatting to match the text in your document:

1)    Copy the text from the source – highlight the text and either do the keyboard shortcut ‘CTRL C’ or right click your mouse and select ‘Copy.’

2)    Go in to the document you are copying to and either do the keyboard shortcut ‘CTRL V’ or right click your mouse and select ‘Paste’.

Control the format when you paste image 2




3)    With either method the way to match the font is to select the paste icon as illustrated above.  This is called the ‘Keep Text Only’ option and will take on the font and style characteristics of the document into which you are pasting.

Note: If you try this and still find that when you paste into certain parts of your document that the text is still showing up as a different font then it means that the document isn’t universally set to a single font style and that the place to which you are copying has a different font set than the rest of the document.

How to make this a default setting in Word

Making this change is only useful when you are pasting using the keyboard shortcut: ‘CTRL V’.  Using the mouse will still require you to select the ‘Keep Text Only’ option so making this change doesn’t actually save you a step.

1)    Go in to the Word options menu by clicking on ‘File’ and ‘Options’ as shown below.  This is only applicable for Office 2010 and 2013 versions.

For Office 2007 versions, click on the Microsoft Office Button Control the format when you paste image 3 and then click on Word Options.

If you have Word 2003 then it’s time for you to upgrade!

Control the format when you paste image 4








2)    The Word Options window will pop up. Look for the ‘Advanced’ Tab and scroll down until you see the ‘Cut, copy and paste’ section.  You’ll want to change the defaults settings to ‘Keep Text Only’ as shown below.  Click ‘OK’ and the next time you use Word these settings will be applied.

Control the format when you paste image 5





Check out Tony’s blog earlier this month on how to better copy and paste images into Word.  If either of these two tips has helped you to be more efficient in Word then drop us a note and let us know.  If there is something else you find frustrating about Word or some other mainstream desktop application, let us know and we’ll research a fix for you, too!


Richard Stokes: As the Director of Sales for Network 1, Richard identifies “future” clients that can benefit from the support of an experienced, outsourced IT team. He helps clients and prospects find technology solutions they need to achieve better productivity and efficiency so they can focus on making money and growing their businesses.

Network 1 designs, builds and supports the IT you need to run your business more securely, productively and successfully. Whether you want to outsource all of your IT needs to a reliable, responsive, service-oriented company, or need to supplement the work of your internal IT staff, we will carefully evaluate where you are now, discuss where you want to go and implement and support a plan to get you there with as little interruption as possible.


  1. […] Thanks again to Craig Cothern for alerting me to this simple, yet powerful, tip.  I’ve been using it for informational emails I send to multiple clients:  I copy the subject (which is always the same) plus the body of the email (which is 90% the same) then use the Clipboard to paste the subject and the body into a new email, add the 10% unique content to the email and then send.  On a different, but related, topic, if you’re having problems getting the desired format or font when you paste your information, you may want to refer to one of these past tips: Inserting Images into Word Docs and Word – Controlling the Formatting When You Paste Text. […]

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