Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make Microsoft Word Always Use Plain Text for Pasted Text

Are you tired of pasting text into Word, only to find that the pasted text included colors, formatting, links, and more from its original source? Here’s how you can keep pasted text from messing up your documents. By default, Word will keep the formatting of text and other content you past into a document, including links, colors, size, font, and more. This can be annoying at best and at worst, can mess up the other formatting in your document.

If you copied a large amount of text or images from a site, or if your internet connection happens to be slow, Word may even freeze temporarily while it’s retrieving and pasting the content. That’s no fun.

Word does have one saving feature: you can click the little popup under pasted text and select Plain Text to get just the text and none of the formatting. However, that’s 2 extra clicks. If you just want to paste the text, and nothing else, you’ll want to change the default setting. Thankfully, it’s easy. If you just pasted text, just click the popup and select Set Default Paste.

Alternately, open the Options pane in Word manually from the File backstage menu or the Office orb in Word 2007.
Select the Advanced tab, then scroll down to the Cut, copy, and paste settings section.
Here you can change a wide variety of pasting options. To switch to pasting text only by default, select Keep Text Only in the drop-down menus. You can change the settings for all options, or just change the ones you wish. We often want to keep the formatting if we’re pasting within the same document, so we left the first option at default, then switched all the others to Keep Text Only.

Once you’ve changed the settings, try pasting some text to make sure it works right. Now it should just paste the text, even if your paste included an image, link, or other text formatting. This is great for the default setting, and makes everything much quicker.

Or, if you decide you want to include the formatting, links, or other content from the paste, just click the popup and select Keep Source Formatting. This way, you’ll only have to click extra if you need the extra content.

Now you can save time and get just the text you want from websites, other programs, and more without waiting for a large paste and taking the time to tweak it.

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