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Using Paste Options in Microsoft Word

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

When pasting text from the Clipboard from one area of a document to another or to another document, the results may not always be what you expect. This is especially true if the destination paragraph contains different formatting or a different style than the source paragraph.

Word provides Paste Options, which allow you to control the formatting of the destination text. The options available will vary, depending on the type of content you are copying and pasting. Options typically include Keep Source Formatting (retains the formatting from the original copy location), Merge Formatting (adjusts formatting to match the destination location) and Keep Text Only (pastes unformatted text).

You can access Paste Options from the Paste button arrow on the Home Ribbon. What's especially handy, is that as you hover your mouse pointer over the different paste options, Word provides a preview of how the item will appear when pasted.

You can also access the same options from the Paste Options button, which appears whenever you paste text.

paste options button

Quick Guide: To Use Paste Options

  1. Copy the text to the Clipboard.
  2. Place the insertion point where you want to insert the content.
  3. On the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the arrow under the Paste icon.
  4. Hover your mouse pointer over any of the paste options to see a preview of how the text will appear.
  5. Click the desired option button to paste the text.


Looking for more Word tips? Our Word 2016: Up To Speed guide is now available in printable PDF format from this site. The Up To Speed series is designed to help you get productive quickly with your software. Check back as new titles will be added regularly. Also available as an ebook from Amazon, iTunes Books and Kobo.

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