Create A Hotkey To Paste Plain Text In Microsoft Word

Pasting text from web pages into Microsoft Word can be a serious pain—all you wanted was the text, but it copies the formatting. Reader Wille writes in with a quick tip to make it simpler.

The official method for pasting plain text into Word is the Paste Special option, assigned to the Ctrl+Shift+V hotkey combination, but it opens a dialog and forces you to choose to paste plain text—a tedious irritation after using it repeatedly. Wille's method is to create a simple macro that pastes using unformatted text, and assign the same hotkey—a simple way to save time pasting text.

To create your own custom hotkey for pasting text, you'll need to follow a couple of steps:

  1. From the View tab, create a new macro named PasteSpecial.
  2. Replace the contents of the code editor with the following text:

    Sub PasteSpecial() Selection.PasteSpecial DataType:=wdPasteText End Sub

  3. From the Microsoft Office button in the upper left-hand corner, choose Word Options -> customise, and then click the customise button next to Keyboard shortcuts at the bottom to bring up the customise Keyboard dialog.
  4. Choose Macros from the categories list on the left, and then your macro in the Commands box on the right-hand side. Now you can enter in a shortcut key (Ctrl+Shift+V or your own), and click the Assign button.

Once you've completed these steps, you'll be able to easily paste plain text in your document anytime with the keyboard shortcut. You can still access the Paste Special option from the Ribbon, but this tip should save you some time. Thanks, Wille!


    Here's 2 alternatives that work anywhere without the use of macros. The second is an Autohotkey compiled script

    Umm - I just paste it into notepad first; the text loses all of it's formatting in notepad; then I select all, and cut and paste into Word. :-)

    It's amazing that Microsoft have not put this simple functionally into their software. This has been a pain since the beginning of MS Word.

    Thanks for this - I have been using this macro for years now in various versions of Word.

    I also make use of an intermediary text editor, or the Copy Plain Text add-on if copying from Firefox.

    Note there is a shortcut (still in Word 2007) that isn't quite so annoying: Use the paste keyboard shortcut: CTRL+V. This pastes the formatted text, but the "Paste Special" icon appears (a little clipboard icon). Click on this icon and select "Keep Text Only".

    I put all these notes together here (with thanks to this article!):


    I'd strongly recommend this solution. Just watch video tutorial to easily complete the task:

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