Change Word's default Paste setting to save yourself some steps

If you find yourself using Paste Special more often than you don't, consider changing Word's default paste setting.

Lately, we've discussed a few Paste Special helpful tricks. Did you know that you can change Word's default Paste setting? Doing so may eliminate the need for some of those pasting tricks!

By default, Word 2007 and 2010 retain the source formatting when you paste content. Most people probably paste within the same document or from one Word document to another so that default probably makes sense. On the other hand, pasting chores involving foreign sources, such as the Internet, usually require an extra step because you can't just press [Ctrl]+V. Instead, you must select Keep Text Only or Paste Special from the Paste dropdown list (in the Clipboard group on the Home tab).

If you find yourself taking this extra step more often than not, change your default paste setting as follows:

  1. Click the File tab or Office button.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select Advanced in the left pane.
  4. In the Cut, Copy, and Paste section, choose the appropriate setting from the pasting options. As you can see below, you can control the pasting default for several situations.
  5. Click OK.

This particular option is flexible. You can control the pasting default for the current document, between Word documents, when there's a formatting conflict, and even between different programs (such as Internet Explorer). You're not stuck with a one-setting-fits-all solution. Changing this default setting could save you a lot of aggravation with your paste tasks.

Word 2003 doesn't give you this much control, but you can garner a bit of control. From the Tools menu, choose Options, and click the Edit tab. In the Cut And Paste section, click the Settings button. The options aren't as powerful as in 2007 and 2010, but a little bit's better than no control at all.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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