Some users spend a lot of time moving text within the same document or between documents. That can lead to additional formatting work if the destination document’s formatting differs from the source. When this is the case, the Paste Special command can save you a bit of time. For instance, if you want the pasted text to adapt the destination document’s formatting, you’d choose Keep Text Only from the Paste option’s dropdown.

Choosing a special paste option is certainly more efficient than fixing the formatting after the fact, but if you have to choose a special option a lot, you might consider changing the default settings. Yes, you can do that!

To change the default paste settings, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab and choose Options (under Help). In Word 2007, click the Office button and then click Word Options.
  2. Choose Advanced in the left pane.
  3. In the Cut, Copy, and Paste section, choose the appropriate option from the four pasting options.
  4. Click OK.

There are four options, so Word’s very flexible. For instance, if you usually choose Keep Text Only from the Paste option when copying text from a web page into a Word document, consider changing the Paste From Other Programs option to Keep Text Only. Word will then paste the text using the default paragraph formatting in the destination document. Most of the time, this setting will save you the extra step of reformatting the pasted text.

Most users won’t search for these options because they won’t realize they have this much control over the paste operations. The choices are self-explanatory for the most part; you just need to point the way.