I could write a white paper on Word's formatting options—it's such a huge topic. You can apply individual formats, copy them, and even create custom styles to apply multiple formats at the same time.What you might not see covered in a formatting training session or is how to remove formats. Most likely, you select the text and then click a toggle format tool, such as Bold, Italic, or any of the text alignment tools. Or, you display the Format dialog and start unchecking format options.
There's a simpler way to strip all formatting from Word text:
- Select the text you want to strip of all its formatting.
- Press Ctrl+Spacebar
That's it, but easy and quick isn't the only advantage. If you use another method after accidentally selecting more text than you intended, you could end up actually applying the format to unformatted text instead of just stripping the formats, as intended. The Ctrl+Spacebar combination doesn't toggle between applying and removing formats. It only strips the current formats.
This is an all or nothing solution—you can't pick and choose the format you delete. Pressing Ctrl+Spacebar removes all the formats previously applied to the selected text.
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.