How to Create a Shortcut to Paste Plain Text Into Word

Satheesh C B | Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | 3 comments

It takes a lot of time to  paste just the text—not the formatting, graphics, or other baggage—from  spreadsheets, Web sites, and other sources into Word documents .Instead of endlessly repeating the File > Paste Special > Text Only > OK ,try the following.

Create a macro for pasting plain text. In Word 2003, click Tools>Macro> Macros ; in Word 2007, select the ribbon’s View tab and click Macros . Type Plain Paste in the Macro name field at the top of the dialog box and on the ‘Macros in’ drop-down menu at the base of the screen , select (global template) in Word 2003 or Normal. dot m ( global template) in Word 2007. Click Create to enter the Visual Basic Editor. Place the cursor at the start of the line above ‘End Sub’, and type these two lines of text exactly

On Error Resume Next Selection.PasteSpecial DataType:=wdPasteText

Click File>Close and Return to Microsoft Word . To test the macro, select text from any file, press -C to copy it to the Clipboard, open Word, click Tools >Macro >Macros ( View > Macros in Word 2007), and double-click Plain Paste . You should see only the text from your selection, in the format of the open Word file, not of the source.


Next, make this macro your -V option. In Word 2003, click Tools > Customize > Commands . With selected on the ‘Save in’ menu at the bottom of the dialog box, choose the Keyboard button. In Word 2007, select the Office button in the top-left corner, choose Word Options , click Customize in the right pane, and pick the Customize button next to ‘Keyboard shortcuts’ at the bottom of the window. In both versions, choose Macros under Categories, select Plain Paste in the Macros window, click in the ‘Press new shortcut key’ box, and press the -V combination. Confirm that ( Normal in Word 2007) is selected on the ‘Save changes in’ menu. Click Assign , and Close twice ( Close and OK in Word 2007).

Now -V won’t paste the graphics, formatting, or other metadata in the selection, and the text will appear in the document’s style. To paste more than plain text, choose Edit > Paste (in Word 2003 only); click the Paste icon on the Standard toolbar in Word 2003 and under the Home tab in Word 2007; or if you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, press  <Shift>-<Insert> .

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  1. I've been looking for this solution for a little while and it does the trick. One thing about your screenshot though: the single quote before the "On Error . . " needs to be removed and a return put in before the portion that starts with "Next Selection . . ." so that it's on the following line.

    I use Office 2007 and I couldn't get the -V option to work for a shortcut key so I used "Ctrl-Alt-V." Now I'm in business!

  2. This is the version that works for me:

    Sub paste_txt()
    On Error Resume Next
    Selection.PasteSpecial DataType:=wdPasteText
    End Sub

    I also posted it to the Office 2007 page - thanks a million!