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Paste Options in Word 365

Not nearly as flavourful as that paste we ate in preschool, but maybe more useful, Word has several options for you to paste content with. Get at the the options from the ribbon. Just click the little down arrow beside the Paste button on the left end of the Home ribbon to see the options.

Here’s how they’re useful:

  1. The first button pastes content in the same format it was copied with. This means text from one place will keep its font, size, and style when pasted in a new location or file.
  2. The second button with the arrow changes the pasted text to match the formatting of where the cursor is currently placed. That can jettison some problematic formatting and makes sure that the pasted text won’t mess up text surrounding its new location.
  3. The button with the picture on it pastes a picture. This seems to be a Windows only option but Mac users can just cmd + V or select the Picture button on the Insert ribbon.
  4. The last button (with the A) pastes text only. This helps you jettison all formatting, fonts, XML coding, etc. and paste only the words. This is great help when pasting a citation from an online or PDF source. It can also help you strip problematic code or formatting from a section of the document that’s causing trouble. This is especially useful at times when the basic cmd + V (ctrl + V) feels like a crap shoot in which Word is making up its own mind on how to paste the content.
  5. Paste Special … that little text option at the bottom opens up another dialog that lets you tell Word what unusual format the content in the clipboard takes. This can be used to convert files to Word format, but it rarely works.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If keeping your hands on the keyboard is more efficient for you, a little finger yoga can achieve the fancier paste options:

Keep source formatting — cmd + opt + V
(ctrl + alt + V for Windows users)

Match destination formatting — cmd + opt + shift + V
(crtl + alt + shift + V for Windows users)

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cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Quick Trick to Remove Hyperlinks

They got rid of Clippy but not many of the other annoying automated features in MS Word. Automatic formatting is something that most editors want to turn off before they work. In fact, this is why turning off most automation is covered in the “Get Ready to Edit” section of the book.

When you get a document in which all of the URLs (web addresses) are blue and underlined, and active (hyperlinked), you’ll most likely want to remove them so they don’t cause design problems or (horrors!) end up in print. You can do this one at a time, or in one fell swoop (globally).

The advantage of removing hyperlinks one at a time is that a hyperlink found in the text can help you detect text that has not been adequately cited. If you remove all the hyperlinks at once, you won’t have this clue to aid your editing anymore.

Individual Method

screen shot of the context menu that opens when you right-click on a hyperlink in Word

To remove the single hyperlink, right click on the hyperlink, then select Hyperlink > Remove Hyperlink from the context menu that opens.

There are at least three other ways to do this. This first two ways keep your hands (mostly) on the keyboard:

1. Place the cursor within the link using the arrow keys (see troubleshooting) and then key cmd + Shift + F9 (ctrl + Shift + F9 for Windows users).*

screen shot of the hyperlink control dialog box that opens when you key cmd + K within a hyperlink in Word

2. Place the cursor in the link, then key cmd + K (that’s ctrl + K for Windows users) to open the hyperlink dialog box. Then click the Remove Link button at the bottom left.

3. If your version of Word has menus (looking at you, Mac users), open the hyperlink dialog box by clicking Hyperlink on the Insert menu.

4. For those who prefer to use Ribbons, look for the Links button on the Insert ribbon and then click the Link button to open that dialog box.

Global Method

To remove hyperlinks in the whole document at once, select all and then key cmd + Shift + F9 (ctrl + Shift + F9 for Windows users).


If the link keeps opening when you try to right-click on it, use the arrow keys instead to place the cursor within the link, then follow the alternative instructions 1 or 2 above.

Laptop users may have to add the fn to the F9 key sequence: fn + Shift + F9. The fn key tells the computer not to do whatever action the F keys are mapped to (such as volume control) but to activate their F functions instead.

If you don’t have a right mouse button, tap the touchpad with two fingers, or hold cmd (ctrl for Windows users) while you click the mouse or track pad.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

What to Do With an Edited Word File

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After you freak out over at all the mark-up, tell yourself this is typical for professional writing, take a breath, and roll up your sleeves.
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Your manuscript just came back from the copyeditor or proofreader. Now what?

It’s time to check the changes the editor made, answer their questions, and clear up any remaining issues. The file will probably go back to the editor for some final clean up. If it doesn’t, you have to clear ALL markup to make it ready for the printer/ production department.

There may be a lot of work left. This is typical and does not mean the writing is terrible. Even if an editor wrote it, she could expect as many edits on her work; writing is like that. Addressing edits takes an average of 1 hr per 2500 words, so settle yourself in and let’s go.

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