Clean up the formatting in a Word document

June 26, 2012 Liz Todd

Have you ever tried to copy and paste text from a colleague’s document into your own Word document with the result that the formatting of the pasted text changes beyond recognition? If so, these tips are for you!

Strip the text of its existing formatting

Before bringing someone else’s text into your document, it is a good idea to paste the text in a new blank document and strip it of the formatting that the other user has applied. There are two shortcut keys that can help you with this: Ctrl+Spacebar and Ctrl+Q. Ctrl+Spacebar removes any character formats – bold, italics, superscript, font, font size, etc. Ctrl+Q removes any paragraph formats – bullets, numbering, indents, tab stops, alignment, etc.

Use the Format Painter to apply your formats

After the text has been stripped of its formatting, copy and paste it into your document. Then, use the Format Painter (it’s in the Clipboard group on the Home tab) to copy the formats in your document to the new text. Select the text with the formats to be copied, click Format Painter and then click the text to be formatted. To paste the formats several times, double click Format Painter.




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