Q. When I copy text from the internet and paste it into a Word document (using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V), sometimes the results are properly formatted, and other times the formatting is so arcane that it seems easier to simply retype the text. Why is that?
A. By default, Windows copies and pastes both text and formatting from one window to the next (from a browser window to a Word or Excel window, for example). In many cases your best copy-and-paste results are achieved by pasting the copied contents by hitting the Alt key and then the H, V, and T keys in succession. (This command produces the same result as pasting using the Home tab's Paste, Paste Special, Keep Text Only command, but it's quicker.) The result of this action is that the pasted content adopts the default format for the target location; for example, if you copy 9-point, red, Verdana font text from a browser and paste it into a Word document (using the Alt+H, V, T combination) with a default 12-point, black, Times New Roman font text, then the pasted results will automatically adopt and display the 12-point, black, Times New Roman font format.
About the author
J. Carlton Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.
Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.
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