Copy text from one file to another

When you cut or copy text and then paste it within the same document or another Word document, you can choose to retain the original formatting or adopt the formatting of the surrounding text where it is pasted. How Word formats a selection when you perform a simple cut and paste from another document is determined by whether the selection includes a paragraph mark or section break.

If the selection

Word applies

Does not include a paragraph mark Paragraph mark

The character style and any additional character formats applied to the selection.

Is a single paragraph mark

The paragraph style and any additional paragraph formats are applied to the paragraph.

Includes a paragraph mark

The paragraph style and any additional paragraph formats are applied to the paragraph. Word also applies the character style and any additional character formats applied to the selection.

Includes a section break

All the formatting for the section that precedes it, including margins, number of columns, line numbers, page size and orientation, and headers and footers.

Do any of the following:

Keep the formatting of the original text

  1. Select the text that you want to cut or copy, and then press COMMAND + X to cut the text or COMMAND + C to copy the text.

  2. Click where you want to paste the text, and then press COMMAND + V .

  3. Click Paste Options  Paste Options , which appears after you paste the text.

    I don't see the Paste Options button when I paste text

    1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

    2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Edit.

    3. Under Cut and paste options, select the Show Paste Options buttons check box.

  4. Click Keep Source Formatting.

    Note: If you paste items from a bulleted or numbered list into a document that contains a bulleted or numbered list, you might not see Keep Source Formatting when you click the Paste Options button.

Change the formatting of the original text to match the destination formatting

  1. Select the text that you want to cut or copy, and then press COMMAND + X to cut the text or COMMAND + C to copy the text.

  2. Click where you want to paste the text, and then press COMMAND + V .

  3. Click Paste Options  Paste Options , which appears after you paste the text.

    I don't see the Paste Options button when I paste text

    1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

    2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Edit.

    3. Under Cut and paste options, select the Show Paste Options buttons check box.

  4. Do one of the following:

To

Do this

Preserve formatting such as bold or italicized words

Click Match Destination Formatting.

Remove all of the original formatting from the text that you are pasting

Click Keep Text Only.

Notes: 

  1. If your selection includes content that is not text, the Keep Text Only option discards the content or converts it to text. For example, if you use the Keep Text Only option when you paste content that includes pictures and a table, the pictures are omitted from the pasted content, and the table is converted to a series of paragraphs.

  2. If your selection includes a bulleted or numbered list, the Keep Text Only option may discard the bullets or numbering, depending on the default setting for pasting text in Word. To preserve the bullet and number characters, you can convert the bulleted or numbered list formatting to paragraphs that begin with bullet or number characters.

See also

Copy formatting between objects or text

Copy formatting

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