Copy and paste in Office for the web

Because of the limitations of web browser technology, copying and pasting text in Microsoft Office for the web differs from copying and pasting text in the Office desktop applications. This article gives you steps for copying and pasting in each of the Office for the web programs.

Which program are you using?

Word for the web

PowerPoint for the web

OneNote for the web

Excel for the web

Word for the web

Copy and paste behavior differs according to whether you are viewing or editing in the browser, and whether you are pasting content from outside Word for the web.

Viewing in browser

When you open a document in Reading view, you can select text a line at a time by dragging the mouse (not double-clicking). Then, press CTRL+C (Windows) or ⌘+C (Mac) to copy text. You can paste the contents of the clipboard outside the document. When you do, the text is inserted into the new location without its formatting such as bold, italics, or a particular color. You can reapply these in the new location.

Note: When viewing a document in Reading view, you can select a minimum of a line of text. To be able to select words or phrases, click Edit in browser.

If you want to paste within the document, click Edit in Browser.

Editing in browser

In Editing view you can cut, copy, and paste text and pictures within the document by selecting text or a picture just as you do in the Word desktop application. Press CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+X to cut, or CTRL+V to paste the text or picture (Windows); or press ⌘+C, ⌘+X, or ⌘+V (Mac).

Note: If you are using Firefox and you want to use the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands on the Word for the web ribbon, you need to allow JavaScript to use the clipboard. If you don’t want to do this, use the -C, -X, and -V keyboard commands.

Pasting from outside Word for the web

When you paste text from outside Word for the web, the text is inserted into the document as plain text. In other words, characteristics of the text, such as bold, italics, or a particular size or color, are not preserved and you must reapply them in Word for the web.

Pictures you copy from the web can be pasted in the document, but Word for the web doesn’t support pasting pictures that are copied from other documents or programs. If there’s a picture in another document or program that you want to use in Word for the web, save the picture on your computer, then go to Insert > Picture in Word for the web.

Tables and lists    When you paste text that is formatted outside Word for the web as rows and columns or as sub-items in a list, the table or hierarchical structure does not appear in the pasted text. The best practice is to paste such items one cell or level at a time. Or, when pasting a list, remove the number formatting and then reapply it in Word for the web, using the Numbering and Increase Indent buttons (Home tab) to achieve the desired result.

Hyperlinks     Hyperlinks are pasted as static text. To reconstruct the link do the following after pasting it:

  1. Select the text.

  2. On the Insert tab, click Link.

  3. In the Address box, type the web address (URL) of the link.

  4. Leave text in the Display text box as it is, and then click Insert.

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PowerPoint for the web

You can cut, copy, and paste text within the presentation by selecting text just as you do in the PowerPoint desktop application. Press CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+X to cut, or CTRL+V to paste the text (Windows), or press ⌘+C, ⌘+X, or ⌘+V (Mac).

Pictures you copy from the web can be pasted on a slide, but PowerPoint for the web doesn’t support pasting pictures that are copied from other presentations or programs. If there’s a picture in another presentation or program that you want to use in PowerPoint for the web, save the picture on your computer, then go to Insert > Picture in PowerPoint for the web.

To move a picture from one slide to another, copy the picture, paste it on the new slide, and then delete it from its original spot.

Notes: 

  • You cannot copy or cut text in Reading view or Slide Show. To be able to copy or cut text, click Edit in browser.

  • If you are using Firefox and you want to use the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands on the PowerPoint for the web ribbon, you need to allow JavaScript to use the clipboard. If you don’t want to do this, use the -C, -X, and -V keyboard commands.

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OneNote for the web

Copy and paste behavior differs according to whether you are viewing or editing in the browser, and whether you are pasting text from outside Microsoft OneNote for the web.

Viewing in browser

When you open a notebook in Reading view you can select text just as you do in the OneNote desktop application. Then, press CTRL+C (Windows) or ⌘+C (Mac) to copy text. You can paste the contents of the clipboard outside the notebook. When you do, the text is inserted into the new location without its formatting such as bold, italics, or a particular color. You can reapply these in the new location.

If you want to paste within the notebook, click Edit in Browser.

Editing in browser

In Editing view you can cut, copy, and paste text and pictures within the notebook by selecting text or picture just as you do in the OneNote desktop application. Press CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+X to cut, or CTRL+V to paste the text or picture (Windows); or press ⌘+C, ⌘+X, or ⌘+V (Mac).

Note: If you are using the Firefox browser and you want to use the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands on the OneNote for the web ribbon, you need to allow JavaScript to use the clipboard. If you don’t want to do this, use the -C, -X, and -V keyboard commands.

Pasting from outside OneNote for the web

When you paste text from outside OneNote for the web the text is inserted into the notebook as plain text. In other words, characteristics of the text, such as bold, italics, or a particular size or color, are not preserved and you must reapply them in OneNote for the web.

Pictures you copy from the web can be pasted in the notebook, but OneNote for the web doesn’t support pasting pictures that are copied from other notebooks or programs. If there’s a picture in another notebook or program that you want to use in OneNote for the web, save the picture on your computer, then go to Insert > Picture in OneNote for the web.

Tables and lists    When you paste text that is formatted outside OneNote for the web as rows and columns or as sub-items in a list, the table or hierarchical structure does not appear in the pasted text. The best practice is to paste such items one cell or level at a time. Or, when pasting a list, remove the number formatting and then reapply it in OneNote for the web, using the Numbering and Increase Indent buttons (Home tab) to achieve the desired result.

Hyperlinks    Hyperlinks are pasted as static text. To reconstruct the link, do the following after pasting it:

  1. Select the text.

  2. On the Insert tab, click Link.

  3. In the Address box, type the web address (URL) of the link.

  4. Leave text in the Display text box as it is, and then click Insert.

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Excel for the web

Copy and paste behavior differs according to whether you are viewing or editing in the browser, and whether you are pasting text from outside Excel for the web.

Viewing in browser

When you first open a workbook in the browser you can select cells just as you do in the Excel desktop application. To copy cell contents, you can right-click and select Copy, click Home > Clipboard > Copy, or press CTRL+C (Windows) or ⌘+C (Mac). You can paste the contents of the clipboard outside the workbook. If you want to paste within the workbook, click Edit in Browser.

Editing in browser

Excel for the web supports copy and paste by using mouse and keyboard shortcuts and the ribbon commands. The content that you can copy and paste depends on the paste destination.

Within one workbook open in the browser, you can copy and paste anything except for the following unsupported content:

  • Slicers

  • Pivot Tables

  • Pivot Charts

Between different workbooks open in the browser, the following content is unsupported:

  • Charts

  • Mixed ranges (shapes and text)

  • Named ranges

  • Sparklines

  • Slicers

  • Pivot Tables

  • Pivot Charts

When you paste tabular data, the row-and-column structure of the cells is preserved in Excel for the web.

When you copy Excel for the web content and paste it into another app, formatting is retained if supported by the other app.

Pasting from outside Excel for the web

Using Edge or Chrome, when you paste text from outside Excel for the web the text retains its formatting, unless you press CTRL+SHIFT+V to paste as plain text. If your browser is not Edge or Chrome, when you paste text from outside Excel for the web it is always pasted as plain text.

Hyperlinks    Hyperlinks are pasted as static text. To reconstruct the link do the following after pasting it:

  1. Select the text.

  2. Press CTRL+K.

  3. In the Address box type the web address (URL) of the link

  4. In the Display text box, type the link text, and then click Insert.

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