Copy and paste in Office Web Apps

Because of the limitations of web browser technology, copying and pasting text in Microsoft Office Online 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 Web Apps.

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 Online.

Viewing in browser

When you open a document in Reading view you can select text a character, a word, a sentence, or even a line at a time by dragging the mouse. 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.

Tip: To quickly select a single word of text, double-click on it with your mouse.

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 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).

Pasting from outside Word Online

When you paste text from outside Word Online, Word attempts to preserve as much of the source formatting as possible. In rare instances, characteristics of the text, such as bold, italics, or a particular size or color, are not preserved and you must reapply them in Word Online.

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

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 Online.

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. Then, press CTRL+C (Windows) or ⌘+C (Mac) to copy cell contents. 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

When you edit a workbook in the browser you can cut, copy, and paste text within the workbook by selecting cells just as you do in the Excel 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). When you paste, the cell contents inherit the characteristics of the new location, such as bold, italics, or a particular color.

Pasting from outside Excel Online

When you paste text from outside Excel Online the text is inserted into the workbook 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 Excel Online. When you paste cells from another workbook or table, the row-and-column structure of the cells is preserved in Excel Online.

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

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

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).

Pasting from outside OneNote Online

When you paste text from outside OneNote Online 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 Online.

Note:  Pictures cannot be pasted into notebooks from outside OneNote Online without first saving them on your computer. Then go to Insert > Picture to put them in your notebook.

Tables and lists    When you paste text that is formatted outside OneNote Online 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 Online, 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.

See Also

Copy and paste in PowerPoint Online

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