While editing Documents in Word or typing Mails in Outlook or Chatting in Skype, I sometimes see a strange behavior in copy-paste.

Say I have the text " assign" in the clipboard, and put the cursor before the word "while". Now when I paste, I would expect either of these:

" assignwhile", where there is no space between the two words. This is normal and WYSIWYG.
" assign while", where an extra space between the words in automatically inserted by the application. This is some enhancement in the application to automatically put spaces where required.

But I get this:

" assignw hile", which has an automatic space, but shifted to the right.

I have seen this strange behavior for quite some time, and usually ignored it; Now I am able to undo-redo and see it consistently, hence asking here:
What is going on ?
If this is a feature, not a bug, then how to disable it ?


Windows 10 Enterprise Version 1511 with Word 2016 Version 16.0.4549.1000

In Outlook, while composing a mail, I had the text "we store" with " may" in clipboard.
When I Paste between "we" and " store", I get "we may store" [[ Correct ]]
When I Paste between "we " and "store", I get "we mays tore" [[ Wrong ]]
I tried it repeatedly with same results.

I tried pasting in Notepad, where I got the correct output, but strangely, "undo" or "ctrl-z" does not remove the Pasted text !
It only selects the Pasted text ! Paste inserts " may", undo selects " may" !

I then went to PowerShell and collected some Debug Data about the clipboard, using "Get-Clipboard -TextFormatType [[Html,Rtf,Text,UnicodeText]]".
Output was huge for Html+Rtf; I have uploaded all to pastebin :

  • When you do the same thing in notepad - does it behave the same way or is it specific only for Word / Outlook. Have you observed similar behaviour in other office apps like Excel / Powerpoint? One can rule out this as an OS issue if the behaviour is consistent across apps - if not it could be something wrong with the MS Office application
    – Prasanna
    Aug 9, 2017 at 9:40
  • @Prasanna , I have seen only with Office applications, including Skype; Notepad, Putty all working fine.
    – Prem
    Aug 9, 2017 at 9:57
  • I'm wondering if this could be a clipboard issue. Are you open to trying other clipboard managers to see if this issue persists?
    – Prasanna
    Aug 9, 2017 at 11:21
  • @Prasanna , I am using only the built in clipboard, but it is unlikely to be the culprit , because it can not change the text in the target application. If copy-paste gave some wrong characters or it gave same behaviour in all applications , then clipboard may be a suspect.
    – Prem
    Aug 9, 2017 at 15:31
  • 1
    Could it be because of the smart feature called "Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically" (support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/…)?
    – djhurio
    Jul 29, 2022 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


Credit belongs to @djhurio!

This worked for me. From Microsoft Outlook 2016: File -> Options

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