If I want to paste without any formatting, I have to go to the "Paste" button on the ribbon and click "Paste Special" and then "unformatted text".

Is there a shortcut like Ctrl+V that'll automatically do that for me?

13 Answers 13

up vote 23 down vote accepted

I don't think there is, but the good news is that you can make one by creating a macro.

Either record the macro, doing the paste the way you want to, then assign it to a keyboard shortcut, or put the following into a new macro (assuming you want to paste without formatting):

For MS Word 2010:

    Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatPlainText)

For MS Excel 2010:

ActiveSheet.PasteSpecial Format:="Unicode Text", Link:=False, _
    DisplayAsIcon:=False, NoHTMLFormatting:=True

Again, once you've saved the Macro, you'll need to assign it to a keyboard shortcut (eg ctrl + m).


Addition: MS Word 2002:

Sub PastePlaintext()
    Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, DataType:=wdPasteText
End Sub
  • fantastic solution! – RoboShop Apr 1 '12 at 4:40
  • although probably the only thing bad about it, is in excel you can't undo it! – RoboShop Apr 1 '12 at 5:06
  • Thanks a lot! Worked great for my Word 2013 x64 on Windows 8 Pro. – Soonts Feb 23 '14 at 20:50

On Word 2007 to 2013 on Windows, you can use Ctrl+Alt+V.

On Word 2011 for Mac, you can use Control+Command+V.

Both of these will bring up the "Paste Special" dialog. There's no shortcut directly for "Unformatted Text", but since you can use arrows to go to "Unformatted Text" and Enter to confirm, this is probably the fastest way without a macro.

  • thanks, this is handy for when i'm not on my own computer and cannot just record macros – RoboShop Apr 1 '12 at 4:41

I've just found out that in Word 2013 and Excel 2013 there is a quick way to access, from keyboard, all the "Paste Special" options. In the following examples it is just shown how to paste as text (without pasting the formats).

Word 2013:

After having copied something go where you want to paste it (without pasting the format). CTRL+V (it will temporarily paste the format too) then CTRL (push and release the control key) then T (the last T means "keep text only").

Excel 2013:

After having copied something go where you want to paste it (without pasting the format). CTRL+V (it will temporarily paste the format too) then CTRL (push and release the control key) then V (the last V means "paste Values").

It's important that the second CTRL key is released before typing the last letter.

This method requires just 4 keyboard hits, no macros and no use of the mouse in a dialog window.

  • Nice to know the shortcut to open that context menu. I used this in Excel 2013 for pasting without borders by pressing "B" at the last step. – Justin May 23 '14 at 20:11
  • This is the canonical answer. Works like a charm, no special configurations necessary. – clacke Mar 27 '15 at 14:01
  • @Justin Pasting Without Borders, bringing clipboard material to disaster-stricken areas. ;-) – clacke Mar 27 '15 at 14:02
  • Any idea how to achieve this on the mac? – AndreLung Dec 14 '15 at 11:09

If you want to set "Keep Text Only" as your default, you can do the following:

  1. The default paste: default paste

  2. Click the dropdown at the top and choose "More Commands": dropdown > More commands

  3. Click Advanced: Advanced

  4. Change the defaults (to Keep Text Only): Change defaults

  5. Repeating the same paste defaults to text only: Resultant paste

Hope this helps!

  • Word 2013 for Windows, copying from IE - this settings has no effect, the pasted text is still formatted. – Soonts Feb 23 '14 at 17:06
  • Shame these options don't exist in Excel too though... – peterflynn Feb 19 at 19:18

In Word 2010 you can right click and from the paste options select "Keep Text Only" - not quite as good as a keyboard shortcut but not bad.

For Word, changing the default settings (as shown above) seems like a good option if the settings match what you want. For Excel, however, I would suggest using a right click instead.

There's a couple of significant problems with adding a macro.

1) It will be lost in new documents unless you modify the default template.

2) If you modify the default template and need to share your workbook, then the person getting the file will get a security warning.... which will likely freak them out.

The other keyboard options require a lot of keystrokes. In addition, if you're pasting from a web page, then Excel and Word will take a long time converting the HTML.

A right click will show the paste options, where you can select the plain text option.

I wish there was a keyboard shortcut built in, but right click seems the best alternative to me.

For an application agnostic solution, consider PureText.

No installer required, it's free and when it runs it will map a new key combination for pasting with no formatting.

Personally I use Win+V.

There's actually an easy way. Just press Alt+E, then S and V. You will get the dialog box much easier, that will certainly save you lots of time.

  • This doesn't work in Office 2010 or later versions. – feetwet Aug 16 '16 at 1:23

The function already exists, it just doesn't have a shortcut out of the box, but you can give it one.

In Word 2007-2013 (maybe earlier, don't remember), you can bind the keyboard shortcut of your choice to commands. In Word 2013 this is in

  • File > Options > Customize Ribbon > then click "Customize..." button at bottom left labeled with "Keyboard shortcuts:".
  • In Categories, select, "All Commands";
  • in Commands, select, "PasteTextOnly".
  • Click in the "Press new shortcut key" textbox, then press the key combination that you want to use to do this command.
  • To bind the shortcut to the command (make it remember / save the new shortcut), click the "Assign" button.

If the key combo is in use, underneath the "current keys" box, it tells you "Currently assigned to: xyz", where xyz is the command that already uses this shortcut. Then you can decide whether or not you want to stick w/your first choice (the shortcut will now invoke PasteTextOnly and no longer invoke xyz) or try to come up with another key combo.

In Word 2007-2013 you must press ALT + CTRL + G, then press T and click Enter key

In Excel, simply press F2 on the cell that you want to paste to, then press CTRL+V.

right click where you want to paste the plain text press the T key

un-formatted text is pasted.

BTW: If you accidentally paste formatted text, select it all and press Ctrl + Space to reset to 'normal' format

To paste both objects and text in Excel, with an option for undo, use

' Custom data type for undoing
    Type SaveRange
        Val As Variant
        Addr As String
    End Type

' Stores info about current selection
    Public OldWorkbook As Workbook
    Public OldSheet As Worksheet
    Public OldSelection() As SaveRange
'----------------------------------------------------------
Sub PasteValues()

' Set shortcut to Cntl+Shift+V, for example
' Works for Outlook and Chrome AND Excel

' Abort if a range isn't selected
    If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub

' The next block of statements
' save the current values for undoing
    ReDim OldSelection(Selection.Count)
    Set OldWorkbook = ActiveWorkbook
    Set OldSheet = ActiveSheet
    i = 0
    For Each cell In Selection
        i = i + 1
        OldSelection(i).Addr = cell.Address
        OldSelection(i).Val = cell.Formula
    Next cell

' Start paste function
    On Error GoTo ValuesFail
    ' Works for Excel and Outlook, but not Chrome
    Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlValues
    ' Specify the Undo Sub
    Application.OnUndo "Undo the macro", "UndoMacro"
    Exit Sub
ValuesFail:
    On Error GoTo TextFail
    ' Works for Outlook and Chrome, but not Excel
    ActiveSheet.PasteSpecial Format:="Text"
    ' Specify the Undo Sub
    Application.OnUndo "Undo the macro", "UndoMacro"
    Exit Sub
TextFail:
    On Error GoTo PasteFail
    ActiveSheet.Paste
    ' Specify the Undo Sub
    Application.OnUndo "Undo the macro", "UndoMacro"
    Exit Sub
PasteFail:
    MsgBox "Complete Failure"
End Sub
'----------------------------------------------------------
Sub UndoMacro()
' Reinstates data in the selected range

' Tell user if a problem occurs
    On Error GoTo Problem

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

' Make sure the correct workbook and sheet are active
    OldWorkbook.Activate
    OldSheet.Activate

' Restore the saved information
    For i = 1 To UBound(OldSelection)
        Range(OldSelection(i).Addr).Formula = OldSelection(i).Val
    Next i
    Exit Sub

' Error handler
Problem:
    MsgBox "Can't undo macro"
End Sub
'----------------------------------------------------------
Sub RevertFile()
' From http://www.excelforum.com/showthread.php?t=491103

    wkname = ActiveWorkbook.Path & "\" & ActiveWorkbook.Name
    ActiveWorkbook.Close Savechanges:=False
    Workbooks.Open Filename:=wkname

End Sub

From https://acquirements.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/excel-paste-special-macro-shortcut-key-for-both-objects-and-text/

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