I find it really annoying that when I copy text that looks good in Adobe Reader into Word, the sentences which are left-aligned by default won't change accordingly when I press 'Justify'. The only way I could get the result I need is to press back-spaces and Delete key to align the right border. Why is this?

Here's an example from the Word document. The text is right- and center-aligning perfectly but Justify does not seem to work.

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It looks like the text has been pasted with carriage returns at the end of each line.

This would probably happen even if you did a paste-special and only kept the text.

I think the best you can do is select the text once pasted, then do a search-replace. To search for a carriage return, use


So that is the carat symbol on shift-6 on a US keyboard, and when combined with p means carriage return. Replace this with a single space to remove the line breaks.

  • Thanks but it does not seem to be the issue. It says there are no ^p's in the text. – Uday Kanth Apr 14 '12 at 9:57
  • @UdayKanth Must be something else, can you turn on "Display all formatting marks" which is in Tools / Options / Display in most versions of word. Then take another screenshot with the formatting marks enabled? – Paul Apr 14 '12 at 10:01
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    Just on the off chance you got the ^p bit wrong try it this way - go to find & replace - select special - select paragraph mark - stick a space in the replace with box - click replace all. I think Paul was right - it's almost certainly paragraph marks. – BJ292 Apr 14 '12 at 10:06
  • @BJ292 Thanks for that! It worked! I wonder what made the difference between manually typing ^p and choosing it from the list. – Uday Kanth Apr 14 '12 at 10:11
  • @BJ292 - that also removes all the paragraphs from the text. options are to select each paragraph or insert a special symbol like eg @#$ before each paragraph, and after justification, replace this with the paragraph mark – kicker86 Dec 25 '13 at 11:06

Okay so I spent hours trying to figure this out, and the explanation given, is correct but it didn't make sense initially. So what you have to do in order to fix this problem is:

Once you copy and paste from the PDF document, it doesn't really matter what type of paste you use, it will still keep the same formatting.

So once you paste it, invisibly embedded into the document are many of these characters ^p at the end of every sentence. So you will have to do a search for ^p and replace it with nothing.

Once you do this, your document will become lose its format and you will have to fix it manually. At this point the 'Justify' function will work and you are good to go!



The easier way, since the one given here still demands some corrections of some words that end up stuck together, is to copy the text from the pdf file, paste it in google search box, and then copy that one and paste it on your word file. basically the pasting in the search box clears the formatting of the original text.


The simple solution.. that works for me:

  • Ctrl+V/Paste
  • Choose -> Merge Formatting

And if you want to have this option for every time you Paste something:

  • go to File -> Options -> Advanced -> search the sectione ”Cut, copy, and paste” -> change all pasting options to ”Merge Formatting”

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