How to quickly and easily copy formatting in word

If you have an element of text such as character, word, several words, phrase, etc. with some formatting and want to copy this formatting to another element, do the following:

I st method: using Format Painter:

1. Select the text with the formatting to copy.

2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Format Painter button:

Note: If you want to apply that formatting multiple times, double-click the Format Painter button. In standard, the mouse pointer changes to include a paintbrush.

3. Select the text that you would like to change using the selected format.

Notes: To copy the formatting to a single word, just double-click the word. Otherwise, drag over the destination text to format.

If you double-clicked the Format Painter button, continue making selections until you’re done applying the copied formatting. Press Esc or click the Format Painter button again to deactivate it.

II nd method: using shortcuts:

1. Select the text with the formatting to copy.

2. Press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the formatting of the selected text.

3. Select the text to which you want to apply the copied formatting.

4. Press Ctrl+Shift+V to apply the formatting to the selected text.

Note: These methods work for different elements in Word document, but there are some tricks for copy formatting of paragraph and numbering (see how to copy paragraph or numbering format without changing the text format).

How to copy paragraph or numbering format without changing the text format

How to do anything with paragraph format with keyboard

How to show/hide nonprintable symbols in a Word document

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Learn how to highlight separate blocks of text in Word and copy and paste them into another Word document or elsewhere.

Remember the days of highlighting text in books with a bright yellow highlighter? I did that a lot in college. I just wish I could have quickly and easily collected all the highlighted text from a book and pasted it onto pages in my notes.

Well, today you can do that in Word. If you’re reading a long document in Word and highlighting important parts, you can quickly and easily find and select all your highlighted text and copy it.

Today we’ll show you how to find and select highlighted text and how to copy and paste that text without the highlighting into another Word document.

Highlight Text

To highlight text in a Word document, select the text you want to highlight.

By default, the Text Highlight Color button in the Font section on the Home tab highlights the text in yellow when you click it. If you want to use a different color, click the down arrow on the right side of the button. Then, click the color you want.

The color you selected becomes the default color the next time you click the Text Highlight Color button.

Find and Select All Highlighted Text

You can manually copy all highlighted text. Start by selecting the first block of text with the mouse. Then, scroll to the next block of highlighted text and hold down the Ctrl key while you select that. Once you’ve selected all the blocks you want to copy, press Ctrl + C.

You don’t have to highlight each block of text to select multiple blocks, but it makes it easier, as you’ll see.

However, manually selecting separate blocks of text is time-consuming. You can select all highlighted text at once using the Find and Replace tool in Word.

Press Ctrl + H. On the Find and Replace dialog box, click the Find tab. Then, click More.

Click Format and then select Highlight.

Highlight displays as the Format below the Find what box.

To find and select all the highlighted text in the document, click Find In and select Main Document.

Word tells you how many highlighted items it found.

Press Esc or click the X in the upper-right corner of the dialog box to close it.

All your blocks of highlighted text are selected.

Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected text.

Paste the Selected, Highlighted Text into Another Word Document

We’re going to paste our text into a new Word document.

Go to File > New > Blank document to create a new document. Then, press Ctrl + V to paste the copied text.

Each separate block of text is pasted on a new line.

By default, when you paste text you copied from any Word document, or any other program, the formatting automatically comes with it. So the text you just pasted remains highlighted.

If you don’t want to keep the highlighting on the pasted text, you can paste only the text without the formatting.

Instead of pressing Ctrl + V to paste the copied text, click the down arrow on the Paste button in the Clipboard section of the Home tab. Then, click Keep Text Only.

You can also access the Keep Text Only button by clicking the Paste Options button, if you haven’t disabled it. We’ll show you in a bit where you can enable and disable the Paste Options button.

Set Keep Text Only as Default

If you want to always paste text as plain text using Ctrl + V, you can set that as the default action.

Click the down arrow on the Paste button and select Set Default Paste.

Click Advanced in the left pane on the Word Options dialog box. In the Cut, copy, and paste section on the right, select Keep Text Only from any of the first four Pasting drop-down lists. In our example, we’re copying and pasting between Word documents so we select Keep Text Only from the Pasting between documents drop-down list.

As we mentioned, text formatting is left out when pasting as text only. And you also lose images and links.

For explanations of the options available for controlling the formatting when you paste text into Word, see Microsoft’s support article.

Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box. Now you can paste the highlighted text you copied and it won’t be highlighted in the new document.

Paste Your Collected Text Almost Anywhere

You don’t have to paste the copied text into another Word document. You can paste the text into any other program that accepts text, including other word processors (like LibreOffice), text editors, and email programs (like Outlook and Thunderbird).

If you have a set of carefully constructed styles in one document and you want to apply these same styles to other documents. Now you have to import styles from this document to another document. This tutorial will tell you how to import styles from one document to another document in word.

Recommended Productivity Tools for Word

Amazing! Use Efficient Tabs in Word (Office) like Chrome, Firefox and New Internet Explorer!

Step 1: Open the document you want to import style to in Word then click File > Options> Custom Ribbon to add the Developer under the Main Tabs to ribbon. See screenshot:

Step 2. Click Document Template under Develop Tab, there will be a popup dialog, and click Organizer. See screenshot:

Step 3. There will be another popup dialog, click Close File in the right, and the check box will be replace with Open File. See screenshot:

Step 4. Click Open File, and select the file you want to import style from, then click Open.

You can search the file you want according to the format by clicking A, and also can enter the name of the file in File name box to quickly search it.

Step 5. After opening the file you want to import style from, you can select the style of the file in the right box and click Copy, it will copy the style to the left box. See screenshot:


1. Where the arrow point to will be the place import style. And these two files can copy the style from each other. (Press Ctrl+click or Shift + click to select multiple styles)

2. You also can delete or rename the style.

3. There will be a description under the left box when you select a style in the box.

Step 6. After the copy, click Close, the style importing is finished.

When working with data in Excel, you will often format data (such as color the cells or make them bold or give a border), to make these stand out.

And if you have to do this for many cells or range of cells, instead of doing it manually, you can do it once and then copy and paste the formatting.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to copy formatting in Excel. You can easily do it by using the Format painter option, using the Fill handle, or Paste special.

Table of Contents

Copy the Formatting to a Single Cell

We’ll first see how to copy a formatting to a single cell in Excel. Let’s say that you have cell A2 formatted as an accounting number, with red background and white font color.

In Cell C2 we have the plain number without any format.

  1. Select a formatted cell that has the formatting that you want to copy (A2 in our example)
  2. Click on Format Painter in the Home tab. This will change the cursor into a paintbrush with a plus icon
  1. Click on a cell where you want to copy a format (C2)

Whenever you select a cell and choose Format Painter in the toolbar, the mouse cursor turns into a white cross with a brush.

This is how you know that the formatting is copied to the clipboard and you can paste it where you want.

Just the way we copied the formatting from one to another in the same sheet. you can also copy formatting to another sheet or another workbook. Simply select the cell from where you want to copy the formatting, enable format painter, select the sheet/workbook where you want to paste it, and select the cells in the destination sheet.

With Format Painter, you can easily copy the following formatting:

  • Cell background-color
  • Font size and color
  • Font (including number format)
  • Font characteristics (bold, italics, underline)
  • Text alignment and orientation
  • Cell borders (type, size, color)
  • Custom Number Formatting
  • Conditional Formatting

Personally. I find it a huge time saver to copy conditional formatting from one cell to another in the same sheet or other sheets. Excel is smart enough to adjust the rules in conditional formatting in case you’re using custom formulas.

Copy the Formatting to a Range of Cells

Just like you can copy the formatting from one cell to another cell, you can also copy it to a range of cells.

In this case, you need to select a range of cells on which you want to apply the format painter.

Suppose you have a dataset as shown below where you want to copy the formatting from cell A2 to the range of cells in C2:C7

  1. Select a formatted cell (A2)
  2. Click on Format Painter in the Home tab
  3. Select a range of cells where you want to copy a format (C2:C7)

As a result, the format from A2 is copied to the selected range.

PRO TIP: When you click on the Format Paint icon, it allows you to format a cell or range of cells only once. Once you’re done, it’s disabled. So if you want to copy formatting to two ranges of cells, you will have to enable format painter twice. Alternatively, when you double-click on the Format Paint icon, it remains enabled and you can copy formatting to multiple cells or ranges.

Copy the Formatting Using Paste Special

When you copy and paste cells in Excel, you noticed that there are usually multiple paste options, such as: Paste text, Paste values, etc.

One of these options is Paste formatting.

This allows you to copy only the formatting from cells to cells.

  1. Select and right-click a cell from which you want to copy the formatting (A2)
  2. Click Copy (or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C).
  1. Select a range of cells to which you want to copy the formatting (C2:C7);
  2. Right-click anywhere in the selected range;
  3. Click the arrow next to Paste Special;
  4. Choose the icon for formatting.

The result is the same as using the Format painter.

You can also notice that all formatting that you copied by Format painter is also copied using the Paste special option.

Just like format painter, you can also use the Paste Special technique to paste formatting on the cells or range of cells in the same sheet or other sheet/workbook.

Pro Tip: If you have to copy the formatting from a cell to multiple cells that are scattered through the worksheet, you can use the paste special technique to copy formatting to one cell, and then repeat the process by using the F4 key. So copy the formatting once, then select another cell and press F4, and it will repeat your last action (which was to paste the formatting).

Copy the Formatting Using the Fill Handle

As you probably already know, the fill handle is the little black cross that appears when you position a cursor in the right bottom corner of the cell (as shown below).

This cursor allows you to copy a cell (or range of cells) down the rows.

Apart from copying the cell values, the fill handle also allows you to copy the formatting.

Let’s say that you have a list of numbers in column A, where the first value in the list (A2) is formatted, while other values (A3:A7) are not formatted at all.

What I want is to copy the formatting from cell A2 to all the cells below it.

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Position the cursor in the right bottom corner of a cell from which you want to copy the formatting (A2) until the black cross (fill handle) appears;
  1. Drag the fill handle down to the end of the range which we want to format (A7). If you want to copy the cell to the end of the range (until the first blank cell in the range), just double-click the fill handle.
  1. When you drop the cursor, by default both value and formatting will be copied to the range. Now, you need to click on the AutoFill Options icon next to the end of the range and choose Fill Formatting Only.

Now, you can see that values are not changed, while the formatting is copied to the whole range.

While I have shown how to use the Fill Handle to copy formatting for one column only, you can use it the same way for the data in a row of data that spans across multiple rows and columns.

One drawback of using the fill handle is that your data needs to be in the same column or row where you have the cell from which you are copying the formatting. This also means that you cannot use this method to copy the formatting to cells or range of cells that are in another sheet or workbook.

So these are some of the methods you can use to copy formatting from one cell to another cell or range of cells in Excel.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

Other Excel tutorials you may also like:

Import Linked or Unlinked Excel Worksheet Data into Word Files

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated February 1, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft ® Excel ® and Word ® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or 365 (Windows)

You can easily copy or import Excel worksheet data into Word documents. When you import from an Excel file, you can choose to import linked or unlinked data. If it’s linked, you will be able to update, change and remove the links.

The following are three easy ways to import Excel data into Word by copying and pasting:

  1. Copy the data in the Excel file, switch to the Word document and then paste the data where you want it to appear as a static copy.
  2. Import the Excel data into the Word document as a linked OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) object so that when the Excel file changes, the Word document will update as well.
  3. Create links to the Excel data in a Word table so that when the Excel file changes, the table will update.

If you choose the second or third method, you will need to ensure that the Excel file remains in the same location with the same name or manage the link(s) using Edit Links.

Do you want to learn more about Microsoft Word? Check out our virtual classroom or live classroom Word courses >

Inserting unlinked Excel data

You can easily copy data from Excel and paste it into a Word document. Use this method if you do not need to update the Word file when the Excel data changes.

To insert unlinked Excel data into Word:

  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Select the data you want to copy into the Word file.
  3. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and select Copy from the drop-down menu.
  4. Open the Word file.
  5. Position the insertion point where you want the Excel data to appear.
  6. Press Ctrl + V or right-click and choose Paste Values from the drop-down menu.

With this method, the Excel data will be copied into Word as a table and the Word file will not update when the Excel file changes. Because the data is pasted into a table, you can use Word’s table tools to format it and the file will be smaller because the data is not linked.

Inserting Excel data as a linked OLE object

You can insert an OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) object when you want to insert a linked copy of Excel data. However, one of the problems with this method is that the OLE object is like a picture of the cells and you would need to format the data in Excel to appear the way you want in the Word file.

To insert Excel data into Word as a linked OLE object:

  1. Open the Excel source workbook.
  2. Select the data you want to place in the Word file.
  3. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and choose Copy from the drop-down menu.
  4. Open the Word destination document.
  5. Position the insertion point where you want the linked Excel data to appear.
  6. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and select the arrow below Paste. A drop-down menu appears.
  7. Select Paste Special. A dialog box will appear.
  8. Click Paste Link.
  9. Under As, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.
  10. Click OK.

Note the Paste link option on the left of the Paste Special dialog box:

You can double-click an OLE object to jump to the source Excel file.

Inserting linked Excel data into a Word table

You can insert Excel data as a table in Word where each cell is linked to the Excel data source. This is a great method because you can maintain links but format the data the way you want in Word.

To insert linked Excel data into a Word table:

  1. Open the Excel source workbook.
  2. Select the data you want to place in the Word file.
  3. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and choose Copy from the drop-down menu.
  4. Open the Word destination document.
  5. Position the insertion point where you want the linked Excel data to appear.
  6. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and select the arrow below Paste. A drop-down menu appears.
  7. Select Paste Special. A dialog box will appear.
  8. Click Paste Link.
  9. Under As, select HTML Format.
  10. Click OK.

HTML format is selected by default in the Paste Special dialog box:

Click in the table in the Word document. As long as Field Shading When Selected is set in Word Options, each cell will appear with gray shading indicating that it is a field linked to Excel. You can format the table in Word.

Updating or managing links

One of the benefits of linking data is that information in a destination document updates when you change information in the source document. This typically occurs automatically if both documents are open. However, if you open a Word document with links and the Excel file is not open, Word should prompt you to update the links. You may also need to update links yourself or re-establish a link if the original Excel file has been moved or renamed.

To update or manage links:

  1. Right-click a linked object or HTML table. A drop-down menu appears.
  2. Choose Linked Worksheet Object and then Edit Links. A dialog box appears.
  3. Under Update method for selected link, Automatic update is selected by default. You can choose Manual update if you do not want the data to update automatically. You would then need to click the link and click Update Now to update.
  4. Make any other changes (such as breaking a link of changing the source for a link).
  5. Click OK.

The Links dialog box below displays one link:

It’s not difficult to import Excel data into Word. Typically, the biggest issue occurs when other users move or rename the source Excel file but this can be managed using Edit Links and changing the source.

This article was first published on March 13, 2016 and has been updated for clarity and content.

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For experienced Office users and newbies alike

Chances are, you either use Microsoft Word now, or may have to use it in the future. It’s easily the most popular word processor for Windows, so learning some useful Microsoft Word tips to take advantage of could really help to improve your productivity and speed up your work.

Regardless of whether you’re new to Microsoft Word or have been using it for years, we hope that at least some of the tips mentioned below will be useful for you.

Paste Without Formatting

If you need to copy something from elsewhere but don’t want the font to change from what you’re currently using in your Word document, copy it like usual, but then press Ctrl+Shift+V. Doing this will ensure that the contents get pasted but any formatting, such as text color, size, and font, will not be included.

Clear Formatting

If you want to clear the formatting of a specific part of your document, simply highlight that area and click the Clear Formatting icon. The icon will look like a small eraser next to the letter A.

If you would like to clear the formatting on everything in your document, press Ctrl+A to highlight everything in the document and then click the clear formatting icon.

Highlight an Area Of Text Quickly

Instead of clicking and dragging to highlight an area of text in Microsoft Word, you can instead click once to place the text cursor at the start of the area you’d like to highlight, hold shift, then click at the end of the area you’d like to highlight.

Quickly Replace Multiple Mistakes

Have you just finished a lengthy document and just noticed you made a small mistake for a word, for example, writing land mark, instead of landmark? You can fix this within a few seconds by using find and replace.

First, press Ctrl+F and the find and replace tool will open. Next, click on Replace, then type in the word or phrase you want to replace. After, type the contents you’d like it be replaced by.

Quickly Copy And Create Lists

Let’s say you need to go through a document and pick out certain words/phrases and create a list from them.

Instead of going back and forth, writing each item onto the list each time you see a word, you can simply highlight each word and press CTRL + F3. You can do this multiple times until you have found each word/phrase.

Once you are finished, go to the area in the document you’d like the list to be created and press Ctrl + SHIFT + F3 to paste all of the highlighted areas you’ve just copied. This feature is known as Spike in Word.

As a final step, you can then highlight the contents and use the bullets or numbering tools in the toolbar to turn the words/phrases into a more ordered list.

Remove the Toolbar Ribbon

If you want distraction-free writing, you can remove the toolbar ribbon that sits at the top of your document by pressing Ctrl + F1. If you need it back at any point, you can press Ctrl + F1 again to bring it back into view.

Delete Words With One Key Press

Need to delete a big chunk of text? Instead of holding down the backspace bar, you can instead hold CTRL and then press BACKSPACE.

Doing this will delete one word each time you press the backspace button, instead of just one character. Hold down the backspace button and the ctrl button together to delete chunks of text at lightning speed.

Use ‘Tell Me What You Want to Do’

If you are trying to find a function on Microsoft Word but are struggling to navigate the menus or can’t remember the shortcut, click the ‘Tell me what to do’ shortcut at the top of the toolbar ribbon.

From here, you can type in the action you’d like to perform and you’ll get contextual answers to take advantage of. For example, typing ‘create a table’ will give you some options for creating a table from within your Word document.

This tool is something that many old school Word users may not even know exists, but it’s incredibly useful.

Quickly Lookup a Word

If you are editing a Word document but need context, you can use the Smart Lookup tool. Simply highlight a word, right click and click Smart Lookup.

Doing this will open a small panel that contains information relating to the word. It saves moving to your browser and performing a search, but it’s just as powerful as doing so.

Disable Spelling and Grammar Check

Firstly, it’s common knowledge that you can right click a word with a spelling error and click ‘Add to Dictionary’. This is useful if you are using abbreviations or fictional words. You can also turn off spelling and grammar check completely to remove those pesky red and green lines.

To disable spelling and grammar check in Word for only one document, click File, then Options, then click Proofing. You must then tick the two options for hiding spelling and grammar mistakes in the document you are currently writing in.

Create Your Own AutoCorrect Settings

Have some words that you just can’t spell right? Or, are there long words or phrases you write very often? You can use custom AutoCorrect settings to make your life far easier.

Simply click File, then Options, then click on Proofing. After that, click on AutoCorrect Options. You can then add your own custom words and then the correction you’d like it to be replaced with. Custom AutoCorrect can be an excellent way to increase your productivity.

Not only can you use it to adjust any common personal spelling mistakes, but you can use it to turn quick abbreviations into long words or phrases to save time.

Change the Page Color For Easy Viewing

It has become the universal standard for the color of a text document to be bright white. At times, this can become quite the strain on your eyes. To change the page color to sepia, which has a darker yellow hue, click on the ‘tell me what to do’ box, then type ‘change page color’.

In the results, click Page Color and you’ll have a number of options to choose from, including Sepia, which is far easier on the eyes.


Did you know any of the Microsoft Word tips we’ve mentioned in this article? If not, which ones do you think will be the most useful to you? Let me know, and feel free to share your own Microsoft Word tips in the comments below. Enjoy!

Ollie stumbled upon writing online whilst participating in a mobile network forum back in 2011. Since then, he has developed an incredible passion for writing about all sorts of tech from smartphones, PC hardware, software, and everything in between. Read Ollie’s Full Bio

Remember the first time you realized you didn’t have to click on the Edit dropdown on your computer and select Copy or Cut and then go back to the Edit dropdown again and then scroll down to Paste just to put some text from one place into another spot?

Okay, you probably don’t, and I’d be lying if I said I did. But I’d venture to say that keyboard shortcuts are life changing—and all that mouse work is really unnecessary.

Hitting Command + C has become such an ingrained habit that now when I notice anyone doing otherwise it really throws me off. And makes me want to swoop in like Captain Keyboard with this amazing timesaving tidbit: “Did you know you don’t have to click anything? Let me show you!”

Well if you’ve already mastered the basics, the next step on that road to laziness, I mean efficiency, is pasting text to match the formatting of its destination. That way, it integrates seamlessly into whatever it is you’re working on. Read: You won’t have to then change the font, size, color, spacing, or anything else you’ve already set for the rest of the text.

How it Works

Let’s start with Macs, because it’s easier. Instead of Command + V, hit Command + Option + Shift + V. It’s a lot of keys at once, but it’ll quickly become second nature. Technically, you can also go to Edit and scroll down to Paste and Match Formatting or Paste and Match Style, but who wants to go back to that much mouse clicking?

On a PC, there’s not a catch-all shortcut that’ll work across every application. But, for example, in Chrome and Firefox, you can use Control + Shift + V. And in Office, you can click on the little Paste Options button that appears next to the pasted text and hit Match Destination Formatting (which will still keep bold and italics) or Keep Text Only—and you can set one of those as the default way to paste.

Other applications might have their own solutions or allow you to use some sort of outside program or extension to achieve similar results. So while it might take a little more time to figure out the best shortcuts in your favorite applications, you can still put in some work upfront to avoid adjusting the formatting every time you paste.

Whether you spend your day writing articles, creating presentation decks, or even just keeping up with your inbox, this quick trick will save you a few seconds here and there. Which translates into minutes and hours in the long run. So go on, try it. You’ll never have to waste time reformatting text that could reformat itself again.

Introduction: Quick Formatting With Notepad and Word

If you copy and paste from the web, you frequently get a bunch of garbage and some bad formatting. The same can be true with PDFs and other such documents, and formatting each individual item is aggravating to say the least. When I was working on a project to organize and format questionnaires for a clinical psych lab, I ran into a lot of issues when it came to copying and pasting. I’m sure some people already know these tips and perhaps take for granted that not everyone knows how to do this, so this is for people who struggle with formatting and want an easier solution than painstakingly editing each line.

This Instructable shows to quickly format copied text for reuse on the web, for an email, or for a document using Notepad and Word (2003). Here is the source used in this example.

If you want to more clearly see the process, click on the “i” on each image and view the original size.

Step 1: Copy and Paste Into Notepad

Copy and paste the text into Notepad.

Further Explanation:

  • Open Notepad and the application/document containing the text you would like to format.
  • Highlight the text and hit the CTRL button and the C button at the same time.
  • Open the Notepad window and click on the white space.
  • Hit the CTRL button and the V button at the same time.

Step 2: Copy and Paste Into Word

Note: This will help give you the raw text without the hidden formatting such as URLs.

Further Explanation:

  • Open Word and the Notepad screen.
  • Highlight the text and hit the CTRL button and the C button at the same time.
  • Open the Word window and click on the blank document.
  • Hit the CTRL button and the V button at the same time.

Step 3: Removing Bullets and Numbering

Bullets and numbers (or really any sort of weird spaces or characters) usually have a rhythm to them, and you can remove these bullets/numbers using the rhythm to your advantage with the Replace function in Word. Once the bullets/numbers are removed, you can quickly go back through the text and add them again using the usual methods.

Copy the bullets/numbering plus any symbols and spaces that appear before each line of text.

Go to Edit->Replace (or hit CTRL+H).

Paste into the “Find What:” box.

Click on More->Special->Any Character or type in “^?”.

Replace ^? for any numbers or recurring characters.

Leave the “Replace with:” box empty unless you are wanting to substitute for a character, format character, or text.

Hit Replace All and click Yes in the next box.

Repeat the process for double digit numbers by adding another “^?” next to the other.

Repeat once more for triple digit numbers if they exist.

At this point, you can add the bullets/numbering back using Format->Bullets and Numbering.

Step 4: Adding/Removing Paragraph Marks

After every return for a line of text, there is a hidden paragraph mark. You can use this to add or remove paragraphs/returns. You can add extra paragraph marks/returns, or you can delete excess paragraph marks/returns.

For Adding Paragraph Marks:

  • Go to Special->Paragraph Mark or type “^p” into the “Find What:” box.
  • Type “^p^p” into the “Replace with:” box.
  • Click Replace All and Yes.

For Removing Paragraph Marks:

  • Type “^p^p^p” into the “Find What:” box and “^p^p” into the “Replace with:” box.
  • Click Replace All and Yes.
  • Repeat until the replacements is 0.

Step 5: Regional Formatting

Sometimes you only want to remove or add formatting to a particular portion of a text, or you may only want to work on a portion of the text at a time such as when you want to remove paragraph marks/returns to one portion but not to the entire document.

Highlight a portion of text you would like to format differently than the rest or separately from the rest.

Enter your “Find what:” and “Replace with:” text, characters, or formatting characters.

Click “Replace All” and then “No”.

Note: If you click “Yes”, the replacements will be made throughout the document which would defeat the purpose of selective editing.

Step 6: Swapping Out Formatting for HTML Code

You can also use characters or formatting characters to insert HTML code. In this example, I will be adding line breaks for every paragraph mark.

Type “^p” into the “Find what:” box and ” ^p” (minus the spaces) into the “Replace with:” box.

Click Replace All and Yes.

Step 7: Copy Back Into Notepad for Web Applications

Copy the text in Word and Paste it into Notepad.

Copy the text in Notepad and Paste into the application you intend to use for publishing if other than Word.

Step 8: Formatting by Hand

Not everything can be done by replacement. You will need to format by hand or edit portions individually.

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Easy tricks for formatting list numbers and bullets in Word

Easy tricks for formatting list numbers and bullets in Word

Don’t let selection woes get in the way of formatting just the numbers and bullets in a list. Here are two simple (but non-intuitive) ways to handle the task.

A quick click is all it takes to create a numbered or bulleted list in a Word document. Select the text and click a button — it couldn’t be simpler. What isn’t so simple is applying a format to just the numbers or bullets in the resulting list, unless you know how to select the numbers or bullets.
Selecting just the numbers of bullets isn’t difficult, it just isn’t intuitive. Normally, you drag to highlight text. You can’t drag across the numbers of bullets in a list. Instead, simply click any number or bullet in the list to highlight all of the numbers or bullets in the list.

Once you do, you can apply a font format as you normally would. (Word will extend the format to new items.) As you can see in the following figure, I’ve changed the color and font for just the numbers.

The previous technique formats all of the numbers or bullets in a list. However, you might want to format one or even several, but not all of them. Selecting individual numbers or bullets is next to impossible. The trick to this formatting task is to format each item’s end-of-paragraph marker. Word will apply any formatting that you apply to the end-of-paragraph marker to that item’s number or bullet, but not to the text.
First, you should display the markers by clicking the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar. (The icon looks like a backward P.) Once you can see the markers, they’re easy to select. Just select the marker at the end of the item you want to format. Or select multiple markers by holding down the [Ctrl] key as you select each marker. After selecting the marker(s), apply font formats as you normally would.

It’s worth nothing that formats applied to the entire list take precedence over formats applied via the end-of-paragraph marker.

Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She’s been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business. Read more.

Word has a handy feature that automatically formats what you type, as you type it. This includes changing quotes to Smart Quotes, automatically creating bulleted and numbered lists, and creating hyperlinks from web addresses. However, what if you have an existing document you want to automatically format?

The AutoFormat feature in Word not only works on text as you type it, but it’s also available on demand to format an entire existing document. This is useful if you get a document from someone else that needs a lot little formatting touch-ups. Notice in the image above that the web and email addresses are not formatted as hyperlinks and the list of two items is not formatted as a numbered list. We’ll show you how to set up Word so you can easily change formatting in an entire document with a few clicks.

Word’s AutoFormat tool is not available on any of the ribbon tabs. Therefore, we need to add it to the “Quick Access Toolbar” to use it. Click the down arrow on the right side of the “Quick Access Toolbar” and select “More Commands” from the drop-down menu.

The “Quick Access Toolbar” screen displays on the “Word Options” dialog box. Select “Commands Not in the Ribbon” from the “Choose commands from” drop-down list.

Scroll down in the list below the “Choose commands from” drop-down list until you find the AutoFormat commands. Select “AutoFormat…” and click “Add.”

NOTE: The “AutoFormat…” command is the one that brings up the “AutoFormat” dialog box so you can change settings before applying automatic formatting to your document. You can also add the “AutoFormat Now” command if you know the settings are the way you like them and you just want to apply the automatic formatting immediately. For this example, we want to access the “AutoFormat” dialog box from the “Quick Access Toolbar.”

The “AutoFormat…” command is added to the list on the right side of the dialog box. Use the arrow buttons to the right of the list to move the “AutoFormat…” command to a different location on the “Quick Access Toolbar.”

Click “OK” on the “Word Options” toolbar to close it.

Now, the AutoFormat feature is available on the “Quick Access Toolbar.” Click the “AutoFormat Dialog” button on the toolbar.

The “AutoFormat” dialog box displays. You can choose to automatically format everything in the document at once (“AutoFormat now”) or to review each change as Word encounters them (“AutoFormat and review each change”).

You can also specify the type of document (“General document,” “Letter,” or “Email”) to make it easier for Word to apply the automatic formatting process accurately.

There are additional options you can set to determine what Word changes when it automatically formats the document. Click “Options…” to access these settings.

The “AutoFormat” tab on the “AutoCorrect” dialog box displays. Select the items you want Word to format automatically. Click “OK.”

You are returned to the “AutoFormat” dialog box. Click “OK” to begin the automatic formatting process.

Notice, in our example, that the web and email links are now formatted hyperlinks and the list became a formatted numbered list.

Note that it’s very unlikely that the AutoFormat feature will catch all the formatting changes needed in your document. Every document is different, and you should review the document after applying the automatic formatting to see if there are any other formatting changes you need to apply manually.

If you use forms at work, you’ll love the convenience of interactive or fillable forms in Microsoft Word. Forms that you can fill out make gathering information easy.

Form templates for Word make it easier to create forms that are both attractive and functional.

With a fillable form, all you’ve got to do is create a form in Word. Then you can use it over and over again. There’s nothing to print, so interactive forms are good for both your budget and the environment.

If you want a fillable form that also looks good, then begin with a template in Word. Form templates for Microsoft Word are available in Envato Elements and GraphicRiver.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a fillable form in Word, so you can reap all the benefits of an interactive form.

Find Great Form Templates on Elements

Fillable forms in Word have a variety of uses. Human resources use forms to capture employee and consultant information. Organizations use forms to register members, students, or clients. You also use forms to take orders for your products and services. Those are only a few examples of how useful fillable forms are.

Ideally, you want your Microsoft Word forms to be consistent with your branding. Well-designed forms reflect your credibility and professionalism. That’s why you want to avoid generic-looking forms. Want to know how to make a fillable form in Word that’s aligned with your visual brand?

Get unlimited downloads of Word templates and other creative assets with a subscription to Envato Elements.

The easiest way is by using templates for Word with pre-built tables or forms. One awesome source for Word templates is Envato Elements. Elements has an irresistible offer: for one low monthly fee, you get unlimited downloads of the millions of creative assets in its library. These include:

  • Word templates
  • fonts
  • graphics
  • photos
  • and more

Whatever you need to make your forms look as good as possible, you can find in Elements.

If you need to create only one form, then a better source for Word templates is GraphicRiver. It’s got the same massive library of creative assets but on a pay-per-use basis. For the one-off project in Word, GraphicRiver is a terrific and budget-friendly option.

How to Create Fillable Forms in Word

You may be wondering, “How do I make a fillable form in Word?” Let me take you step-by-step through how to create a fillable form in Word.

Note: In the following tutorial, I’m using Microsoft Word for Mac version 16.48. If you’re using a different version, then the steps and interface may be different. But these steps should still be helpful for you.

1. Show the Developer Tab

As a first step, make sure that the Developer tab is showing up for you. This may be hidden by default. If you don’t see the Developer tab, follow these steps:

Go to Word > Preferences.

The Word Preferences menu opens. Click on the Ribbon & Toolbar button.

The Ribbon & Toolbar menu pops up. Under Main Tabs, scroll down and check Developer. Click Save.

The Developer tab should now be visible.

2. Determine the Layout and Structure of the Form

The next step is to determine the layout and structure of the fillable form. This will depend on what information you want to capture. You may want to sketch this on a sheet of paper first.

When you know what the form will look like, create a table in Word. By creating your form as a table in Word, it’ll be easier for you to keep things aligned and organized. The cells of the table are the form fields. Keep this in mind as you create your interactive form. This tutorial shows you the steps for how to make a table in Word:

When you’re experimenting with layouts in Microsoft Word, it helps to have words already in the document to play with. To achieve this, some people like to edit an existing document or type out some basic sentences themselves. However, there’s a very easy-to-use feature within Microsoft Word that allows you to generate sample text within the software itself with ease.

Using Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum should be very familiar for those in the design world! While it may look like a proper language, it’s actually a scrambled version of “De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum,” which itself is Latin. It makes for a great way to generate dummy text to present and demonstrate layouts with.

In order to add a block of Lorem Ipsum text into your word document, type =lorem() into a document, then press enter.

Word will automatically generate some Lorem Ipsum text for you.

Why Use Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum may look strange, but it’s widely used in the design world for a good reason. When presenting a proposed layout to a client, the designer wants them to judge how the document looks, rather than what the content says. Tricks such as copy-pasting the words “Content here” or adding random English sentences can have a subtle effect on someone reading it, despite the fact the focus is supposed to be on the layout. By using Lorem Ipsum, you can help keep the focus on the formatting rather than the content.

Using Random Word Help Text

If you type =rand() and press enter, Word will add text that talks about some of the features that Word has.

This produces a nice variety of English words that don’t get repetitive. These paragraphs each cover a different topic, so if you’d like to experiment with sections and headers, this option provides some clearly defined segments for you to work with.

Using a Single Repeated Sentence

Word also still contains support for its older rand() function which was very basic in its design. To use it, simply type =rand.old() into a document and press Enter.

The end result is the phrase “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” repeated over and over. This is ideal if you want to do a test of every letter in your formatting to ensure your font selection is ideal.

Customising the Dummy Text

You’ll notice that each of these commands has two brackets at the end of it. We can put two variables in these brackets to better customise the dummy text that appears and make it suit the use case we’re using it for.

When invoking a command you have two variables you can set: the number of total paragraphs generated and the amount of lines contained in each paragraph. To use them, simply type the numbers in the bracket separated by a comma. Enter the number of paragraphs you want first, then the number of lines in each paragraph second. For example, let’s say we want four paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum, and each paragraph to contain 3 lines of text. We type =lorem(4,3) into the document and hit Enter.

Word generates the correct amount of Lorem Ipsum based on the paragraphs and lines we asked it to make.

If you’re making dummy text for a large main document, you can use this option to generate a lot of content to fill it. If you’re tweaking the formatting for individual parts (such as in a resumé design), you can alter the amount of text shown depending on how long you feel each section should be.

Generators Outside of Word

While Word comes with its own generators, there are plenty of resources online you can use for more specific dummy text generation.

Blind Text Generator

The Blind Text Generator has a lot of options for generating dummy text. It has the typical Lorem Ipsum option but also comes with options for English prose, other languages, and a mix of pangrams. There’s even an option that dumps all letters in both cases and a selection of symbols, which is ideal for testing a font choice.


Lipsum is a generator dedicated to Lorem Ipsum. It contains a little history on why designers use it and provides a generator for your own use. You can customise how many paragraphs or words it generates, set them in a bullet-point list format for format testing, and even generate text at a specific file size.

Dummy Text Generator

The Dummy Text Generator is a great way of testing document layouts. You can choose between Lorem Ipsum and random English words depending on what you’d prefer. You can tell the generator to add headings and randomly bolded and italicised text, so if you’re designing a document that contains these, this is a great tool to see how they’d look in your layout.

No Longer A Dummy

If you’re looking to add dummy text to a Word document, there’s several ways to do it. Now you know how to do the quick and easy Word options as well as some more specialised and efficient variants on the Internet.

Do you use dummy text a lot in your work? Let us know below!

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Microsoft Word 101: A quick look at formatting styles

Microsoft Word 101: A quick look at formatting styles

Using Word styles will help you work more efficiently and create consistent documents that are easy to maintain and modify.

There are two ways to format a Word document. You can apply formatting directly or apply styles. Using direct formatting, you select the text and click all the different formatting options. Using styles, you select the text and choose a style – it’s much more efficient! A style is a set of formatting attributes.

If you’re working with a short simple document, direct formatting is fine, but the process is tedious in a long document, or when applying the same formats repeatedly. Direct formatting is also error prone – it’s easy to click the wrong option. In contrast, you can apply a number of formats quickly by choosing a single style. If you want to change something, modify the style and Word will update each occurrence of the style, accordingly.

Efficiency and consistency are the main reasons you’ll want to work with styles, but there’s a bonus. Word uses its built-in styles with several features. For instance, Word can generate a table of contents based on the built-in heading styles. Word’s outline feature, useful with long documents, also uses built-in heading styles.

Word styles come in four types:

  • You’ll use character styles to determine the look of a document’s text. Character styles apply to individual characters and words.
  • Paragraph styles also applies to standard text, but format an entire paragraph.
  • Table styles determine the look of tables.
  • List styles determine the look of lists, including bullet style, indentation, and so on.

Even if you think you don’t need or want to use styles, you already are. The includes several. When you enter text, Word automatically applies the Normal style. Open a blank document and press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+s to launch the Apply Styles pane, and click the Style Name dropdown to see a complete list. (Different templates can have the same styles or use the same style names, even if the attributes are different.)

Apply a style

Applying a style is a simple task. Select the text and choose a style from Quick Styles or the Styles gallery. To see the gallery click the Quick Styles dropdown. If you want more control, click the Styles group’s dialog launcher to display the Styles pane. You can also press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+s to display the Apply Styles pane to choose a style. In Word 2003, choose a style from the Styles dropdown or choose Style from the Format menu. (If you miss the Styles dropdown from the pre-ribbon versions, add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.)

Applying a style is the same as directly applying a format – select want you want to format and choose a style, the same way you would choose a single format from the Font or Paragraph groups on the Home tab.

Create a style

Word’s pre-defined styles might be adequate, but you can create your own to achieve just the results that you need. Perhaps the easiest way to create a new style is to use direct formatting to apply all the attributes and then, do the following:

  1. Right-click the formatted text and choose Styles.
  2. Word will display the Styles gallery. Choose the Save Selection As A New Quick Style option below the gallery options. If the Styles pane is open, you can click the New Style option (bottom left of the pane).
  3. Enter a name for the new style and click OK.

Now you can choose the new style from the Quick Styles or the Styles gallery, as you would any of the pre-defined styles.

Control updates

Along with the ease of use, comes a bit of confusion. Word likes to update a style based on additional formatting. When you add a format, Word adds that new format to the applied style. That behavior can be a problem, but you can control it as follows:

  1. Launch the Styles dialog and find the style.
  2. Choose Modify from the style’s dropdown.
  3. Uncheck the Automatically Update option.

Don’t forget that you can press [Ctrl]+z to cancel a style update instead of changing this option-that lets you retain the update capability, but choose when you apply it. Knowing why Word updates styles and how to opt out of that behavior, will make working with styles much easier.

Replace a style

After formatting a document, you might decide that you like another style better than one you’ve used. Depending on the length and complexity of the document, that could mean a lot of work if you try to make all those changes individually. Fortunately, you can use Word’s Replace feature to switch one style for another, which is another great reason to use the feature. To replace one style with another, do the following:

  1. Launch the Find and Replace dialog by clicking Replace in the Editing group on the Home tab. In Word 2003, choose Replace from the Edit menu. Or, press [Ctrl]+h.
  2. Click More (if necessary-if the button displays Less, these options are already visible).
  3. Click inside the Find What box and click Format.
  4. Select Style.
  5. Choose the heading you want to replace and click OK. Word will display the selected style beneath the control.
  6. Click in the Replace With box and click Format.
  7. Select Style.
  8. Choose the replacement heading and click OK. Word will display the selected style beneath the control.
  9. Click Replace All and then OK.
  10. Click Close.

Getting started

You won’t learn everything you need to know about styles from this quick primer. Instead, this is a place to start. Once you know the basics, you can create a more consistent looking document more efficiently. In addition, you can maintain your choices and make changes much easier.