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Microsoft Word's "Pastetext" Macro

Feb 12, 2008
CAUTION: The following is an extremely rare four-part tip, courtesy of professional tip-wrangler, Mr. Modem. Such multi-part tips are rarely encountered in the wild, so please approach with caution.

Introduction: If you frequently copy and paste text and need to remove formatting in the process, you probably click Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text, or paste into NotePad or WordPad.

If you use Microsoft Word, however, you can create a macro (a recorded or memorized sequence of steps) that will automate the process. By using a self-designated keystroke combination, you can then launch the macro or add a macro button to your toolbar so it remains a mouse-click away at all times. I'll explain how to do both. (What a guy!)

Part 1 of 4: Create the PasteText Macro:

This is one of my favorite macros (other than macroni and cheese), so to create the PasteText macro, start by clicking Tools > Macro > Macros.

In the Macro name: field type PasteText and click the Create button.

Where the blinking cursor appears (above "End Sub"), type the following text exactly as it appears here:

Selection.PasteSpecial DataType:=wdPasteText

Click File > Close and return to Microsoft Word

Part 2 of 4: Create Shortcut for PasteText Macro:

Now that we've created our PasteText macro, let's create a keystroke combination to launch the macro. To do this, click Tools > Customize > Commands tab, and click the Keyboard button at the bottom.

On the "Customize Keyboard" screen, under "Categories," scroll down and click Macros. In the Macros area to the right, click to select "PasteText".

Under "Press new shortcut key:" press ALT + U or whatever keystroke combination you would like to use. (Note: Look under "Current Keys" to be sure the keystroke combo you select isn't already being used.)

After entering ALT + U (or your keystroke combination), click Close twice.

Part 3 of 4: Create Toolbar Button to Execute the PasteText Macro:

Instead of deploying a keystroke combination to launch the macro, I prefer a toolbar button. To create one for yourself, click Tools > Customize > Commands tab. Under "Categories," select Macros.

Under "Commands," click to select Normal.NewMacros:PasteText, and while holding down your left mouse button, drag it to the Toolbar where you want your new macro button to appear.

To shorten the macro button's name, right-click it and in the Name: field of the menu that appears, edit the name to something shorter, perhaps something clever, such as "PasteText."

Click the Close button in the Customize dialog box and you're done.

Part 4 of 4: How to Use Your PasteText Macro:

When you copy text from any source and want to paste it unformatted (as text), copy it by highlighting the text and pressing CTRL + C or click Edit > Copy, or right-click and select COPY. Then, instead of pasting it as you normally would, go to your destination location and click your new PasteText toolbar button or deploy your keystroke combination. The copied material will paste in plain text format, sans formatting.

Feel free to shout, "Hallelujah! It's a miracle!" if the spirit moves you.
About the Author
Mr. Modem (MrModem.com) is an author, syndicated columnist, radio host, and publisher of the wildly popular, always entertaining, Pulitzer-lacking weekly "Ask Mr. Modem" computer-help newsletter. Mr. Modem's columns appear in more than 300 publications and each month in "Smart Computing" magazine. Visit MrModem.com for additional information, to view a sample issue, or to subscribe.
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