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Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables.

Sue is running into problems pasting tables into her documents. Often the pasted information (whether from another document or a Web site) will have tiny Roman numerals appear at the left side of the rows or at the right side.

These numerals are actually characters which, in the font being used by Word, appear as the numerals. They may not appear as numerals in the source table, but automatically display in Word when pasted. They are in the source material (what you are copying from) but are not visible because the source material uses different formatting or character mapping than what Word uses.

There are only a few things you can try to get better results when pasting. The first is not use a standard paste operation. Instead, use Paste Special (from the Edit menu) to paste the tables as unformatted text. The table is inserted, but as regular text. Columns are separated by tab characters, so you can easily select what you just pasted and use Table | Convert | Text to Table to create your final table.

If pasting in this manner doesn't do the trick, then there is very little you can do—the source information includes the characters, and you can't instruct Word to ignore those characters when pasting. If the table you are pasting is large enough, you may want to use Find and Replace to get rid of the extraneous characters.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (296) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables.

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