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: Differences between Deleting, Clearing, and Cutting.

Differences between Deleting, Clearing, and Cutting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 26, 2016)

In most books you read about Word, and even in the Word documentation, you will see the terms delete, clear, and cut, each of which refers to an action you can do with text. These words are almost interchangeable, but there are subtle differences.

  • Delete means to remove text or another element from your document by pressing the Del key. This is analogous to clearing.
  • Clear means to remove text or another element from your document without saving it in the Clipboard. This is typically done with the Del or Backspace key.
  • Cut means to remove text or another element from your document and save it in the Clipboard. This is accomplished by using the Ctrl+X shortcut key or by choosing Cut from the Edit menu.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5) 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: Differences between Deleting, Clearing, and Cutting.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height

If the line spacing in a paragraph appears uneven it may result of the combination of a larger character or object pasted ...

Discover More

Adding Quoted Words to an Index

It is not unusual to need to convert one notation in a document into another entirely different notation. For instance, ...

Discover More

Exactly Positioning Text

If you need to control exactly where text will appear on the page or relative to other text, you need to know about the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Capitalizing the Word "I"

The first-person, singular pronoun "I" should always be capitalized, unless you are exercising poetic license. Word may ...

Discover More

Inserting Today's Date

When writing letters, reports, or other date-dependent documents, you need to regularly insert the current date in the ...

Discover More

Transposing Letters

My fat fingers sometimes result in typing letters in the wrong order. Here's a quick tool that allows you to easily ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.