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

Spacing Table Rows Vertically

Want to get just the right amount of spacing above and below text in a table cell? A very easy way to do this is to ...

Discover More

Viewing Formulas in Table Cells

Word allows you to insert simple formulas, using fields, in table cells. If you want to see these formulas in their ...

Discover More

Moving a Table Row

Want to move a row in a table very easily? You can do so by using the same editing techniques you are already using.

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)

Unable to Edit Document with Embedded Fonts

What are you to do if you embed fonts in a document and then someone else cannot make changes to that document? Chances ...

Discover More

Creating the 'Mils' Symbol

Different industries use their own terminologies and symbols. In the military, one symbol is referred to as the "mils" ...

Discover More

Getting the Proper Type of Ellipses

Type three periods in a row, and the AutoCorrect feature in Word kicks in to exchange that sequence for a special ...

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 2 + 9?

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.