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: Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting.

Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 26, 2014)

5

If you are working with a document that is highly formatted, and you are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of any and all formatting for a selection of text, here is a quick way to do it:

  1. Highlight your text selection.
  2. Cut or copy the selection to the Clipboard.
  3. In Windows, start the Notepad accessory.
  4. Paste the Clipboard contents (your selection) into the Notepad.

Since the Notepad accessory can only work with unformatted text, all formatting for your text selection is removed. You can then either save your selection as a text file, or copy it back to the Clipboard and paste it back into Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (167) 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: Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting.

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. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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. 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 eight more than 7?

2015-05-20 18:49:36

anne

Anne
and
mary
and
Peter
want
to
go
to
the
pictures

this is an example of text I took from the internet except that here were over 200 lines,each read as a new paragraph i have tried above but it still remains a new line for every word. I am working on word 2013. I have used find and replace paragraph mark which works but does not clear all formatting.


2015-05-01 12:13:32

Michelle R. Gould

Hi, Allen. I want to thank you for this solution. I manage public FB pages, and when I curate quotes from websites and paste them into a Word doc, they retain the link to the site. Your strategy was the only way I've found to remove it. You saved me a lot of time and I wanted to take the time to tell you how much I appreciate it.
All My Best,
MRG


2014-11-29 15:11:20

JeanE Logan

Good explanation. This also works for WordPad.

Now can all of these steps be put into a macro?


2014-07-26 13:14:49

Ang

I have Word 2003.
Highlight the text, click on the double A/A symbol - Extreme left on formatting line.
Click on 'Clear Formatting' in the Styles and Formatting box that appears.
Job done.


2014-07-26 08:55:39

Fred Lanting

Suggestion: revise the tip again for the benefit of dummies:

Allen Wyatt says: a quick and easy way to get rid of any and all formatting for a selection of text, here is a quick way to do it (and then gave this):

Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 9, 2014) allen@sharonparq.com, wtanswers@tips.net
http://word.tips.net/T000167_Absolutely_Getting_Rid_of_Formatting.html?awt_l=BqCss&awt_m=IitTX2jqSQPx4X
--------------------
But questions remained: Where do I find “Clipboard”? And once I find that, where do I find “Notepad” accessory?

It took some experimenting, but at last I found a way to get rid of formatting. Allen's directions were not elementary enough... Here are the steps he assumed that we dummies already knew:

In the document, go to “Edit” in the tool bar at top of screen and hit “select all”; or else, use Ctrl-A. Otherwise, use click-and-drag to highlight the part you want, then “copy”(Ctrl-C).
Click on “Start” on the lower left corner of the screen. Then click on “All Programs”, “Accessories”, “Notepad”, and then paste (Ctrl-V) into the Notepad.
Once your text is there, you can copy it again (Ctrl-C), and paste it (Ctrl-V) into the Word document that you are working with, without the shading or other formatting.


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