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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 20, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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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