When you copy text from one place in a Word document to another, Word helpfully displays a “Paste Options” box right at the end of whatever you pasted. This tool allows you to choose what to do regarding the formatting of the text being pasted.

For example, when you paste some text, you can choose to “Keep Source Formatting” (preserves the formatting of the original text), “Merge Formatting” (changes the formatting of the pasted text to match the text that surrounds it), or “Keep Text Only” (removes all original formatting from the pasted text). Different options display on the “Paste Options” box depending on the source of the copied text. You can also change the default paste setting.

If the “Paste Options” box is distracting to you, it can easily be disabled. To do so, click the “File” tab.

In the list of items on the left, click “Options.”

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

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Scroll down to the “Cut, copy, and paste” section and select the “Show Paste Options button when content is pasted” so there is NO check mark in the box.

Click “OK” to accept the change and close the “Word Options” dialog box.

Even though you’ve turned off the “Paste Options” box, you can still access the “Paste Options” by clicking the lower-half of the “Paste” button on the “Home” tab.

If you don’t want to disable the “Paste Options” box completely, you can press “Esc” to dismiss it when it displays.

This procedure also works for disabling the “Paste Options” box in Excel and PowerPoint.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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