MS Word

Copy Text Without Formatting

When I copy text from Word and paste it into another application, all kinds of extraneous formatting tags go along for the ride. Then I have to reformat the text in the other application.

There are two possible fixes here.

First, see if the application into which you're pasting the text has a Paste Special command. In the resulting dialog box, select the option called Text Only or Text Without Formatting, and then click the OK button.

If the application doesn't offer Paste Special, use Notepad to produce the same effect. Paste the text into Notepad, select it, copy it, and then paste it into the other application. This shuffle is ugly and clumsy, but it does remove the formatting, because Notepad doesn't support any formatting.

You might be tempted to use Word's own Paste Special command (Edit » Paste Special) to paste the material back into the same document (or into a different document) as unformatted text, select it again, copy it again, and then paste it into its destination application. The problem with this approach is that when you paste the text back into Word, it picks up the formatting of the paragraph into which you paste it, so it will still contain formatting when you copy it the second time and paste it into the destination application.

Hack Out Columns of Tabs or Spaces

Our field office sends me database dumps that are aligned using spaces. I have to delete handfuls of spaces from the beginning of each line before I can use the text.

You can fix this problem in two ways:

If the spaces are in regular, rectangular blocks, Alt-drag to select columns of spaces, and then delete them. (You can also select blocks of tabsor any other charactersthis way.)

Figure 3-19. Alt-drag to select columns of characters without selecting entire paragraphs.

If the spaces aren't in regular blocks, use Find and Replace to select the whitespace. Choose Edit » Replace, enter ^p^w in the "Find what" box and ^p in the "Replace with" box, and then click the Replace All button.