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iWork provides the keyboard shortcut Cmd-Option-Shift-V to paste text without it's original formatting. How can I get this or a similar shortcut key for Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac?

  • The "PasteDestinationFormatting" does not provide unformatted text. It matches the text that is at the destination point. Unfortunately, stupid Word for some reason likes to create that destination format depending on its mood at the time. I just reassigned Command-V as per this hint, and Word pasted my text as 16pt bold text (all document text is Times New Roman 12 - explain to me how that happens?). – user70220 Feb 12 '14 at 20:00
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I found the answer in this blog post

Create the AppleScript:

try
  set theClip to Unicode text of (the clipboard as record)
  tell application "Microsoft Word" to tell selection to type text text theClip
end try

Save in /Users/YourUserName/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Word Script Menu Items as Paste unformatted\mosV.scpt (the backslashed bit at the end of the filename provides the shortcut). Restart Word and you can now paste without importing extraneous styles with Apple-Alt-Shift-V.

  • I needed to use Automator to create a workflow which executed an applescript. Then I saved it with a .workflow extension, and it worked fine (albeit with a slight delay) – Sam Barnum Mar 2 '14 at 23:53
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There's a "PasteDestinatationFormatting" command.

Go to Tools > Customize Keyboard, then select "All Commands" in the left pane.

In Word 2011, the default keys are command-option-shift-v.

  • Must be in a different version of word. I see PasteFormat & PasteFromScrapbook, but not PasteDestinationFormatting. I am using 12.2.8 (101117). – ericg Mar 9 '11 at 16:23
  • There is no Tools > Customize Keyboard anymore menu in Mac Powerpoint 2016 version... – Quentin Apr 23 '18 at 10:07
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Answer to the same problem but for Microsoft Word 2011: how to assign pasting as unformatted text to Cmd+V.

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I don't know about Word 2008 but for Word for Mac v16.16.7 (whatever edition that is), I was able to use a version of the Tools > Customize Keyboard solution. Once there, select Edit on the left and PasteTextOnly on the right. Then, add whatever keyboard shortcut you want, e.g., command+V. I have not extensively road tested this but it seems to work.

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This blog post describes a method by redefining Cmd-V to a custom macro:

  • Unbind Cmd-V from standard “Paste”.
  • Record a macro for Cmd-V.
  • Fix the source code of the new macro (by replacing wdPasteDefault with wdFormatPlainText).

If you want to keep standard "Paste" functionality it might be better to use another key combination though.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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If you assign a short cut key to "Paste Special..." it's just another quick DOWN and RETURN to paste without formatting.

  • 1
    How do you achieve this? – Rob Mar 20 '14 at 18:17

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