Microsoft Word Finally Has a “Paste as Plain Text” Shortcut

Microsoft Word has some keyboard shortcuts that don’t make much sense anymore, especially when it comes to pasting as plain text (as opposed to normal pasting). Microsoft hopes to fix that with an update to Word in the works.

Most desktop apps have settled on Ctrl+V to paste and Ctrl+Shift+V to paste as plain text only (with all formatting removed), or Cmd+V and Cmd+Shift+V on Mac, but Word works differently right now. The normal paste shortcut works as expected, but pasting without removing formatting required opening the Paste Special menu, which takes more time.

Microsoft explained in a recent blog post: “In the case of keyboard shortcuts, the industry standard has departed from Word’s initial implementation of these features. In fact, users expect Ctrl+Shift+V to paste plain text, so when this doesn’t work, the experience can be frustrating. The Word team learned about this issue from users, so we’re updating the keyboard shortcuts in direct response to your feedback. Accessibility is a priority for Word, and we want to make the cut, copy, and paste experience as seamless as possible.”

There’s now a standard Ctrl+Shift+V keyboard shortcut in development for Word (Cmd+Shift+V on Mac), which works exactly like the same shortcut in Google Docs, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and many other apps. Microsoft is also testing other changes to Word’s keyboard shortcuts, including shortcuts for the Copy Format Painter, Paste Format Painter, and the copyright symbol, to bring them in line with most modern software. The Paste Special menu is moving from Ctrl+Alt+V to Alt+H+V+S on Windows, and won’t be keyboard accessible at all on Mac.

Not everyone likes their keyboard shortcuts to change, so Microsoft will let you revert the shortcuts to their original versions from within Word settings. The new shortcuts are available in the standard Microsoft 365 Home and Business beta channels, starting with version 16.0.15831.20174 for Windows and version 16.67.1113.0 for Mac.

Source: Microsoft 365 Insider blog

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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