Shortcuts for Transferring Text.

On entering a flash competition recently, my Word file was rejected as too large. This alerted me to the fact that many of my short story files have somehow ballooned to file sizes of over 5,000 KB

I don’t know exactly why,

Puffer fish

but I know what to do about it.

By copy-and-pasting each story as text-only into a new Word file, each doc has slimmed down to around 35 KB.

puffer fish, deflated

There are shortcuts to speed up the process

Copying text-only

Select the portion you want to copy.

In Word you can…

  • do it the slow way: hold down your mouse button and drag it across the text you want to move.
  • double-click in a word to select the whole word,
  • click once in the left-hand margin to select a line,
  • double-click in the left-hand margin to select a paragraph,
  • or triple-click in the left-hand margin to select the entire document.

Copying or Cut-and-Pasting within a document.

I usually select the text I want to copy and press the Ctrl and C keys on the keyboard (or Ctrl + X to cut the selection from its original location).

Then I position my cursor in the new location and press Ctrl and V to copy

But doing this between documents will copy the formatting as well as the text, and this is probably where those extra Kilobytes are hidden.

The context menu

this appears when you right-click on your mouse also offers cut-and-paste commands. This is what to use for copying text only.

Once you have copied or cut your text to be moved, the context menu will look like the one below.

If you hover with your mouse over each of the four Paste Option icons, a description of that option will appear. To copy as text-only, select the icon indicated on the far right.

(Confession: I usually forget and press Ctrl+V on auto-pilot. The undo button – the curly arrow on top of the toolbar to the left – will undo this so you can paste again using the context menu. You don’t have to go back and re-copy.)

The whole document will appear in the Style of the paragraph you copy it into.

If, for instance, you copy into a line set up as a title, the whole document will appear in your title’s font and size. So make sure your cursor is set up in the paragraph Style you will use for most of the document – usually your Normal Style – before you click on the Keep Text Only icon .

You will need to go through your pasted text and restore whatever formatting you want for your title, subtitles and special paragraphs. If you are using Word’s Style Gallery, this should be a relatively simple process. (Click here for my previous post about Styles .)


I hope there’s someone out there who will find these shortcuts helpful.

If you have a favourite shortcut, please share in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Shortcuts for Transferring Text.

  1. How bizarre, with the file size ballooning quite that significantly. Technology can be baffling sometimes. Great how-to tips, Cathy, every little helps in making the process easier and I’m a big fan of the ctrl+C & V on my mac! xx

    Liked by 2 people

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