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Retain Text Formatting in MS Word

MS Word: How To Ensure That Your Formatting Is Kept When You Copy And Paste Text

When you copy and paste text, do you ever find yourself wondering why sometimes certain formatting traits were pasted with the text and at others aren’t?

It can seem sort of random to most people… and random is frustrating.

Well, here’s the truth. It’s not random. The key to controlling the formatting when you paste, regardless of the default settings, is actually hidden from view.

No, that’s not a riddle… it truly is hidden because the formatting you’re looking to keep is stored in the hidden paragraph mark found at the end of each paragraph.


If you ensure that the paragraph mark is copied along with the rest then the formatting it contains will paste too.

How do you know if you have the paragraph mark in your text selection?

Without displaying those symbols, it’s that strange “blank space” you’ll see Word tack on to the end of a highlight sometimes. You highlight far enough and it seems that the selection highlighting is automatically extended a space… that’s Word including the paragraph mark.

The other way would be to display these marks in your document (don’t worry, they won’t print – they are just visible on the monitor). If you can see them, you know when they’re being copied with the rest.

To display the paragraph marks use the button on the Home tab of the Ribbon.


That’s all there is to it… the only question now is to include or not to include the paragraph mark.

~ April