Microsoft Word is finally adding a shortcut to paste plain text — here's how to try it

Microsoft Word Editor
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Word will soon support pasting plain text with a keyboard shortcut.
  • The functionality has been available in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Word for the web, and several other apps for quite some time.
  • Support for the new keyboard shortcut is available now for Microsoft 365 Insiders in the Beta Channel.

Microsoft Word will soon support the option to "Paste Text Only" through a keyboard shortcut. The word processor will allow users to paste text without any formatting by using Ctrl + Shift + V on Windows or the Cmd + Shift + V on Mac. That combination of keys already pastes plain text in Microsoft Teams, Word for the web, Gmail, and some other applications. It's now making its way to the desktop versions of Word.

The Plain Text Only shortcut is now available for Microsoft 365 Home and Microsoft 365 Business Standard Insiders running Windows version 16.0.15831.20174 or later or Mac version 16.67.1113.0 or later. As a reminder the Office Insider Program was renamed to the Microsoft 365 Insider program earlier this year.

Microsoft announced the feature in an Insider Office blog post. There, the company outlines the steps to use the shortcut:

  1. Select a range of text from your current document, or another document or
  2. In your Word document, place the cursor where you want the text to appear.
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + V (Cmd + Shift + V on Mac). Notice how the pasted content matches the neighboring text formatting, rather than preserving its original font size, color, etc.

It's possible to fine-tune what happens when you paste plain text, such as keeping bullet points when using the Keep Text Only option. This can be done through the Advanced section of Word Options.

Microsoft Word on Windows and Mac already supported pasting plain text, but it's now easier to do so.

Microsoft also announced the following changes to shortcuts:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeatureNew Shortcut (Windows)New Shortcut (Mac)
Paste Text OnlyCtrl + Shift + VCmd + Shift + V
Copy Format PainterCtrl + Alt + CCmd + Option + C
Paste Format PainterCtrl + Alt + VCmd + Option + V
Paste SpecialAlt + H + V + SNone
Copyright Symbol( + C + ) or Insert > Ω Symbol > ©( + C + ) or Insert > Ω Symbol > ©

If you don't like the new keyboard shortcuts, you can revert to previous settings. Microsoft has a support document to walk you through that process.

If you're a fan of pasting plain text, it's possible to do so anywhere on Windows. A recent update to PowerToys added the option to paste plain text into any app. That has the benefit of working anywhere but the downside is that using that utility replaces any copied text with reformatted text within the clipboard. That means you are unable to paste text with formatting in some documents and without formatting in others.

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at