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Microsoft Word is finally getting a keyboard shortcut to paste plaintext

Microsoft Word is finally getting a keyboard shortcut to paste plaintext


You may be familiar with Control + Shift + V from other programs, but now it’s coming to Microsoft’s word processor.

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Illustration of Microsoft’s Windows logo
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is finally adding a keyboard shortcut to Word that lets you paste something as plaintext, stripping it of any formatting it had when you copied it. It’s the same Control + Shift + V shortcut that’s used in many other apps, and it’s currently rolling out to people using the Word beta on both Mac and PC, according to Microsoft’s Jennifer Gentleman.

Word has long let you remove formatting from whatever you pasted after the fact, using the little ribbon that pops up and gives you the option to keep the original formatting, match the formatting of your document, or just use plaintext. Some people may prefer that option — one of my colleagues from the UK said the Ctrl + Shift + V shortcut “isn’t natural at all” for him, confusing all the Americans until he noted that the ISO keyboard layout has a much smaller left shift key.

For those with ANSI-layout keyboards, though, getting to use the Control + Shift + V shortcut to cut out an extra step could be a nice convenience, especially if you’re used to it from other apps like Chrome, Slack, or Teams. While you’ve been able to hack in a plaintext paste shortcut through the keyboard macros system, I think a lot more people may use it if it’s available out of the box.

Microsoft is also trying to make it available system-wide through its PowerToys program, which adds a lot of other nifty features to Windows as well (though one of my co-workers says they tried enabling it, and it broke copy and paste on his computer, so proceed with caution).

If you use a Mac, an app like Pure Paste can also replicate this functionality, though that one in particular makes it so that the default Command + V shortcut pastes in plaintext, so pasting with formatting is the thing that requires an extra step.