George MacKerron: code blog

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Paste unformatted keyboard shortcut in Office 2008 for Mac

iWork and some other Mac apps provide the keyboard shortcut Apple-Alt-Shift-V for the extremely useful command Edit > Paste and match style. But Office 2008 provides no such equivalent for its equivalent command, Edit > Paste > Unformatted Text > OK. Annoying.

Happily, you can fix this with a strategically named and placed AppleScript. Open /Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor, and paste in the following lines:

tell application "Microsoft Word" 
  paste special (text object of selection) data type paste text
end tell

Save in /Users/YourUserName/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Word Script Menu Items as Paste unformatted\mosV.scpt (the backslashed bit at the end of the filename provides the shortcut). Restart Word and you can now paste without importing extraneous styles with Apple-Alt-Shift-V.


You might also try this alternative approach (via a handy comment elsewhere):

  set theClip to Unicode text of (the clipboard as record)
  tell application "Microsoft Word" to tell selection to type text text theClip
end try

This has the advantage of leaving the cursor where you expect, at the end of the pasted text — the original script fragment leaves it at the beginning. And no, type text text is sadly not a typo: that’s really how Word likes to be addressed.


Written by George

May 19th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Mac

  • seaphotog

    thanks so much – this PhD student is forever grateful!!!

  • rvp2

    Thank you so much. Works like a charm and is saving me tons of time. (I’m on a MBP running Lion and using Excel for mac 2011).

  • toenail

    Bloody marvellous. I’m an idiot who didn’t even know what script was and was able to follow the instructions and get round a tricky style/template problem. Thank you!

  • GuestJ

    Sweet! It works perfectly!

  • melissa lehman

    I figured out how to do this in Word 2011 (the above solution did not work for me). Go into Word and click on Tools > Customize Keyboard. Click on the Edit category and scroll down to EditPaste. Click on the Command+V shortcut and click “Remove”. Then scroll down to PasteDestinationFormatting, put the cursor in the “Press new keyboard shortcut” box, push Command+V and click “Assign.”

  • lp

    Super, thank you guest! Works in word 2008 also.

  • Brian

    Nice! Thanks!

  • Extremely helpful, save me loads of time, thank you!

  • Thank you! You gave me a whole day of quality time with my kids