Taming Word 2008’s Paste Special

Tuesday, 31. March 2009

How I hate Microsoft Word's Edit|Paste Special menu item. Why can't Microsoft assign a keyboard shortcut to it? It is a maddening oversight and it makes me crazy when I just want to past some unformatted text – stop typing, reach for the mouse, click Edit, click Paste Special, click Unformatted Text and finally click OK. Four mouse clicks and one interrupted workflow later I have my unformatted text. Apple applications have a Paste and Match Style menu item with a keyboard shortcut – ???V. That shortcut is a bit of a handful but it still beats the tar out of doing it the Microsoft way.

Today I found a solution, at least for Word:mac 2008. TidBITS published the AppleScript-based workaround over a year ago in Word 2008 and the Paste Plain Text Dance and then updated it with a better version of the script in Updated Paste Plain Text AppleScript for Word 2008. Follow those tips and you'll soon be pasting unformatted text from the keyboard in Word.

I made one small change when I implemented it on my MacBook. I wanted the keyboard shortcut to match Apple's so that I only have to remember one shortcut. To assign ???V as the shortcut instead of ??V as in the tip, change the name of the script to Paste Plain Text\smoV.scpt. Adding the “o” adds the Option (?) key to the shortcut.

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