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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2023 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated May 13, 2015

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Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text helps solve formatting problems when copying blocks of text or macro code from the Internet or between (or within) WordPerfect documents

Related macros -

PASTE-UT.ZIP (01/16/06; 21,641 bytes) which contains two macros:
Paste-UT.wcm and
The first makes it easy to use Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text; the second extends this feature's capabilities when pasting between two WordPerfect documents. (A "read me" document is included that also contains most of the information on this page.) See also: Downloading, Documentation, Modifications, and Support

Notes and disclaimer: 

1. Changes in WordPerfect versions can cause some problems with these macros. Always test them thoroughly.
2. WordPerfect 11 users: These macros (and any macros from any source, even from Corel) will have problems in the first release of WordPerfect 11 (i.e., See the top section of the Downloading, Documentation, Modifications, and Support page.
3. Disclaimer

Related pages -

Using "Other Codes" in WordPerfect (Format > Line > Other Codes)

Hyphens, hard hyphens [a/k/a "hyphen characters"], soft hyphens, and hyphenation soft returns . . . What they are and how they work 

Getting back to plain text:
How to remove all formatting in a WordPerfect document
with Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text


The menu choices below refer to the <WordPerfect> menu (right-click on the top menu bar for a choice of menu). If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu, the choices might be absent from your menu (but not from the program), or they might be found under another menu selection. See here for more.

Do you want to "strip out" formatting copied from another WordPerfect document (or from another part of the current document) when you copy-and-paste it into your document?

If you want to remove all unwanted formatting that is carried along during a copy-and-paste from another WordPerfect document, see the solutions below to produce a "plain text" paste.

Do you sometimes copy-and-paste material from another source (e.g., from Microsoft Word or from the Internet) into WordPerfect and it accidentally creates strange changes in your document?

If you copy material into WordPerfect from another program or an Internet source such as a web site, newsgroup or email message you may find that the text is pasted into WordPerfect in strange ways, such as having characters added (a number "1." seems to be a common issue) or the document's subsequent formatting is changed in ways that you did not expect. A quick look in Reveal Codes will tell you why: WordPerfect often adds many codes (and sometimes, characters) for what -- to it -- are unknown items or format structures in the source material.


The first thing you can do is adjust the way you paste such material into WordPerfect.

Instead of using the standard paste commands (Ctrl+V, or Edit>Paste), use any of the following methods to remove formatting codes from the copied material.

[Note that there must be some text copied (Ctrl+C or Edit>Copy) to the Windows clipboard before using these methods.]

(A) Use the main menu: Click on WordPerfect's Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text ("EPSUT"). EPSUT strips out formatting and other codes when it inserts the copied material.

(B) Use a toolbar button or keyboard shortcut: In WordPerfect 11 and later versions you can add a standard toolbar button to use it, or simply use a pre-assigned keyboard combination, as explained in the Tips section below.

(C) Use the right-click context menu: In WordPerfect X3 and later versions there is a "Paste Unformatted Text" choice on the context menu.

(D) Use a macro: For convenience, you can use a macro such as one of those in PASTE-UT.ZIP to use this feature with a single mouse click. [Changes in WordPerfect versions can cause some problems with these macros. Always test them thoroughly.]


☼  Be aware that there are some small changes that WordPerfect will make to the material pasted as unformatted text, depending on the version of WordPerfect. You might (or might not) want to compensate for them. See the Notes section below.

☼  If you simply want to remove formatting from an entire (open) WordPerfect document, you could try saving as plain text with File, Save As; then choose ASCII text or ANSI text from the File Type drop list in the Save As window. (There are several web sites that explain the difference, such as this one.) With this method, you can still have the original formatted document for reference.

☼  Related tip: If your pasted material consists of hard returns ([HRt] at the end of every line, see the macro LineWrap.wcm (in the Library). It will remove the intra-paragraph hard return codes from selected text (you can also select the entire document!) and replace them with soft returns so that the paragraph lines will wrap properly at the right margin.


  • Default shortcut keys for "Paste Unformatted Text":

    • In WordPerfect X3 and later versions the default assignment for "Paste Unformatted Text" is <Ctrl+Alt+V>, as you would expect for a paste operation (the "V" key is used).

      It is also a choice on the (right-click) context menu when the cursor is located where a paste can occur. (Something must, of course, be on the Windows clipboard first.)

      If desired, you can reassign the feature to another available keyboard shortcut, such as <Alt+V>. (Optionally, the current assignment can be removed.) The feature is found under the "Edit" feature category.

    • In WordPerfect 11/12 the default keyboard has a combination key for "Paste Unformatted Text": <Ctrl+Alt+C>. This is confusing (using a "C" key for a paste operation) and has generated many complaints to Corel. In these early WordPerfect versions this feature cannot be reassigned to another key (though the current assignment can be removed), but you can add a toolbar button to use this feature; this feature is found under "Edit" in the feature categories list in the Toolbar Editor.

  • Alternatively, if you want to assign Paste Unformatted Text to a key rather than a toolbar button you can assign either or both of the above macros to keys. (Paste-UT does the same thing as the Paste Unformatted Text default keyboard assignment mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.)

  • For earlier WordPerfect versions, the downloadable macro, Paste-UT.wcm (or one you create yourself), may be easier to use than multiple mouse clicks through a menu. (Note that it can be used in any later version, too. Also: Changes in WordPerfect versions can cause some problems with these macros. Always test them thoroughly.)

    The macro should have this one-line (i.e., non-wrapped) command in it:

    EditPaste (ClipboardFormat: "Unformatted Text"; FormatId: 1; LinkType: OLE!)

    • See Note #3 below for help in creating a macro from this command by copying it from this web page, or simply download Paste-UT here.
    • Assign the macro to a toolbar button or keystroke for easy access.

  • As a technique, EPSUT can be useful in pasting material from another WordPerfect document as well as from an internet source, if you want to remove all formatting from the source.

    • WordPerfect 11+ users: See Note #1 below for the way various hyphen codes and hard space codes are treated when using EPSUT. Because these items are also deleted with EPSUT in WordPerfect 11+, which is usually not desirable, the PASTE-UTX macro included in PASTE-UT.ZIP can be used to retain them when pasting as unformatted text between WordPerfect documents (when pasting from an Internet or e-mail source, use PASTE-UT.wcm, not PASTE-UTX.wcm).
  • Want to record the command yourself? Note that if you have some material already copied to the clipboard and then record "Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text" as a macro rather than typing the above EditPaste command or copying it from this page (per instructions in Note #3 below), be aware of a small and rather unique anomaly. Sometimes (due to a known bug in WordPerfect), you'll get two Paste commands in the recorded macro, not one. Edit the recorded macro and delete the first one (PasteSpecial (PasteType: OnlyText!)).

  • After using EPSUT or the Paste-UT macro, use Reveal Codes to delete any remaining unwanted codes (just drag them from the RC window), or you can use the DELCODES macro to remove them.

  • After using EPSUT or the Paste-UT macro, all lines inside paragraphs might end in hard returns. If so, and you want lines within paragraphs to wrap, play the FIXASCII macro on those paragraphs. FIXASCII will replace hard returns inside paragraphs with soft returns, allowing the lines to wrap.

  • As an alternative to the Paste-UT macro, see PureText, a small, free utility that works in any program to convert copied material in to "pure text" before pasting.

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Note 1 - Some cautions when pasting as unformatted text between or within WordPerfect documents

"Pasting as unformatted text" is useful not only in pasting material copied from another program or internet source into WordPerfect, but also in pasting material that was copied between (or within) WordPerfect documents.

This feature removes formatting codes (which you can observe in Reveal Codes), allowing you to paste just the important text into the current document.

Moreover, it converts some codes -- [Date], [Filename], Outline paragraph numbers/letters, Counters, Automatic paragraph numbering) into their plain-text counterparts. This actually can be desirable (e.g.) when trying to copy/paste such WordPerfect specially formatted material into another program that knows nothing of these codes. (Examples here.)

However, be aware that starting with WordPerfect 11, pasting as unformatted text between or within WordPerfect documents will also

(1) convert any hard spaces (i.e., [HSpace] codes) to ordinary ("soft") space characters;

(2) convert any regular hyphens (i.e., [-Hyphen] codes) to hard hyphens (a/k/a "character hyphens"); and

(3) like earlier WP versions, it will remove any soft hyphens [- Soft Hyphen] and hyphenation soft returns [Hyph SRt] entered with Format > Line > Other Codes.

Also, it will

(4) remove any overstrike codes entered with Format > Typesetting> Overstrike; hence, any special characters created with overstrike will be removed;

(5) remove certain symbols (Insert > Symbol) but not all symbols;

▸ Removed: Sets 2,3,5,7,8,9,10,11,13, and 14

Partially removed: Sets 1,4, and 6 (Multinational, Typographical, and Math/Scientific)

Not affected: Sets 0 and 12 (ASCII and Current Font)

(6) remove any hidden text if the hidden text is not currently displayed in the document (i.e., if View > Hidden Text is not enabled). This is because when you have formatted text as hidden but you are not displaying it, only the [Hidden] code is present, and pasting as unformatted text will delete that code and the text it is hiding. (This is apparently "Working As Designed".)

While the first three items above may seem logical and conform more closely to the definition of "unformatted text" -- that is, text without any formatting codes -- it may or may not be what you want (see box below).

Moreover, this was not the way WordPerfect 10 and earlier versions handled the process (with respect to the first three items, at least): they left the hard space and regular hyphen codes intact. So if you are upgrading to WordPerfect 11 or later -- and even if you are not upgrading but have started using WordPerfect 11 or later -- this change can affect your documents, depending on the way you paste the material.

The different forms of each item -- basically, either a WordPerfect code or a keyboard character -- have their special uses, but you need to know how to adapt to the way your particular version of WordPerfect treats them when you paste material into WordPerfect.

In WordPerfect 10 and earlier versions, pasting with Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text (or playing the Paste-UT.wcm macro) removes all formatting except any hard spaces and regular hyphens. Since these items were most likely entered from the keyboard deliberately, you would expect WordPerfect to retain them, and in those versions it does.

However, in WordPerfect 11 and later versions, it does not retain them when pasting with Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text or playing Paste-UT.wcm. WordPerfect 11+ converts hard space codes to soft spaces, converts regular hyphen codes to hard hyphens, and simply removes soft hyphen codes and hyphenation soft return codes. (The latter two codes are entered with Format > Line > Other Codes to allow words to split across lines if the words are pushed to the right margin.)

But as previously mentioned with respect to these four important codes, this may not be what you want.

Here's what you can do.

  • When copying/pasting from another WordPerfect document (or from the same document), and you want to remove all codes, use the Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text feature (or the Paste-UT macro). Be sure to note the caveats about overstrikes, symbols, and hidden text under Note 1 above.
  • When copying/pasting from another WordPerfect document (or from the same document), and you want to retain any hard spaces, regular hyphens, soft hyphens, and hyphenation soft returns when pasting in WordPerfect 11 and later versions, you can
  • use Paste-UTX (included in the PASTE-UT.ZIP download file); note that currently it will not preserve the last 3 items in the bullet list in Note 1 above; or
  • right-click in the target document and choose "Paste without Font/Attributes," or add a toolbar button to play the same built-in feature (called "Paste Simple"), or press <Ctrl+Shft+V> in the default keyboard. In WordPerfect 11+, this "Paste Simple" feature will preserve these four types of format codes along with most other format codes.
    • Notes 
    • I have not found Paste Simple to be particularly useful or even reliable when copying/pasting between WordPerfect documents, but "your mileage may vary," as they say.
    • New in version 1.01 of Paste-UTX: Along with the four codes mentioned, you can also retain Line Breaks (the default) or you can have them converted to hard returns (which is the usual case with Paste Special). See the top of the macro's code for more information and simple instructions. Also: Be sure to note the caveats about overstrikes, symbols, and hidden text under Note 1 above; these apply to the macro, too.
  • When copying-and-pasting from an outside source such as another program (e.g., MS Word) or an internet site, you may find the Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text feature (or the Paste-UT or Paste-UTX macros) to be particularly useful. Many (but not all) other "imported" codes will be removed from the copied source material when you paste this way. With outside source material, both the Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted text feature and the Paste-UT macro work the same in all WordPerfect versions (at least as far back as WP8 and perhaps earlier).

There is a place for both types of "paste" (Paste Simple and Paste Unformatted Text) in WordPerfect. Pick the best for your specific needs, depending on how you want to use the following items.

Hard spaces, hyphens, hard hyphens, soft hyphens, and hyphenation soft returns

¤  Hard spaces can be entered from the keyboard by pressing <Ctrl+space>. Normally, pressing the <space> key produces a space character (ASCII 32), not a WordPerfect code; pressing the hyphen key produces a WordPerfect code, not a hyphen character (ASCII 45).

¤  Hard spaces are useful in several circumstances, to "glue" words, numbers or dates together to prevent them from splitting to the next line with word wrap.

¤  For information on hyphens, hard hyphens ("character hyphens"), soft hyphens, and hyphenation soft returns in WordPerfect, see here.)

¤  Note that hard spaces, regular hyphens, soft hyphens and hyphenation soft returns must be deliberately inserted by the user in WordPerfect, while hard hyphens can be either deliberately inserted or be imported from an external source.

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Note 2 - Tips for typing and pasting address blocks

WordPerfect's Format > Envelope feature looks for the last block of three or more consecutive lines on Page 1 that each end in a hard return -- i.e., a [HRt] code -- and are followed by a blank line ending with a [HRt].


Don't type a first-page "letterhead" with 3 or more consecutive information lines at the top of the page above the recipient's mailing address. If you do this, WordPerfect may get confused, so use your mouse to select the recipient's address before using Format > Envelope. A better solution is to put multiple-line "letterhead" information in a header or in a watermark.

Also, multiple RE: or SUBJ: lines below the recipient's address could be erroneously selected instead of the address. A solution for this problem is to get in the habit of using the Format, Paragraph, Indent function (F7, or F4 on the DOS keyboard) instead of ending each reference or subject line with a HRt. These lines will then wrap to a single, terminal HRt. Another solution is as above: first select the recipient's address with your mouse, then click Format > Envelope.]

In some WP versions, pasting addresses into WP from an Internet source with <Ctrl+V> or Edit>Paste can produce an address block where each line ends in a line break ([LnBrk]), not a hard return ([HRt]). Solution: Use EPSUT or the Paste-UT macro instead.

WordPerfect 9 users: However, as Debra Earle (a Corel C_Tech) stated - "One other note, if you don't have SP4 ( from Help > About... within the program) this [Paste Special method] may not work properly anyway, as there was a fix for this ["address invisibility"] issue in one of the service packs [for WP9].+"

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Note 3 - Copying and pasting macro code from the Internet

To create a functioning macro using the "raw" macro code from an Internet source (such shown on this page, above), open a blank document in WP and click on Tools > Macro > Macro Toolbar to display the Macro Toolbar -- which, among other things, uses non-typographical quote marks instead of "curly" quote marks (the latter won't work in a macro). Position your cursor at the very bottom of the page, after all codes, and click on Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text to paste the macro code into the WP document.

Be sure to check in Reveal Codes for long lines that may have been wrapped into two or more lines with a hard return (HRt) between them; remove the hard return(s) to "glue" the lines back together.

Save the macro with the Save & Compile button on the Macro Toolbar. This will save it to your default macros folder.

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Note 4 - The difference between pasting as Unformatted text and using Paste Simple

Paste as Unformatted Text is different from the old (now undocumented) command, Paste Simple. As John Burness said in an old WP user group:

" > Doesn't Ctrl+Shft+V paste [copied material as] unformatted text [...]??

Yes, but.

There is good news and bad news. Paste Simple (Ctrl+Shft+V) does let the text come in to the doc "in the font style and size, text color, and any attributes (such as bold or italics) of the text at the insertion point." If used on a blank line in the document, "the text appears in the default font style, color, and size." Unfortunately, Paste Simple also brings any associated styles with the text, a potential problem if pasting a mail program such as Eudora, as well as some unexpected formatting.

I receive a fair amount of interview material or research through email which I then cut and paste into a WP doc. Eudora sends along styles called 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, plus HTML Address, HTML Blockquote, HTML Cite, HTML Code, and so on. Even worse, Paste Simple brings in any margin settings, tab settings, hidden codes like the email subject line, and some other garbage that get in the way of the plain text. Having the margins change unexpectedly is irritating even with Reveal Codes in WP.

The Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text command [or the Edit > Paste Unformatted Text command added in newer versions] does away with all the formatting garbage, leaving just the text. . . ."
[Bold added]

Wait, there's more! Smiley face

Pasting as Unformatted text is very useful ... however it does make some (at least six) format changes to the pasted text compared to (e.g.) pre-WordPerfect 11 versions. This shouldn't be surprising since "plain text" also means "no format codes" -- but these changes are something to be aware of. See the notes above.

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