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
PASTE-UT.ZIP (01/16/06; 21,641 bytes) which contains two macros:
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.,
22.214.171.124). See the top section of the Downloading, Documentation,
Modifications, and Support page.
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"
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
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
☼ 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).
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
- 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
(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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
hyphens [- Soft Hyphen] and hyphenation soft returns [Hyph SRt] entered with Format > Line > Other
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
(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
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.
- 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
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.
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.
users: However, as Debra Earle
(a Corel C_Tech) stated - "One other note, if you don't have SP4
(126.96.36.1993 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
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
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
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. . . ."
Wait, there's more!
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.