How To Set Default Paste in Microsoft Word 2010

107719 How To Set Default Paste in Microsoft Word 2010

The paste feature in Microsoft Word allows you to insert content that you have cut or copied from another location. By default, Word tries to match the formatting of the pasted content to the destination document. However, you may want to change this default behavior to better suit your workflow.

Setting a default paste option ensures consistency each time you paste content. It also saves you the hassle of manually stripping formatting or applying styles every time. This article will walk you through customizing default paste in Word 2010.

Why Change From Default Paste Settings?

Here are some reasons why you may want to update the default paste options in Word:

  • Avoid bringing over unwanted formatting – When you copy text from websites, email, or other sources, it may contain formatting that disrupts your document’s styles. Setting default paste to “Keep text only” strips all source formatting.
  • Maintain consistent formatting – By merging formatting by default, you can avoid having to manually apply styles each time you paste. The pasted content will adopt destination styles.
  • Paste text without manual fixes – If you often paste text between documents, having “Match destination formatting” as the default will apply styles automatically without you having to highlight text and change fonts.
  • Keep source formatting intact – When copying tables, links, or other content with specific formatting, change the default to “Keep source formatting” so it carries over when pasting.

How To Change Default Paste Setting

Customizing paste defaults is easy in just a few steps:

  1. Open Word Options:
    • Windows – File > Options
    • Mac – Word > Preferences
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. Scroll down to find the Cut, Copy, and Paste section
  4. Update Pasting from other programs to your preferred default

Some common paste options include:

  • Keep Source Formatting
  • Use Destination Styles
  • Keep Text Only
  • Merge Formatting


Word Options Dialog Box

  1. Click OK to save changes

The selected default paste option will now be used each time you paste content from outside Word documents.

Temporarily Override Default Paste

You may sometimes need to use a different paste option than the default on a one-off basis.

To temporarily use an alternate paste format, use the Paste Options button that appears after you paste content:

Paste Options Button

Select the paste format you want to apply just for that paste instance.

This will override the default option without changing the global setting.

Customize Defaults For In-Document vs. Between Documents

Word allows having different default paste options when content is pasted:

  1. Between open Word documents
  2. Within the same Word document

To set different defaults:

  1. Go back to the Advanced tab in Word Options
  2. Locate Pasting within document section
  3. Set the default paste style you want to use when pasting content in the same doc
  4. Scroll down and update Pasting between documents to set the inter-document default

For example, you may want to:

  • Merge formatting by default when pasting within the same document
  • Keep text only for pasting content from other docs to avoid style inconsistencies

Key Takeaways

Customizing paste defaults in Word 2010 allows you to:

  • Maintain consistent formatting in your documents
  • Avoid manually fixing styling issues every time you paste
  • Paste text without unwanted formatting carryover

Matching your default to your most common paste needs saves time and hassle. And you still have the flexibility to override defaults using Paste Options when needed.

Hopefully you now feel empowered to tweak Word 2010 to meet your unique workflow needs! Let us know if you have any other Word customization questions.