Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Select a different account.
You have multiple accounts
Choose the account you want to sign in with.


The Smart cut and paste functionality is used to adjust the formatting for text or objects that are cut or copied and then pasted into a Word document.

The Smart cut and paste option is on by default. To clear or set this option, click Options on the Tools menu, click the Edit tab, and then click to clear or select the Smart cut and paste check box. If you want to specify default pasting options for the Smart cut and paste feature, click Settings. You can set default options for Microsoft Word or specify custom settings. This article describes the seven options in the Settings dialog box.

More Information

There are seven choices in the Individual options section in the Settings dialog box. The following table lists these options and explains how they work.

Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically

Adjusts spaces between words after a paste. Removes extra spaces when deleting text or adds spaces when pasting text from the clipboard.

Adjust paragraph spacing on paste

Preserves paragraph spacing when pasting text to prevent empty paragraphs or inconsistent paragraph spacing.

Adjust table formatting and alignment on paste

Controls paste options for formatting and aligning tables.

  • Single cell    Pasted as text.

  • Partial table    Pasted as rows into an existing table (rather than as a nested table).

  • Adding a table to an existing table    The pasted table is adjusted to match the existing table.

Smart style behavior

Controls style conflicts in a document. Styles are handled consistently when the style in the document you are pasting from has the same name as a style in the document you are pasting to. The Paste options allow you to choose between keeping the formatting and matching the formatting of the destination document.

Merge formatting when pasting from Microsoft PowerPoint

Controls the results when pasting from Microsoft PowerPoint.

  • Applies the formatting of surrounding text or tables to the pasted selection by default.

  • Applies the most recently used bullet/number/list style for all bulleted/numbered lists.

  • Preserves such items as tables, hyperlinks, images, OLE objects, and shapes.

Adjust formatting when pasting from Microsoft Excel

Controls pasting results when pasting data from Excel. The default is to paste the data in a table in the Word document. When pasting an Excel chart, it is pasted as a picture (uses less disk space) rather than as an OLE object. Link and embed options are still available.

Merge pasted lists with surrounding lists

Controls formatting of pasted list. List items will be formatted like the surrounding lists by default. The paste options allow you to change the formatting of the list when pasting.

Need more help?

Expand your skills


Get new features first


Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!