How to Copy and Paste Multiple Text Selections in Microsoft Word

At times you may have multiple blocks of text in different locations that you want to copy and paste into Word. Unfortunately, Word does not offer the option to copy text from more than one selection at once. Ordinarily, you’d switch back and forth between locations, copying and pasting individual blocks into a separate Word document. Sure it works, but this method is hectic and time-consuming.

What’s more annoying is that if you copy text from multiple locations, when it comes to pasting, Word will only paste the contents of the last selection by default. However, there is a way you can copy and paste text from multiple locations all at once. In this tutorial, we’ll show you two easy methods you can use to copy and paste text from multiple text selections in Microsoft Word.

Method 1: Use Spike

In Microsoft Word the Clipboard has an extended feature called Spike. This lesser-known feature lets you copy texts from multiple selections to the Clipboard, then paste them as a group to a new location. Spike is easy to use and works with both text and graphics. To use Spike, follow the steps below:

1. Select the block of text that you want to copy.


2. Press Ctrl + F3 to copy the text into Spike.

3. Highlight the next block of text that you want to copy, and press Ctrl + F3 to add it to the Clipboard. Repeat this process until you have copied all the text blocks you want from the source document.

4. Use Ctrl + Shift + F3 to paste all the copied blocks into a blank document.


Even if you copied text from twenty different locations, Spike will paste them all at once in your new document, with the ones you copied first appearing on top, and in that order.

This technique is the easiest, but it does have some limitations. For instance, when you press the Ctrl + F3 keys, Spike will cut rather that copy content from the source document. However, whenever you press Ctrl + F3 to place a block of content to Spike, you can make it a habit to press Ctrl + Z to undo the cut, and this won’t remove the content from Spike.

Method 2: Use the Highlighter Tool

You have probably used the highlighter pen to highlight your favorite phrases or some sections that need special attention in a Word document. But did you know that you can also use this tool to copy and paste text from multiple text selections in Word? We’ll show you how to do it.

1. Open the source document, and highlight the text you want to copy throughout the document. By default, the highlighter pen is set to highlight text in Yellow when you click it.


2. If you want to use a different color, you can select one from the available colors by clicking on it. Highlight all the text blocks you want to copy throughout the article.


3. The next step is to find and select all the highlighted text. To do so, click Ctrl + H. A “Find and Replace” dialogue box will pop up. Click the “Find” tab, followed by the “More” option.


4. Doing so will expand the dialogue box and open up more options. Click the “Format” drop-down, then select “Highlight” from the menu options.


5. The “highlight” format will now appear below the “Find what” edit box. Click the “Find in” drop-down, then select “Main document” from the menu that will pop up.


6. Microsoft Word will now scan the document for all the highlighted text blocks. It will then select all the highlighted text blocks and notify you of the selected items. In my case Word found six items that matched my search criteria.


7. Close the dialogue box, then click Ctrl + C to copy all the highlighted text blocks.

8. Open a blank Word document. Press Ctrl + V to paste the highlighted, selected text into the new document. Each separate text block will be pasted as a new paragraph. You’ll notice that the pasted content will come with the formatting you applied, including the color you used to highlight the text.


If you want to paste the content without the formatting, you can do so by adjusting the settings in the blank document. Rather than using the Ctrl + V hotkeys, head over to the paste settings under the File tab and choose “Keep text only.”


Now your text will paste without any highlighting color or special formatting.

Wrapping Up

Copying and pasting multiple text blocks at once can be very useful in many scenarios. For example, you may have a lengthy source document that you want to copy multiple text excerpts from. Rather than copying and pasting each text block one at a time, which is rather tiresome, you can easily do it all at once, if you know the tricks.

Moreover, pasting is not only restricted to Microsoft Word documents. You can paste the content into any program that accepts text, including email programs such as Outlook. Let us know if you encounter any problems with the above workarounds, and we’ll be happy to help.

Kenneth Kimari
Kenneth Kimari

Kenn is a tech enthusiast by passion, Windows blogger by choice, and a massive coffee imbiber. He likes watching sci-fi movies in his free time and tearing gadgets apart so he can fix them.

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