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How to Clear Formatting in Word

Formatting is a nifty feature that allows you to add style and flair to your documents. If you have ever had to read a huge, raw block of text, then you know how straining it is on the eyes.

Using styles provides your audience with a more welcoming first impression and better readability. 

Yet, formatting can often cause problems. For example, when inserting text that was previously formatted, it will keep its original formatting by default once inserted. 

 How to clear formatting in Word

Example of heavily formatted text

This can be quite frustrating. Formatting should be consistent in order to keep your document looking uniform. It can become chaotic when multiple formats are used for titles and paragraphs.

No formatting is just as bad as mismatched or excessive formatting. Likewise, using too many fonts or different colors can be distracting and take away from the message.

There are other times where you or a client have decided to go in another direction and the formatting needs cleared and changed.

To make things simple, Microsoft Word includes multiple options to clear formatting.

Clearing Formatting in Word

Select the text which you want to remove the formatting from. If you want to select all the text in your document, just press the Ctrl + A keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, use the Select button on your Home tab and click on Select Text With Similar Formatting.

On your Home tab, you can see a Styles group. You can open a dialog menu by clicking on the arrow button in the bottom right corner of this group.

Select Clear All from the menu. This will set you back to clear, non-formatted text.

You can also clear formatting by clicking on the Clear All Formatting button in your Font group on the Home tab.

Clear all Formatting

  1. Highlight the text you want to clear formatting from.
    1. You can select multiple instances of text by holding down the Control key on your keyboard as you make new selections.
    2. If you want to select similarly formatted text (such as paragraphs or titles) you can do so by going to the Home tab.
      Clear all formatting
      Click on Select from the Editing group, and choose Select Text With Similar Formatting.
    3. If you want to select all the text in your document, press Control + A on your keyboard.
  2. Now, select the Home tab from your menu ribbon.
    Clear all formatting
  3. From the Fonts group, select the Clear All Formatting button.
    Clear all formatting

All of your selected text will now revert to the default formatting used in your document.

Clear Formatting Via Styles

  1. Highlight the text you want to clear formatting from.
    1. You can select multiple instances of text by holding down the Control key on your keyboard as you make new selections.
    2. If you want to select similarly formatted text (such as paragraphs or titles) you can do so by going to the Home tab.
      Clear formatting via Styles
      Click on Select from the Editing group, and choose Select Text With Similar Formatting.
    3. Do you want to select all the text in your document? Press Control + A on your keyboard.
  2. If not already on it, select the Home tab from your menu ribbon.
    Clear formatting via Styles
  3. Locate the Styles group.
  4. Click on the arrow button in the bottom-right corner of the group.
  5. Click on the Clear All option. Because this is the first option, you might not see it right away. If this happens, just scroll upwards.
    Clear formatting via Styles

Paste Text Without Formatting

  1. In your document, right-click where you want to insert your text.
  2. Under Paste Options, click on the Keep Text Only symbol. Alternatively, you can press the T key on your keyboard.
    Paste text without formatting

Can't clear formatting in Word?

Did you follow every step correctly, yet you still were unable to change the formatting of your textThis might be because the document you’re editing is protected from any formatting changes. To be able to edit protected documents, you need to enter the correct password to unlock it. If the document isn’t originally yours, contact the author for help.

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