I sometimes wonder how often the default paste operation in an application is appropriate. Maybe I’m abnormal (maybe?) but it seems like 73.2% of the time, I want pasted text to match the formatting of where it is going rather than where it came from. I guess the exception is when I’m copying and pasting from within the same document. The result is that I use “Paste Special” a lot.
The trouble with Paste Special is that it (a) doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut and (b) brings up a dialog that has to be dealt with when all I really want is to paste as “Unformatted Text”.
My wife is currently a “Knowledge Bowl” coach, and one of her jobs is to put together a study guide of science vocabulary. That involves a lot of copying from various sources and pasting into the study guide (which is a Word document), and finally drove me to come up with a solution. I found something similar to the following very short macro at http://swest.wordpress.com/2006/01/15/ms-word-paste-plain-text/:
Sub PasteSpecialUnformatted() Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatPlainText) End Sub
You can add this to Normal.dot by clicking the Macros button on Word 2007’s View tab.
Then I customized Word to bind the macro to Ctrl+Shift+V. In Word 2007, you do this by clicking the Office Menu, then Word Options, select the Customize category, click the Customize… button by Keyboard shortucts, which finally brings up the Customize Keyboard dialog. Pick Macros from the Categories list to see the macro, then you can associate a new shortcut key.