How to Remove All Formatting in Microsoft Word

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Matthew M. White
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There are actually several ways to remove formatting in a Microsoft Word document. It's not uncommon to go a little overboard with customization when creating a Word document. If you have too many formatting changes applied that don't work, to avoid starting over, it may be much easier to just clear all formatting from the selected text. The way to do this may vary depending on the version of Microsoft Word you are using.



When using Microsoft Word, an overriding style is attached to each paragraph, so any changes made to the paragraph format will also require changes to the associated style.

Clear All Formatting in Microsoft Word 2010

You can easily remove all your formatting and save time without manually overriding the undo option by following.

  1. Open the formatted document.
  2. Highlight all the text you want to erase by holding down the left click and dragging over the formatted text. Alternatively, if you are having trouble with the mouse, you can hold the shift key while pressing the Right arrow button to highlight the text. To select all text, press CTRL+A anywhere on the document.
  3. In the menu ribbon, click the Home tab located to the right of the deposit tongue.
  4. Within the Home tab, in the “Font” section, find and click on the Remove formatting button which is an icon that appears with Aa and diagonal tires.

All the text you previously selected will now become the default style which is standard with Word 2010. If you are not happy with how the default format appears, you can press Ctrl + Z to return to the formatted text option.



Remove header style without losing format

Sometimes you're okay with the current formatting, but the header just doesn't belong. To change the header while keeping the current formatting in Word 2010:

  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Right-click to open the menu and select Paragraph.
  3. Locate "Outline Level" and change it to "Body Text".

It's that simple.

Again, for those having mouse issues, another way to do this is to:

  1. Open the Paragraph dialog box by pressing ALT + O + P.
  2. On the Indents and Spacing tab, TONGUE to the Hierarchical level drop-down list and select The body of the text.
  3. press Enter (or TAB to OK and press Enter).

Clear All Formatting in Microsoft Word 2013+

Getting rid of unwanted format in your Word 2013/16 document is very similar to the 2010 version. The only major difference is the appearance of the remove formatting icon. He will now have only one A with a sacred clothe pink eraser diagonally in the opposite direction.

However, if you've skipped this section and bypassed the 2010 course, here's a quick recap.

  1. Open the document of your choice and click on the Home tab located to the right of the deposit top left tab.
  2. Next, highlight the text you want to format using the left-click drag option with the mouse, holding down shift in tapotant Right arrow, or by selecting all the text with CTRL+A inside the document.
  3. Within the Character font section of the ribbon, click the icon to remove formatting, it looks like an A with an eraser through part of it.

All the formatting you highlighted is now set to the default style for Microsoft Word 2013/16.



Clear all formatting using the Styles pane

  1. Select and highlight the text whose formatting you want to clear.
  2. Head to the Home tab and click the little arrow on the modes section.
  3. The modes pane should be displayed. Choose the Erase everything option at the top of the list.
  4. All styles of the selected content will default to the Normal style.

Keep in mind that even when using Ctrl + A To highlight the content of your Word document, all content in text boxes, headers, and footers will need to be stripped out of the formatting separately.



If you cannot clear the formatting of a certain document, the document can be protected against all formatting changes. If so, you will need to acquire the password first before you are allowed to reformat the content.

Alternative way to clear all formatting regardless of Word version

When you're working with a highly formatted document but the information above is still a little too confusing for you, here's a quick and surefire way to get rid of it:

  1. Highlight the text you want to format.
  2. Either cut (Shift + Delete) or copy (CTRL + CLOSE) the text. You can also right-click on the highlighted text and choose to cut or copy from the drop-down list provided.
  3. In Windows, open the Notepad application.
  4. Pastry (CTRL + DRAW) the highlighted text located on your clipboard in the Notepad. Notepad can only work with unformatted text and will therefore eliminate all current formats and styles associated with pasted text.
  5. Just copy or cut the text in Notepad and paste it into your Word document. The format will now be the default version.

Hope the above mentioned methods succeeded in removing your unwanted formatting. If that didn't work or you know of another method, please leave a comment below.

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