Collect and Paste from the Clipboard in Word 2007

By Dan Gookin

In Word 2007, the Clipboard (a Windows storage area) can now hold multiple copied items at time, so you can “collect and paste” — copy, copy, copy, and then use a special Clipboard view pane to selectively paste text back into your document.

Looking at the Clipboard

Word 2007 lets you see the contents of the Clipboard to view the last several items you cut or copied and, optionally, to paste them back into your document.

To view the Clipboard task pane, click the little doodad in the lower-right corner of the Clipboard group on the Home tab, right next to the word Clipboard.

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The Clipboard task pane then appears in the writing part of the Word 2007 window.

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The scrolling list contains the last several items you copied, from not only Word but also other programs.

Here’s some useful information for using the Clipboard task pane:

  • You can use the Copy command multiple times in a row to collect text when the Clipboard task pane is visible.

  • The Clipboard can hold only 24 items. If any more than that is copied or cut, the older items in the list are “pushed off” to make room for the new ones. The current number of items is shown at the top of the task pane.

  • Other Office programs (Excel and PowerPoint, for example) also share this collect-and-paste feature.

  • You can close the task pane when you’re done collecting and pasting: Click the X in the upper-right corner of the task pane window.

Pasting from the Clipboard task pane

To paste collected text from the Clipboard view pane into your document, simply click the mouse on that chunk of text. The text is copied from the Clipboard and inserted into your document at the insertion pointer’s location, just as though you typed it yourself.

  • You can click the Paste All button to paste each and every item from the Clipboard into your document.

  • Click only once! When you double-click, you insert two copies of the text.

Cleanse the Clipboard task pane

You’re free to clean up the Word 2007 Clipboard whenever the Clipboard task pane is visible.

  • To remove a single item, point the mouse at that item and click the downward-pointing triangle to the right of the item. Then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

    That single item is zapped from the Clipboard.

  • To whack all items on the Clipboard, click the Clear All button at the top of the Clipboard task pane.

You cannot undo any clearing or deleting that’s done in the Clipboard task pane.