Secrets to formatting your documents #HTipT #146

Alia shares the secret tricks to getting your documents to look the way you want them to look; fast when you want to move content between platforms and keep the cool formatting you created.



Video Transcript:

John Paul: Welcome to this weekly podcast of Hot Tip Tuesday presented by the Auspicious Arts Incubator, building sustainable arts businesses.  
Alia: Copying content between Microsoft programs can sometimes be annoying, so here’s a quick tip to make life much easier. I’m Alia Vryen, and I’m the Microsoft Word wizard here at the Auspicious Arts Incubator, and I’m back this week with another quick tip for you to get your documents to look the way you want them to look, fast. I put it out to our community of artists to see what problems that you might be having that I could potentially help you with. So, this week’s tip comes courtesy of a question from Tricia Stedman [SP]. So, thanks, Tricia. Tricia said she’d been having problems copying and pasting text from one Microsoft program into another, like from Word to Excel or PowerPoint, and then losing all of the formatting that she’d done. And this is an issue that I see a lot of people struggling with, so I thought it would be an easy one to try and fix with you.  
Now, I’ve talked to you before about how to style a document using style sheets or copying the existing formatting using the paintbrush tool. Well, how can we make sure that we don’t lose all of that good work when we want the same text in a different program? Let’s look at my example. I have a Word document that has a couple of headings, some paragraph text and some bullet points. I’d like to copy this over to my Excel document. So, I highlight everything, I press Ctrl+C, or command and C on a Mac, for the copy, and then Ctrl+V for paste into the Excel. Now, here’s where things get interesting. Sometimes, in the newer versions of Word, it can tell what you’re trying to do and helps you to be smart. You can see in my example that it actually copies all of the formatting across really easily. But sometimes, especially in the older versions of Word and Excel, this process doesn’t go so smoothly and you’ll actually get something that looks like this, all plaintext and none of the nice formatting.   
Now, there’s a little tool that can help make sure that you keep the look of the text that you want, which is called “paste special.” Now, most, if not all of the Microsoft suite of programs have a version of this button, and they can be used in a bunch of ways. In this example, this is what I would do. I would copy the text that I want in the Word file, I would go to my Excel file, and then find the “paste special” button in the top left. The first little icon displayed there is what we want right now, and if you hover over it you’ll see that it’s called “keep source formatting.” And when you click it, it’s gonna put the text that you copied into your new document, using the formatting that you had in the Word file. You can also do the same thing between two Word documents that have different style sheets. See, in this other document I have, it has different looking headings, and I wanna copy the text from my first document but I want the text that I’m copying to look different from the stuff in the new document. So, I copy the text that I want, highlight and Ctrl+C, and then I go to the other document I wanna paste into, I put my cursor where I want to insert the text. I go to the “paste special” button and select the icon, “keep source formatting.” And see now, how the text is pasted in, looking like the first document and not matching to the second document.  
The next place that it’s really useful to know about the “keep source formatting” option is when you’re working in PowerPoint. So, here’s my presentation. It’s got a green style to it and I’ve got a couple of slides. I wanna add some slides from my different presentation that I’ve done, this purple-looking one, and I wanna keep the purple slides looking purple. So, I select the slides I wanna copy, and if you don’t actually know how to do that, you click on the first page thumbnail at the left of the screen, you hold down shift and then you click on the last page thumbnail that you wanna copy, if there’s more than one that you wanna copy across. If I hold shift, it’s gonna allow me to select more than one page, and will actually select all the pages in-between the two that I’ve selected. It’s a bit nifty. Anyway, then I go to my first presentation and I right-click in-between the page thumbnails at the point that I wanna add the new slides, and I’m given the “paste special” option box. This time, it’s the middle icon that’s the “keep source formatting” option. We select that, and you’ll see that the slides are added, keeping the purple look. If we hadn’t used this function, the new slides would’ve inserted, trying to copy the existing green style. And that’s it.  
Check out our new members’ site, where I actually go over this tip in more detail, and I look at some of the other “paste special” functions that can be really helpful. We have other weekly, monthly content, including live Q&A sessions, interviews with industry members and handy eBooks. On this video, leave me a comment with any other questions that you have or suggestions for other things you’d like me to go over, and make sure you subscribe to our Hot Tips and check out our website at  
John Paul: Thanks for listening to this week’s Hot Tip Tuesday podcast. All of these podcasts in the Hot Tip Tuesday series are curated by myself, John Paul Fischbach, the CEO and Chief Alchemist here at the Auspicious Arts Incubator, and are produced by Alia Vryens. Check us out if you wanna see this podcast, because sometimes there are visuals that don’t translate in a podcast. And you can see those videos if you check out our website, And there’s a drop-down menu for “quick help for artists,” where you can see the video version of this podcast. 

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