Excel Guides

How to Ignore Paragraph Marks when Pasting in Excel

When you paste text into an Excel spreadsheet, the paragraph marks (hard returns) that you inserted to create paragraphs of text in your Word document may come along for the ride. These extra paragraph marks can make your pasted text appear as one long paragraph in your Excel worksheet. If you want to keep the original formatting of your document and ignore the paragraph marks, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Open your Excel spreadsheet and select the cell or cells where you want to paste your text.
  2. Click the Home tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Click the Paste button in the Clipboard group and select Paste Special from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Paste Special dialog box, click Unformatted Text in the Paste list.
  5. Click OK to close the dialog box and paste your text into the selected cell or cells without the paragraph marks.

If you find that you need to paste formatted text into an Excel spreadsheet on a regular basis, you can save a few steps by changing one of Excel's default settings. With this setting changed, any time you paste text into an Excel cell, the paragraph marks will be automatically removed. To change this setting, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab on the Ribbon and select Options from the drop-down menu.
  2. In the Excel Options dialog box, click Advanced in the left pane.
  3. Scroll down to the Editing options section and check the box next to Smart Cut and Paste.
  4. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes.

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