How to Copy a Web Page to Word

By James Wright

Copying a Web page to Microsoft Word is a little more complex than using Word's faithful copy and paste function, and you may have trouble formatting your content correctly when you try to copy the page into your Word document. Sometimes your formatting won't match the rest of your document; on other occasions it won't keep its original formatting when you need it to. Word does have a few options built in to modify your formatting after you paste it in; you can also make use of the Paste Special feature for additional options.

Use Built-in Paste Options

Word often tries to automatically format content as you paste it into a document, which can often be more of a nuisance than a help. Luckily, Word also immediately presents you with different paste formatting options depending on how you want the document to look. After you paste your text into your document, look for the icon of the clipboard that appears at the end of the text you just pasted. Click it to see three different options: "Keep Source Formatting," "Merge Formatting" and "Keep Text Only." The first option pastes the text as it was on the Web page, the second formats the text to match the rest of your document, and the third pastes the text plainly with no formatting at all. You can hover over each option without clicking them to see a preview.

Use Special Paste Options

Word's "Paste Special" feature has more options for pasting content, including one just for Web pages. Instead of clicking "Paste" or using the equivalent keyboard shortcut, click the arrow under "Paste" and choose "Paste Special." From here you can choose between HTML format and unformatted text. You will also see options for whether you want to use unformatted Unicode or not. Unicode ensures that all characters and symbols can be used, such as characters from different languages. In the past, characters not using Unicode might show up as boxes or question marks, but Word now automatically uses Unicode so it doesn't matter which of the two unformatted options you choose.