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How to Clear Formatting in Word

Jul 4 2023

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Read time

2.5 min


General Technology


MS Word

Read time

2.5 min

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If you’ve copied or imported text to your Word document or you’ve simply had multiple editors reviewing the document, the format of your file may not be consistent or uniform throughout. 

Now the first step is to clear all the formatting from the document so you can add in your final fonts, spacing, and styles. Here’s a quick way to do this:

Clear all Formatting

Some document types, such as business reports or legal documents, require specific formatting. 

Before you revise these documents, follow the steps below to clear all formatting and start fresh:

1. Select the part of the text where you want to remove formatting. If you want to clear formatting of all text, use the Select All (CTRL + A) option from the Editing section under the Home tab.

Accessing the Select All editing option in MS Word

2. In the same tab, click on the Clear All Formatting button.

Selecting the Clear All Formatting option in MS Word

Clear Styles Formatting

If you use one of MS Word’s pre-set Styles in your content, the Clear All Formatting button above will work only for the selected Style that’s formatting the selected text.

To clear formatting for all Styles formatting: 

1. Go to the Styles section.

2. Click on the bottom right arrow in the Styles section. 

3. Click on Clear All. 

Accessing the Clear All styles formatting option in MS Word

Remove formatting from selected text

You can easily remove formatting from selected text using a few keyboard shortcuts:

  • To remove character formatting from selected text, press Ctrl + spacebar
  • To remove paragraph formatting (such as alignment or line spacing) from selected text, press Ctrl + Q.

Removing formatting from tables

You may have trouble clearing the formatting applied to text and cells in tables, or struggle with undoing the format for each row and column. With a few clicks, you can deal with the table as a whole and remove formatting from the entire table: 

1. Select the table.

2. Go to the Table Design tab.

3. Click on the bottom right arrow in the Table Styles section.

4. Click on Clear

Option to clear table style formatting in MS Word

This removes any formatting, borders, colours, or shading from the table. 

Start clearing formatted content with Xodo

Once you’ve cleared all the formatting from your MS Word document, you can use Xodo's free online DOCX editor to perform any advanced document editing task as you go, from applying styles and headers to deleting pages and even adding in text.

Need to do more with your files? Xodo offers over 30 online tools to help with tasks like PDF conversion, editing, annotating, merging, compression, and more to get your productivity to the next level from anywhere and anytime. Get unlimited access to every tool you need in your productivity toolbox! 

Explore All Xodo Tools
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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