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Using the Clipboard to Multi-Paste

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows.

When you’re drafting a pleading (particularly an answer to a complaint or discovery) you probably find yourself using a few of the same phrases over and over. Rather than going back and recopying those snippets repeatedly (or worse, retyping them), use the Microsoft Word Clipboard to quickly access and paste them again and again.

Viewing the Clipboard

You can view the current contents of the Clipboard by clicking the launcher arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the Paste area on the Home tab:

Word-2016-open-clipboard

Word-2016-clipboardAs you copy text within your documents, they will accumulate within the Clipboard, and you can view and work with them within the Clipboard pane on the left. Want to re-use a particular snippet? Simply place your cursor where you want to drop it, then click the item in the Clipboard to drop it in. Easy!

Manipulating Clipboard Contents

If you copy an item that you’re pretty sure you’re not going to use again in that particular document, you can delete it from the Clipboard to keep it cleaned-up. Click on the right side of any entry and you’ll get this drop-down:

Word-2016-clipboard-delete-entry

If you’re ready to clear out the Clipboard completely, you can use that Clear All button at the top.

Want to make the Clipboard pane larger (or smaller)? Simply hover your mouse over the border until the cursor shape changes as shown below, then hold down your left mouse button and drag the mouse left or right as needed.

Word-2016-clipboard-resize

Embedding Current Paragraph # into a Clipboard Item

Here’s one extra tip: You know how, when you’re drafting an Answer to a Complaint, you’ll often repeat the phrase “the remaining allegations of paragraph # are denied” (or something like that)? If you’re using automatic paragraph numbering, you can embed that current paragraph number into that phrase. When you copy it to the Clipboard, that field remains active, so you can always have the correct paragraph number regardless of how many times you paste it. Click here for that tutorial.

How much time will this tip save you?

 

by Deborah Savadra

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.

WOW – You read that whole post!

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  1. Thanks Deborah, glad to read your detailed explanation in this article.
    A colleague found the clipboard pane (by accident?) the other day, and pointed us to it. Being able to multi-paste defined terms, party names etc. saves heaps of time while drafting contracts or letters!
    Having keyboard shortcuts to multi-paste items from the clipboard would put this tool over the top for me.