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How to Remove or Clear Formatting in Microsoft Word

We show you how to clear formatting in Word via the Styles and Font windows so you can get your document back to a blank slate.


If you pasted text into your document from the internet or another document, you may find it necessary to learn how to clear formatting in Word. The in-built feature will remove any display issues you may have and return text to its default form.

What is formatting in Word?

Formatting refers to any changes applied to your text beyond Word's default 11pt Calibri font. Italics, bold, underline, highlighting, strikethrough, paragraph styles, centering, size, color, and more all fall under the umbrella of “formatting”.

As a result, if you made changes to your document that didn't turn out as expected, the clear formatting feature in Word will get you back to a blank slate. It'll keep all of your text and links but remove any of the above changes. You can do this for an entire document or just a certain section that's causing you trouble.

With that explained, let's jump into teaching you how to remove or clear formatting in Word.

How to Clear Formatting in a Word Document

Before we proceed, select the text that you want to remove the formatting of in Word. If you'd like to unformat text for the while document, you can press Ctrl + A to speed up the process.

  1. Open paragraph styles

    With your text selected, click the “Home” tab in the ribbon, then the “Styles” button. In the pop-out styles menu, click the little square with an arrow pointing diagonally.

    Alternatively, skip all that and just press Alt Ctrl + Shift + S.

  2. Click “Clear All”

    In the styles menu, scroll to the top and click “Clear All”.

  3. The text will reset to the “Normal” style

    You can apply any formatting again if you wish.

  4. OR: Clear all formatting via the Font menu

    If you can't remember the hotkey for the styles menu, it may be faster to clear formatting via font options on the ribbon.

    You can do so by clicking “Home”, then “Font” and pressing the “A” with an eraser on it on the pop-out font menu.

If you found this tutorial helpful, you may also want to learn how to add and remove line numbers in Word or change its background color to suit your preferences.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.