How To Keep Formatting When Pasting In Google Docs

Google Docs is a fantastic tool for creating and editing documents online. However, one common challenge that users often encounter is that of maintaining formatting when pasting content from another source into a Google Doc. This can be particularly frustrating when dealing with content that has specific fonts, color schemes, or other stylistic elements. Thankfully, there are some techniques you can use to ensure that your formatting stays intact.

Pasting with Formatting

The simplest way to keep your formatting when pasting into Google Docs is to use the “Paste without formatting” option. This option is available when you right-click within your document and will paste the content into your document without changing the format. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Copy the content you want to paste
  • Right-click on the location you want to paste the content
  • Select “Paste without formatting” from the dropdown menu

This method is quick and easy, but it doesn’t always work perfectly. Sometimes, you might still find that your pasted content doesn’t look exactly as you want. For this, Google Docs has another feature— “Keep Source Formatting”.

Keep Source Formatting

If you’re copying from a source document that has a lot of specific formatting, like different fonts, colors, styles, and the like, you might want to keep all of that when you paste it into your Google Doc. To do this, you use the “Keep Source Formatting” option:

  • Copy the content you want to paste
  • Right-click in your Google Doc where you want to paste
  • Select “Keep Source Formatting” from the dropdown menu

This should paste the content while maintaining all of the original formatting.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

For those of you who prefer keyboard shortcuts, there are equivalent commands for these options:

The shortcut for “Paste without formatting” is Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Command+Shift+V on Mac.

The “Keep Source Formatting” doesn’t have a direct shortcut, but you can use Ctrl+V on Windows or Command+V on Mac to paste the content. Then, click on the small clipboard icon that appears at the lower right of the pasted content, and select “Keep Source Formatting”.


Keeping formatting when pasting in Google Docs can be a bit tricky, but with these tips and tricks, you should be able to maintain your document’s look and feel without too much trouble. Remember to use “Paste without formatting” for a quick and easy paste, “Keep Source Formatting” when you need to maintain more complex formatting, and don’t forget those handy keyboard shortcuts!