Collect and Paste Text Snippets from all Over Word to a Single Location

It's not uncommon for me to find myself needing to copy and paste disparate phrases from all over a document to a single location. Let me give you an example: Suppose I've been taking notes or outlining a document, and now I want to collect phrases from across the doc and arrange them as a bulleted list at the start of my final document. You can use traditional cut and paste, but there's a faster way: Word's Spike tool.

The Spike works sort of like those old desktop spikes that office workers would use to spear bits of paper (back before OSHA or, I suppose, any conception of office safety). The Spike tool in Word works the same way, only without the ever-present threat of tetanus. Here's what you do:

  • Select some text and press Ctrl+F3. This cuts the text and adds it to the spike.
  • Lather, rinse, and repeat as much as necessary until you've collected all the text you want.
  • If you only want to paste the text once, and clear the spike, position the insertion point and press Ctrl + Shift + F3.
  • If you want to paste the text more than once, position the insertion point, type spike, and press F3. Repeat as needed.
This little known feature comes by way of Help Desk Geek.