Getting Rid of the “Paste Options” Button

Microsoft has never been known to be particularly good at designing software, particularly from a usability point of view. Sure, they try, but every new “improved usability” trick they reveal ends up being a kludge that most people hate. I am constantly swearing at Microsoft Word and Outlook because of their stupid designs and incomprehensibly dumb choices for usability.

Today I’m focusing on that insane little “Paste Options” button you get whenever you paste some text into a Word document. You know the one:

stupid button

That thing shows up next to your pasted text, usually blocking your view of something on the next line. Its role is to help you decide if you want the pasted text to bring its formatting with it, or to adopt the formatting of the document you’re pasting it in to. You have to expand its menu and choose, or simply type something to make it go away.

Let me say this very clearly: I have been using Microsoft Word almost daily since about 1992. Never in that time have I ever wanted the pasted text to keep its formatting. Not once! I always want it to adopt the formatting of the document I’m pasting into (the “destination” document).

As such, this feature is not only unnecessary, it is useless and annoying. The right thing for Microsoft to have done is make “adopt the formatting of the destination document” the default behaviour. For those few people who want it another way they could have built in a special key combination or put “Paste the retarded way” in the Edit menu.

But no, we’re stuck with it. Or not! I’ll show you how you can get rid of that annoying button in both Word 2003 and Word 2007. If you have a different version of Word, these instructions should still point you more or less in the right direction.

How To Get Rid of Word’s “Paste Options” Button

Word 2003:

  1. Go to Tools > Options.
  2. In the Options dialog, go to the Edit tab.
  3. Uncheck the “Show Paste Options button” box.
  4. Click OK. That’s it! You’ll never see that icon again!

Options dialog

Word 2007:

  1. Click that retarded nameless ball in the upper left corner (the one that makes it difficult to write instructions for because it has no name or label on it — thanks Microsoft).
  2. On the retarded nameless ball menu, choose “Word Options” (at the bottom).
  3. Click “Advanced” in the left sidebar.
  4. Scroll down to the “Cut, copy, and paste” section.
  5. Uncheck the “Show Paste Options button” box.
  6. Bonus! In the four “Pasting…” options, select “Match Destination Formatting.” This makes Word behave the way a non-retarded software company would have designed it.
  7. Click OK. That’s it! You’ll never see that icon again!

Below are the same instructions in graphical form:

Finding the Word Options

Word Options

Free Tulip Wallpaper

On this blustery and unseasonably cold day, I offer you another free springy wallpaper for your computer. This is a photograph of a tulip that I took in our front garden just a few days ago. It makes a great wallpaper because it is colorful, cheerful, and has a fuzzy, uncluttered area all around the main subject, where your desktop icons won’t get lost.


Go ahead, grab it. Absolutely free for personal use. There is a reasonable fee for editorial or commercial use (email me at blork | at | blork | dot | org). Potentially free for artistic/mashup purposes (email me and we’ll discuss it).

Here is the widescreen version (1680×1050).

Here is the standard 3:2 version (1280×853).

Don’t worry if your screen’s pixel count isn’t exactly the same as the images; your monitor will adjust accordingly. Just be sure to pick the right aspect ratio.

If you’re using Firefox, the easiest thing to do is click the appropriate link and load the picture in your browser. Then right-click and select “Set as desktop background.”


Previous wallpaper giveaways are here and here.

Spiff: There’s an App for that!

Loyal readers remember Spiff, the famous cat who coached me through my first five years of blogging before he finally expired in 2005 at the age of 14. Well I’m pleased to announce that Spiff lives on in Peghole’s iPhone App, Clean My Screen!

Mark (of Peghole) was looking for some images to use in the small photo library that comes with the app, and I provided some — including two shots of the famous Spiff. One of them is a bit of a shocker; to avoid having two orange cat photos in the library, Mark conjured up Spiff’s grey-furred alter-ego, Smiff.

Spiff & Smiff

Smiff on the left, Spiff on the right. Stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!

As to the purpose of Clean My Screen, well, check the FAQ.

In the meantime, I have a few promotion codes for a free copy of Clean My Screen. If you want one, send me an email up until April 28, 2010 (blork-at-blork-dot-org). Note that the promo codes can only be used in the U.S. iTunes store.

Literary Twitter Memes

Twitter memes are catching on like crazy. People love to do things like “Follow Friday,” where on Fridays you start following new people and you tweet about it. (Note: please don’t follow me just because it’s Friday. Follow me because you can’t bear to go another day without reading my random brain farts.)

I’m thinking we need to up the ante a bit. How about literary Twitter memes? Days of the week in which you tweet in the style of a famous writer!

For example we could have Martin Amis Mondays, where you take inordinate pleasure in using obscure and arcane vocabulary.

Benthamitically rethinking Twitter's pareidolia. Vermiculating toward recrudescent blog seems dotardic yet agonismically ablutious. FTW!

Or how about Shakespeare Saturdays, when all your tweets are in iambic pantameter?

To cook this night requires oneself to shop. But nay the call of Pizza Hut is nigh!

Or we could keep it simple with Hemingway Wednesdays, when you use short, declarative sentences, and every word is pure and true.

She gave me a pie. The pie was good.

Woo hoo! Twitter for people who like to read!