Anyone who grew up during the early years of personal computers has funny associations with the terms ‘copy and paste’. At school, it was a childish way to say ‘plagiarised’, since people would copy and paste answers directly from resources like Encyclopedia Britannica CD-ROM.

PowerPoint offers a variety of different pasting options when it comes to copying text, media, or even other slides into your PowerPoint slideshow. This allows you to customize how much information you’re copying over and in what format.

Copy and Paste Text

Often users who copy text from other sources into PowerPoint (or Word for that matter) are that different fonts and text sizes are pasted into textboxes. Whenever you use a basic paste option (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V), PowerPoint will automatically attempt to import the original formatting of the text.

For example, PowerPoint will try to imitate the font and size of the text copied from a specific web page or use the original formatting of text from another document, whether from Word doc, PDF, or wherever you source it.

If you have a font and text size decided upon and want to keep consistency, pasting regularly can be time-consuming as you manually reformat text, so let’s look at how copying and pasting can produce different styles depending on the desired look for your slides.

Have a look at the process

First, highlight and copy the text you want to transfer. You copy by right-clicking and selecting Copy from the menu that appears, or pressing a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + C. Then go to your PowerPoint document to the slide you want to paste to. You either paste into an existing textbox or choose to create a new one automatically by pasting directly onto the slide.

The Paste button is in your Home tab in the top left of your menu. Under it will be a little arrow – click this to see all your different paste options. You can also find this option by right-clicking on the slide and using the pop-up menu.

First option

The first option is to Use Destination Theme, which means the text being copied will be pasted with your PowerPoint document’s set theme font, which is the default text formatting you’ll see whenever you create a new textbox. This is a good option if you want your new text to fit in with your Theme fonts and means less formatting for you to do later.

Second option

The second option is to Keep Source Formatting where your text will try to keep its original formatting. You’ll see this most clearly in copying text from other PowerPoint documents or styles. This is the option to choose if you want to maintain the text’s original design. This can be handy not only in copying and pasting from other documents but even within the same document; if you have already formatted the text once, then pasting again while using Keep Source Formatting will save you from having to do it again.

Third option

The third option is to paste as Picture, converting the pasted text into an image file. This is not commonly used because the text will no longer be editable, but in other circumstances where you want to preserve the text exactly as is, then this simplifies your pasting options.

Fourth option

The last option is Keep Text Only. This is similar to the first option of using Destination Theme fonts, but is more versatile in that it won’t copy the Theme fonts exactly, but instead whatever text formatting that already exists in the textbox you are copying into. Keep Text Only is particularly useful if the textbox you’re pasting into has a different font or text styling to your theme font. If the textbox has multiple text formats, such as other fonts or bolds or italics, then it will use the formatting of the text directly before where it is pasted. You will find yourself using this option often if you are copying and pasting text often into textboxes you have already pre-formatted and will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Copy and Paste Slides

Using PowerPoint frequently will mean you’re regularly copying and pasting slides from one document to another. Using Paste options, you can control how you copy these slides to avoid unnecessary formatting issues that may occur when using a basic Paste.

Have a look at the process

To copy a slide in PowerPoint, use the scrolling thumbnails in the left pane of your workspace or use the Slide Sorter view. First, click to highlight the slide you wish to copy. If you want to copy multiple consecutive slides, then click the first slide of the group, hold Shift, then click the last slide in the group. If you wish to copy multiple non-consecutive slides, then click the first slide, hold Ctrl, then click the individual slides you wish to select.

Once your slides are selected, click Copy in the Home tab, or in the right-click menu popup. You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C to copy as well. Now go to the PowerPoint document you want to paste to. Your slides will paste indirectly after the slide you selectin the left pane in your normal view, or within the Slide Sorter. Now open your Paste options like before, using either the Home tab menu or the right-click menu.

Some major Pasting options 

You will have three Pasting options to choose from. The first is to Use Destination Theme where your copied slides not only Destination Theme fonts and colours, but also the master slides. This is a good option when your copied slides need to take on the formatting of the new document, as it will save you time in reformatting each one individually. However, be aware that the layout of your slide may change when using this paste option as it tries to use the Destination slide layouts as well. You may need some time afterward to reposition your slide elements.

The next option is Keep Source Formatting, which ensures the original format of your copied slides is preserved. This is the best option if you don’t want your slides to remain unchanged as you copy them over, including fonts and colours. This will also import the slide masters of your copied slides into your new document’s slide master. If you go to the Slide Master view, you can see the different slide masters that were imported with the slides. This means that if later you do want to change a slide to another Slide Master layout, you can do so using the Layout button.

The third option is paste as Picture, which pastes your slides as image files onto an existing slide, like a screenshot. It does not actually paste in as individual slides, so only use this option when you need to show a visual of another slide.

Other Pasting Options

PowerPoint doesn’t offer different pasting options simply for text and slides, but almost every kind of object and media you can integrate into your slides, such as videos and charts. When you’re having trouble coping and pasting from other sources, remember that you can always check your Paste options to see if there is an easier way you can paste into your PowerPoint file.

If you want to Copy and Paste your own branding into some beautiful, ready-made PowerPoint slides, check out our free PowerPoint templates – made to conveniently integrate your own design ideas.

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