There is a little-known feature in Word that allows you to collect groups of text and / or graphics from different places in a Word document and then paste all that text somewhere else.
It’s called Spike and differs from the clipboard, which only allows you to work with one set of copied text at a time. Spike is named after the old-fashioned paper holder that people used to insert papers into when they did with them. You can still see the old-fashioned version of the Spike in some retail stores.
NOTE. The Spike feature is available in Word 97 through 2016.
How to use Spike in Word
To collect information in Spike in Word, simply select the text you want to add and press Ctrl + F3. This cuts information from your document and puts it in Spike. You can continue to cut parts of the document and Word will continue to add the cut text to Spike.
NOTE. When you use Spike, you are cutting or deleting text from its original location, NOT copying the text.
To insert the collected text, place the insertion point at the location in the current document, new document, or other existing document where you want to insert the text. Press Ctrl + Shift + F3 to paste the text from the thorn to the insertion point. All information in Spike (not just the last text you cut there) is inserted into your document at the insertion point.
Pressing Ctrl + Shift + F3 also erases all information in Spike. If you don’t want to clear the Spike when pasting its content, place the insertion point where you want to insert the content, type “spike” (without quotes) and press F3.
You can also view Spike content without inserting content or clearing Spike. To do this, in Word 2007 and later, click the Insert tab on the Ribbon and find the Quick Parts button in the Text section.
Click the arrow on the Quick Parts button and select Building Blocks Organizer from the drop-down menu if you’re using Word 2007 or AutoText if you’re using Word 2010.
Word 2007 displays the Building Block Organizer dialog box. Click Spike in the list on the left to display a preview of the text and / or graphics that Spike currently contains.
To view Spike content if you’re using Word 2003 or earlier, select AutoText | Autotext from the Insert menu.
The AutoCorrect dialog box appears. On the AutoText tab, enter â€œspikeâ€ (without quotes) in the â€œEnter AutoText Items Hereâ€ input box to quickly find a spike in the list. A spike is automatically selected after it is detected, and you can see its contents in the preview box below the list of auto text entries.
You may have noticed that when you inserted Spike content, there was an extra blank line between each element you added to Spike. This is due to clever paragraph selection.
With Smart Paragraph Selection enabled, you cannot select a paragraph without capturing the last paragraph mark. You can turn off smart paragraph selection to avoid creating blank lines between each of the spike elements. To do this, in Word 2007, choose Word Options from the Office menu.
In the Word Options dialog box, click More in the list on the left.
In the Editing Options section on the right, select the Use Smart Paragraph Selector check box to clear the check box.
Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.
To turn off Smart Paragraph Selection in Word 2003 or earlier, choose Options from the Tools menu.
In the Options dialog box, click the Edit tab. In the Editing Options section, select the Use Smart Paragraph Selector check box to clear the check box.
Click OK to close the Options dialog box.
Spike is a useful feature if you need to quickly and easily rearrange and move non-adjacent text, or create a new document from parts of another document. Enjoy!