Q&A: Word smart cut and paste

Q Ever since I started using Microsoft Word 2011, I have set its preferences so that when I copy and paste text into Word, it assumes the style of adjacent text. Since updating to Yosemite, this has remained working on my iMac, but has been lost on my MacBook Pro. How can I fix that?

A This setting is controlled by the Preferences in Word, in the Edit section, under Cut and Paste Options to “Use smart cut and paste”. This is true in both versions 14.5.4 and 15.13.1. You will no doubt have checked that is set correctly and identically on both Macs, meaning that they should behave the same.

Sometimes disparities like this result from corruption of the Property List (.plist) file containing those settings, in this case the file named com.microsoft.Word.plist in the Preferences folder of the Library in your Home folder. Quit Word, locate that file on the MacBook Pro, and move it to another folder such as Documents. When you next open Word you will need to configure all those preferences again, but hopefully they will now stick properly. If Word is fully up to date but you still cannot get this to work, it can only be a bug, which hopefully will be fixed very shortly.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 31 issue 2, 2015, its final issue.