Keyboard Shortcut to Clear Formatting in Microsoft Office

I love keyboard shortcuts! My top three favourite keyboard shortcuts that I use every single day and could not live without are:

  1. Ctrl + K
  2. Windows + S
  3. Windows + right arrow / left arrow

I spent the majority of my workday toggling between Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Lync, and Microsoft SharePoint – but the one program I never shut down – even after business hours are over – is Microsoft OneNote. I like to work in OneNote with the Ribbon minimized to maximize the amount of the page that is visible. Because of that I’ve added a number of commands to my Quick Access Toolbar for easy access including the Clear All Formatting button.



The challenge is this: when I switch to Full Page View, and the Quick Access Toolbar is no longer visible, the Mini Toolbar (available via hovering or right clicking) does not contain the Clear Formatting option – see:


So there I was, a disgruntled panda grumbling away in my head for months about how long it took me to perform this command…

…until I finally stopped all the negative talk and got smart. In my moment of clarity, I remembered that when you hover your mouse over any command in an Office program, a pop up appears explaining what action the button performs AND gives you the associated keyboard shortcut:



Now my life is full of the happy click-clack of keys whipping through my work with ease.




10 responses to “Keyboard Shortcut to Clear Formatting in Microsoft Office

  1. Thanks for this – the 500 clicks it was taking me to clear formatting was driving me mental.

    1. Totally agree Jacintha! Every click I can avoid means one less second I have to spend in front of the computer so I can get back to enjoying life with friends and family!

  2. Thanks for clear formatting short cut. I was not able to get it on MS word help or by hovering over the mouse on clear formatting.

  3. What is ‘normal’ font? The reason I ask is that using the Clear Formatting button on the toolbar reverts text (in my case) to Calibri 11pt text throughout. When I use Ctr+Shift+N on the same text, I get Calibri 8.5pt text for the 2nd level bullet points and 11pt text for the headings.

  4. The bigger question here is why on earth aren’t these shortcuts common through all the Office suite? I use Excel a LOT and OneNote a fair bit and the lack of cross-program shortcuts is incredibly irritating.

    I have ended up using keyrocket to make my own KB shortcuts.

  5. Thanks for the shortcut. Do you know any shortcut for ‘remove spaces after paragraph’?

  6. thanks for the shortcut!!!! I was searching for it for days. Loved it because the SHIFT button KB is my favorite.

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