How can one copy data from MS Word and paste that into a Google Document without losing the Rich Text Formatting (such as colour information)? It doesn't seem to be supported.

Please note that I am talking of copying data from a native Windows application and pasting it into a Google Document opened in a web browser, and not the other way round.

The same type of copy and paste seem to work fine if both the source and the sink application are inside the web browser. What gives?

  • What's a "sink application".
    – ale
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 16:54
  • This may also depend on the browser you're using.
    – ale
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 16:54
  • By sink I mean the application where the text is finally going to be copied.
    – Jaywalker
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


You could always add the document you want to get text from to Google Docs, convert it to GDocs format, copy-and-paste into your other document. Then, if you don't need it any longer, delete the original, converted document.


Loading the document into google docs first, and then formatting it, doesn't work when the RTF formatting is only created on the fly while the text is copied.
For example, when I'm writing code in Visual Studio, it is colored based on the context - comments are green, types are blue, etc. The file that is saved out is a .txt, but when I copy a segment of text it is copied in RTF format, which I can then paste into other applications - e.g. MS Word.

As best I can tell, the answer is "you can't," at least not directly.
One workaround that does work is to paste into MS Word, then re-copy and paste from there to Google Docs. I'm sort of hoping that there's an extension that will make this easier, but I haven't found one yet.

Google tries to justify this by saying "they're different apps with different formats," but what they really mean is "when we coded our brand new app, long after the standards were nice and mature, we decided not to support the standard formats that everybody else has been using for years... but please, use our non-standard app for EVERYTHING, so you'll be locked into only using us in the future and we can mine everything you do for marketing data!"

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