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Microsoft KB Archive/171705

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Knowledge Base

XL97: Text Copied from Microsoft Word Is Converted into Squares

Article ID: 171705

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171705


If you copy text in a Microsoft Word document, and then paste the copied text into Microsoft Excel 97, some or all of the pasted characters may appear as square characters. If you reformat the pasted characters, they all appear as the same character.


This problem occurs if some or all of the copied characters are formatted with any of the following fonts

Monotype Sorts

or with any other font that uses mostly symbols instead of traditional characters.


To work around this problem, use the Paste Special command on the Edit menu to paste the copied text into Microsoft Excel 97. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In Microsoft Word, select the text that you want to copy. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  2. Switch to Microsoft Excel 97. Select the cell or location in which you want to paste the text.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
  4. In the Paste Special dialog box, click Text in the As list. Then, click OK.

The text is pasted into the cell and uses the font the cell is formatted to use. You can reformat the cell to use any font you want. When you do this, the text appears exactly the same as it does in Microsoft Word.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. This problem no longer occurs in Microsoft Excel 2000.

Additional query words: XL97 WD97 clipboard unicode

Keywords: kbbug KB171705