Word: The Spike Feature

Have you ever heard of the Spike feature in Word? If you are shaking your head, you are not alone… it is not well known. This is a handy hidden feature that could be an enormous help to you if you are copying and combining separate pieces of data. It is kind of like your clipboard, but if utilized properly, can be a lot faster. Let’s check it out.

Spike

The Scenario

The best uses for Spike involves the need to move and combine separate blocks of text. In the example below, we want all the important, highlighted text to be pulled together at a separate location, removing it from the extemporaneous paragraphs. We could copy and paste three times, or we can utilize the Spike to do it all at once…

Text that needs to be moved together

Step 1: Cut Content to Spike

Start by selecting the first piece of information to be moved. With that text selected, press Ctrl + F3 on your keyboard.

Text selected

It will appear that this text has disappeared, but it has been cut to a special location… and if its disappearance bothers you, ctrl+ z (undo) would bring it back.

Repeat this step with the second and third important piece of information. Now you will be left with only extemporaneous information.

Only extemporaneous information remains

Step 2:Β  Paste Content from Spike

There are a several options to paste this content, and none of them involve the usual methods. All of these techniques will paste the entire contents that you previously cut to the Spike.

The First Method: Type “Spike”

Note: This method will not clear out what you have stored in the Spike, and as you cut more items to the Spike, it will be added to existing content.

  • Place your cursor where you would like the text to go
  • Type the word “Spike”; you will need to type slowly and you will see some helper text appear above the word.
  • Press enter to insert the text.

Type Spike and press enter to quickly paste

The Second Method: QuickParts

You can also paste content from your QuickParts… this method will also not clear the contents of the Spike.

  • Place your cursor in the desired location.
  • Go to the Insert tab
  • Select QuickParts
  • Hover over AutoText
  • Select Spike.

QuickParts

The Third Method: Ctrl + Shift + F3

This method will clear out what has been store in the Spike as well as paste the joined contents in a new location.

  • Place your cursor in the desired location
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + F3 on your keyboard.

All information pasted

Remember, if you picked one of the first two methods, at some point you will need to do this last method to clear the contents of the Spike.

Function Keys

It is worth mentioning, as a lot of us are working from laptops at the moment… Since you have to incorporate a function key (F3), remember that you may have to activate your function keys for this, or any function key feature, to work.Β  Many laptops have keys that serve dual purpose as function keys and other features, like volume or brightness.

Look for a key that says “Fn” to toggle on the function keys.

Thoughts?

What do you think? Do you have a use for the Spike feature in your Word documents?

Congratulations, Power Users!

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Susan Norton (picture coming soon!)