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Quicktip – Microsoft Word: How to Paste/Format Code?

By , 31 Dec 2013
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Have you ever tried to paste code into a Word document? Ugly! It loses formatting, wraps code around, loses syntax coloring, etc. Today, I tried to document my sample Java/JSP code in Word. I wanted to intersperse code with additional comments explaining the code for other developers, the way some web pages do it. I tried pasting code into Word, it lost formatting and also syntax coloring. I searched good old Google and landed on this page in Stackoverflow (SOF). Out of the several tips, the one using NotePad++ (Npp) caught my attention.

Export to HTML using Npp

I use Npp both at work and home and it’s a great tool. Why not use it? I had an older version. I downloaded and installed version 6.2. They have added few more plugins and options. Now, I can colorize JSP code (though I don’t like their choice of colors for HTML elements). Per tip in SOF, I tried Npp Export plugin to copy RTF to Clipboard option. This didn’t work OK (colors ran in Word). I tried the other options. Of all, the “Export to HTML” option worked out the best for me. Colors softened in HTML. Then I just opened the HTML file in Word, saved as Word and got down to business with documenting the code. To add flavor, I added a Style called “Code” in Word to customize further. I added “box” to this style and the results are shown below.

Adding Line Numbers

NppExport does not add line #s by default (There is a “feature request” opened for this issue!). I poked around the web for line #s in Npp and found this tip. Essentially, use TextFx Tools to Insert line #s into the file in Npp. Then do the Export like above. Bingo! I’ve got formatted/syntax highlighted code with line #s pasted into Word document. And one more kudos to Npp for a job well done!

Fig 1 – Sample code snippet formatted in Word with description around it

Filed under: CodeProject, Misc
Tagged: documenting code, Notepad++, Npp, Word


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Sam Varadarajan
Software Developer (Senior) City of Los Angeles
United States United States
Originally a Physics major, fell in love with Microprocessors and switched to Computer Science 20+ years ago. Since then, dabbled in various languages including, PowerBuilder, Oracle, Java, C, C++, Perl, Python etc. Constantly striving for quality and performance too.
I try to help fellow developers with technology as a way of "giving back to the community". Blogging became a natural extension of that effort. Still learning to perfect that art. If one new programmer out there benefits from this blog, my time and effort are fully worth it.
The underlying theme in my blogs is power and beauty of programming (and technology in general). A well written program gives me the sense of awe you get when you look at a man made wonder like Angkor Wat. You experience poetry, art, mystique, power all at once. A program and the troubleshooting that ensues also gives you a feeling you get while reading a mystery novel!
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