There are a few ways to insert command or code blocks in your Word document. Depending on if you want the reader to simply view the code or have the ability to copy it, let’s walk through the options.
Option 1: Paste Special as HTML
One of the quickest ways to add code to your document is with the Paste Special option for HTML. This inserts the code you’ve copied without the other formatting of your document. And, this option allows your reader to copy the code or command straight from your document.
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Select the code or command from your application and copy it using the toolbar, the context menu, or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C on Windows or Command+C on Mac.
Place your cursor in your Word document where you want to paste it. Then go to the Home tab, click the Paste drop-down arrow, and choose Paste Special. Select “HTML Format” and click “OK.”
When the code appears in your document, you can format the font or the snippet if you like.
Use the Home tab to color specific pieces of code with the Font section of the ribbon. To add a border or shade, select the Borders drop-down arrow in the Paragraph section and pick “Borders and Shading.”
Option 2: Insert an Object
If you want to insert the code or command in your document only for the reader to see and not copy or edit, you can insert an object containing the snippet.
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Go to the Insert tab, click the Object drop-down arrow, and pick “Object.”
On the Create New tab, select “OpenDocument Text” as the Object Type. Click “OK.”
A new Word document will open for you to insert your code or command. You can use the Paste Special HTML format described earlier if you like. After you add the snippet, close the document.
Your code then appears in your original Word document as an object. You can then move it, resize it, or add a border if you wish.
Option 3: Attach a Screenshot
Another option for adding your snippet as an item instead of text is using an image. If you have your code or command in an active application window like Notepad++ or Command Prompt, you can easily add it to your document. The drawbacks here are that the reader can’t easily copy your code if they need to and that resizing may negatively affect readability.
Go to the Insert tab and click the Screenshot drop-down arrow. You should see the application window as an option.
Select it and it’ll pop into your document as an image. You can then crop the image to remove the surrounding application window if you like.
Alternatively, you can use the Screen Clipping option in the Screenshot drop-down. When you select this tool, your cursor changes to a crosshair. Use it to drag the area of your screen or other application window you want to capture and release.
That image then appears in your document. You can move, resize, or customize the snippet screenshot like any other image in Word.
One more option is to use a syntax highlighter like Easy Syntax Highlighter. This is a free add-in for Microsoft Word that highlights your code for you including a background and colors for pieces of the code. Plus, you can customize the language and appearance.
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After you install the add-in, place the code or command in your document. You can type or paste it, whichever you prefer.
Select the code and go to the Easy Syntax Highlighter tab that now displays. To apply the default formatting with the language automatically detected, select “Highlight Selection” in the ribbon.
You’ll see your snippet highlighted and your text formatted.
If you want to select a specific language or formatting, select “Settings” in the ribbon instead. When the sidebar opens, choose a Language and Theme.
With your code selected, click “Highlight Selection” in the sidebar.
You’ll then see your snippet formatted per the settings you picked. This keeps your code or command as text so your reader can copy it, but makes it stand out as its own block.
There’s more than one way to add a code or command block to your Word document. Depending on the purpose for your reader, choose the option that’s best for you!