Hardik asked in ICT Trends Forum (/forum) “Please tell me what is Spike and when and how it used?“. This post is in response to his question. I’ll try to be as simple and comprehensible as possible.
What is Spike?
The term Spike means a thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material. Don’t know why Microsoft named the feature to be called ‘spike cut’!
Microsoft Word has a little known feature called ‘spike’ to supplement its already existing more popular option – the clipboard. Though both are meant to hold items that are cut from one location of document so that they can be pasted somewhere else, they have some fundamental differences. We’ll distinguish and differentiate between spikes and clipboard after a while, but for now let’s dig more about spikes.
Spike is a feature in MS Word that lets you to cut and paste non-contiguous text. It can be truly useful when you need to rearrange snippets of text and graphics from different part of document.
To send any item to the spike, you can select it and press Ctrl+F3. This is something similar to sending items to clipboard (You can press Ctrl+X to send selection to clipboard). However, the point to be noted here is that, in case of clipboards, you have copy option as well which does not remove the selection from document when sending it to clipboard, but with spikes, the selection is removed from document. So, it is similar to Cut – Paste operation.
The better thing about spikes is that you can go on sending items to it as long as you have not collected all the text required. Sending second item to spike will not replace first item as is in the case of clipboards.
How to Spike Cut?
To spike cut (send items to spike) follow the procedure below:
- Select the text that you wish to spike cut
- Press Ctrl + F3
- (optional) Press Ctr +Z to restore the removed text from document if you still need it. Don’t worry, Ctrl+Z will not remove the text sent to the spike.
- Repeat step 1, 2 and 3 for all other text & graphics you want to spike cut
How to Spike Paste?
Once you have all the required items in your spike, you can paste it anywhere you need it. Simply follow the steps below to spike paste:
- Place your insertion line where you wish to paste spike
- Press Ctrl+Shift+F3
Tips: You can also type ‘spike’ where you want to paste the spike and then press F3. Do you remember, this is the method to insert autotext!
Differences between Clipboard and Spike
- Spike and Clipboard do not effect each other. If you cut new text won’t replace Spike and new spike cut won’t replace content in clipboard. So, Spike is a separate storage location than the clipboard.
- Windows clipboard can hold only one item. Office clipboard can hold maximum of 24 items. On the contrary, spikes can hold thousands of items.
- When you insert the contents from clipboard, it is not emptied. You can paste again as many times as you need. But once you insert content of spike in your document, it is emptied.
- MS Word offers many tools to use clipboard such as shortcut keys, menu commands, toolbar buttons but spike did not get any position in menu and toolbars.
- You can insert spike content by typing ‘spike’ and pressing F3 but such facility is not available for clipboard operation. If you type ‘clipboard’ and press Ctrl, nothing will happen.
Hope it helps you to learn a bit about Spike feature in MS Word. I’ll be happy to discuss more about it if you require. Please do comment below if you find the post useful.