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OSX: How to copy plain-text always, everywhere, without exception?
June 6, 2011 6:09 PM   Subscribe

OSX: I never, ever want to paste text from one application to another "with formatting." I always want to paste plain text. Is there an app or system extension I can install to cause this to be automatic across the board?

Right now I accomplish this by pasting into some plain-text program like TextWrangler, then copy-pasting from that into the real destination, or I use the app-specific paste options where available.
posted by odinsdream to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
TUAW Tip: Paste without formatting by default

PTHPasteboard PRO
posted by plokent at 6:16 PM on June 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Shift + Option + Command + V pastes with the formatting of the document you are pasting into (not from), which is sorta the same thing. It won't carry across the formatting from the previous document.
posted by qwip at 7:29 PM on June 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Open 'System Preferences'
Select 'Keyboard'

Select tab 'Keyboard Shortcuts'

Select 'Application Shortcuts' from the left listbox
Click '+' below right listbox

Select 'All Applications' for 'Application' input box
Type 'Paste and Match Style' into the 'Menu Title' input box
In the 'Keyboard Shortcut' input box, pretend that you are about to paste something by typing command-v. There should now be the cloverleaf command sign followed by a -v in this box.
Click add.

Victory! Thanks. I should have done this myself a decade ago. =)
posted by mmdei at 8:13 PM on June 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Or I could have actually clicked that first link. Oh sigh.
posted by mmdei at 8:14 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


hell yeah! I have for years kept a plain-text TextEdit document open to paste/copy things through to remove formatting... thanks for asking, odinsdream, and thanks for the answer, plokent...
posted by russm at 12:11 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realize I am not the OP here, but I've tried every possible variant of the keyboard shortcut trick and yet Microsoft Word still pastes everything with full formatting. Any ideas?

Or better yet: odinsdream, did you get this to work for you?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2011


Conrad: I don't have Microsoft Word, but If you repeat my steps with 'word' selected in the application pulldown and place whichever text ms is using for the equivalent of paste and match style in the 'menu title' input box, it should work.

Alternatively, I seem to recall in older versions of word that they had their own implementation of re-mappable keyboard shortcuts in the preferences/settings/menu somewhere.
posted by mmdei at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2011


I don't know if Word 2010 still supports this but in all other versions of MS Word, (both for Mac and PC) it's much easier than all that.

All you do is highlight the text you want to copy, click on copy, and when you're in the document you want to paste it to, go up to the Edit menu and click "Paste Special." Then you're given a choice of whatever formatting applies, and here is where I choose "unformatted text." Works like a charm.
posted by Lynsey at 2:51 PM on June 7, 2011


All you do is highlight the text you want to copy, click on copy, and when you're in the document you want to paste it to, go up to the Edit menu and click "Paste Special." Then you're given a choice of whatever formatting applies, and here is where I choose "unformatted text." Works like a charm.

I put all that into a macro and then created a button on the toolbar, so all I have to do is click the button to paste unformatted. You could also save it to a keyboard shortcut.
posted by CathyG at 8:25 PM on June 7, 2011


The best answer above is almost perfect.

The one place it apparently doesn't work, which is unfortunately something I use frequently, is crafting e-mails with hyperlinks in Mail.app.

If you have this shortcut defined, you paste the link in the e-mail, then when you hit Command+K to paste in the URL, you can't Command+V into that box at all.

Minor problem, but for the most part this is a good work-around. Really it would be nice if the clipboard data didn't have any sense of the formatting at all, rather than leave it up to the individual programs to deal with it via the menu system.
posted by odinsdream at 12:24 PM on July 7, 2011


FormatMatch appears to be the application I've been waiting for. While it's running all formatting is removed from text entering the clipboard.

This lets me continue to use the standard copy-paste keystrokes. Perfect.
posted by odinsdream at 8:54 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


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