Big Floppy Donkey Disk

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To Paste Without Formatting, on OSX and Windows

One thing that used to really grind my gears was having to paste into Notepad or Text Wrangler every time I wanted to remove formatting from copied text. It's such a tedious and seemingly unnecessary process.

So... how do I avoid this now?

In Windows

There's a simple and excellent program that one of my work colleagues got me onto named PureText. 
  1. Download PureText.
  2. Set it to load on startup (or don't, this will simply save you the effort)
  3. Copy text as per usual with CTRL + C (or right click etc.)
  4. To paste without formatting you simply press Windows Key + V, instead of CTRL + V.

In Mac OS X

OS X has a built-in shortcut, albeit not that short: 

Command + Shift + Option + V

This performs a command called Paste and Match Style which doesn't so much remove formatting as matches the formatting of your destination. 

You can re-map this to a simpler shortcut following the instructions on this Lifehacker post. For your purposes you'll want to select All Applications in the shortcut menu, Menu Title = "Paste and Match Style" (no quotes) and choose whatever shortcut you want.

I hope that helps you save a few seconds, a few hundred times!


  1. You beeeuuuty! THis has been driving me nuts for years! ahhhh, so much time spent, think I'll go and bale a celebratory cake!

  2. Haha no probs. FYI baked cheesecake is my fav ;)