How can I copy heaps of text without crashing my computer?

Bethany Harris-Cooper March 25, 2012
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Hi! I’d like to copy and paste a LOT of text from one place to another. Unfortunately, every time I select all the text and copy it, whenever I try and paste it it crashes my computer… or at least, freezes it. Is there an easier way?

  1. Akshay Bist
    March 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I think you're copying more text than there is free memory(RAM) in your system. Every single character - alphabet, digit, punctuation, space, tab, linebreak(enter) - takes up 1 byte. So either copy-paste your text in smaller batches or free up some memory by closing applications you don't need when copying. I'd suggest you try both, together.

  2. ha14
    March 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    you can try a clipboard manager, once every items are storred there you can paste one by one or ask the clipboard to make one doc if the feature is included.

  3. Mike
    March 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    What is the source and target [application] for the copy paste operation?
    How much text are we talking about?

    Often the problem is related to either corrupt fonts or font caches, formatting like invisible characters or unsupported characters.

    One thing you can try is a intermediate step using TextEdit:
    1. open up TextEdit
    2. click on Format > Make Plain Text (cmd + shift + T)
    3. paste the text into TextEdit
    4. copy the plain text into the preferred target editor

    Basically what this step does is get rid of all formatting and unsupported/invisible characters. 

    Of course if you try to copy paste like 5000 words (about 20 Word pages) it can simply be too much for both the application and your computer to handle.

    Also the "spinning beach-ball" and the (Not Responding) note doesn't necessarily mean that an application has crashed. I have seen applications recover after 2 hours of this behavior...