If you take an everyday chore and shave a few seconds off, you’ll earn a lifetime of extra productivity. This rule also holds true for something we do every day on the computer: copying and pasting text snippets from one apps to another.
If you are anything like me, I am sure you also hate copy-pasting text “with formatting.” You would always prefer to remove any traces of the original format and follow the format of the target document.
So, let’s see how we can remove some of our frustration by eliminating the original format when we copy-paste in macOS. The answer is a keyboard shortcut.
How to Paste Everything as Plain Text
Try to copy something from a web page into your email, and you’ll find that the result is distorted by HTML and other unnecessary bits. Here’s how you can prevent that using a simple workaround that does not rely on the use of a third-party app.
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu and select Keyboard.
- On the Keyboard panel, select the tab for Shortcuts.
- Scroll down the list on the left and select App Shortcuts.
- Click the “+” below the boxes to add a shortcut.
- Select All Applications for Application input box. This (theoretically) will apply the shortcut across the board.
- Type Paste and Match Style into the Menu Title input box. This takes the copied text and pastes it in using the current document’s formatting.
- In the Keyboard Shortcut input box, type Command + V. This adds the Command sign followed by a “V” in this box.
- Click Add.
Here, what we are actually doing is re-mapping the more complicated Option + Shift + Command + V keyboard shortcut for “Paste and Match Style” to the simpler Command + V keyboard shortcut. This easy tweak will save you some finger gymnastics.
It Works Everywhere Except…
This keyword hack doesn’t work in Microsoft Word. Instead, you can use the Command + Control + V shortcut to display the Paste Special dialog box and then choose Unformatted Text from there. For most other needs, the tweak will work (and reduce your frustration).
How do you copy and paste in plain text? Was this ever a pain point for you?