For sure, you often use the Copy and Paste functions on your computer. You probably also know how to manage clipboard on your Android. However, while these functions appear easy-peasy, they actually bring some sort of annoyance: special formatting. What is it?
You have surely experienced this: you copy some text from a website and paste it into a Word document. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, the font size and color won’t change. This is special formatting.
Fret not. In this article, we will teach you how to remove formatting when pasting text.
How to Paste Text Without Formatting in Word
Without further ado, here is how to paste text as plain text in Word:
Method #1: Use Notepad or Other Similar Alternatives.
Windows Notepad is among the most basic programs that are built-in on your computer. As a basic program, it doesn’t support special formatting features like what other dedicated word processor programs, such as LibreOffice Writer and Microsoft Word, do.
That said, you can use Notepad to paste any text that you want to strip of formatting. Paste the copied text into Notepad first. And then, copy it from Notepad and paste into Microsoft Word. The copied text from Notepad should be plain, without fancy fonts or colors sticking around.
If Notepad is not available, you can try other alternatives like Notepad++ or Atom.
Method #2: Try Office’s Special Paste Functions.
If you enjoy using Microsoft Office products, you should know that a lot of pasting events occur across them. This means that if you are working on your research paper or setting up a slideshow, there are a lot of unwanted pasted extras on your clipboard. Thankfully, in just a few seconds, you can get rid of the extras and skip the formatting.
There are a few ways to clear text formatting in Word. First, when you paste text, a small pop-up menu will show, giving you three options:
- Keep Source Formatting – This will preserve all the text you copied.
- Merge Formatting – This option will force the text you have pasted to match the text around it.
- Keep Text Only – This option will paste only the text without special formatting.
Simply choose from any of these options, and that’s it! If you want, you can also set one of the options as default.
Method #3: Use a Dedicated Program.
The first two solutions require you to manually check and ensure that the copied text is stripped of its formatting. But if you want to automate the process, you can use a dedicated program that is designed to remove special formatting.
PureText is one program you can try. It is a free tool for Windows that performs the copy-paste-copy function, which is what you do when copying text from a website and pasting it into Notepad and copying it back again and pasting it into Word.
To use PureText, download the version that is compatible with your Windows operating system. You don’t have to install it. Simply unzip the downloaded file, and you should be able to use it. You will know that it is up and running by checking the taskbar. There should be a PT icon in it. Right-click on it to open your available options.
The default shortcut to access PureText is Windows + V. However, if you are not comfortable with it, you can set up pretty much any shortcut you want.
Method #4: Use a Browser Extension.
Aside from using PureText, you can also install a dedicated browser extension to remove special formatting.
If you are using Firefox, the Copy Plain Text 2 extension will do the trick. As soon as you’ve installed it, you will have the Copy as Plain Text option on your menu. This allows you to copy anything in your browser without formatting.
Of course, you can apply a few tweaks to the way text is copied. You can remove extra spaces and change special characters to plain text.
For Chrome users, they can take advantage of the Copy as plain text extension. It is very easy to use. Just copy plain text, right-click, and choose the option. Voila! You have copied pure text without special formats. Although this extension does not have any keyboard shortcuts for ease of access, it’s still worth trying.
Method #5: Use Keyboard Shortcuts.
True, browser extensions are life-savers for this problem. But did you know that your browsers support shortcuts for pasting plain text? Regardless of whether you are using Chrome or Firefox, pressing the CTRL + Shift + V shortcut will allow you to paste plain text minus the extras!
What About Computers Running Linux and MacOS?
Even when your computer is running Linux or macOS, you can still strip the special formatting of copied text. Here’s how:
- Use the Shift + Option + CMD + V shortcut to paste without formatting.
- Install the extensions you want on your browser.
- Use your Mac’s version of Notepad: Copy and paste text that you want, and that’s it. However, if it’s your first time using it, you might have to go to the Format menu and select Make Plain Text to keep special formatting out by default.
- Install a trusted clipboard manager like This allows you to paste unformatted and unstyled text.
- If you want to force unformatted text system-wide, navigate to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Application Shortcuts. From here, click on the + sign to add a shortcut. In the Application box, select All Applications. Go to the Menu Title section and input Paste and Match Style. Finally, go to the Keyboard Shortcut box and input Command + V. Hit Add, and you should be all set.
- If you are using older Linux versions, simply use CTRL + Shift + V to paste plain text without special formatting.
- You can also use a text editor like Gedit to remove the formatting before pasting the copied text elsewhere.
- Browser extensions work in Linux as well.
Congratulations, You Are a Pasting Expert!
As you’ve noticed, it does not really matter whether you are copying an entire page or a paragraph’s worth of text. What’s important is that there are many pasting methods that will remove special formatting from copied text. You just have to find one that works best for you.
If your computer is running Windows, your best option is to use PureText or use the universal shortcut for pasting plain text. But if you are using macOS or Linux, installing browser extensions will suffice.
Now, before you even go and try the methods above, we suggest that you make sure your computer is running fast and smooth. After all, a clean computer means better efficiency. To ensure your computer is running at its best, download and install a trusted PC cleaning tool like Outbyte PC Repair.
What is your favorite way to remove special text formatting on your computer? Have you used any of the methods above before? Comment below to let us know.