Copy & Paste without formatting

Discussion in 'macOS' started by CylonGlitch, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #1
    Just a real stupid question. Is there a generic way to copy and paste between applications without copying the formatting? If I copy from a website in safari to Excel (for example). The cells in Excel will be formatted exactly the same as on the website including different fonts, and sizes. But often I just want the text, not the formatting. Is there an easy way to do this?
     
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #2
    You can't right click paste. You have to use Edit>Paste without formatting (or whatever it's called).
     
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    Milwaukee, WI
    #3
    It's called Paste Special.

    You'll get a whole list of choices. You can only pick one per Paste. In other words, when you select one the others are all unselected.
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #4
    I believe it's called "paste and match style" which brings in your text in the same format as the paragraph you are pasting to. There is even a way to make it your default in system preferences (for those apps that support it).
     
  5. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #5
    Good tip.
     
  6. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #6
    Thanks, I guess this is specific from one app to another. But some still do it odd. For example. I just opened Open Office Spreadsheet that has text that is in Arial 10 Bold. I then opened Numbers and the entire page is set to Helvetica 10 Normal. I copy (CMD-C) and paste (CMD-P) from OO to Numbers and it comes out as Tahoma 10 Bold. BUT, numbers has a different paste called "Paste & Match Style" which does bring it across as Arial 10 Bold. But why does it change from Helvetica Normal to Tahoma Bold during a normal copy and paste? If they have a different command for Paste and Match format, you would assume the normal paste means, paste just the text.

    The worst offender is MAIL. There is no paste, paste special, etc.. so if you are composing an email that is copied from different sources (I often copy segments from spreadsheets, other emails, or websites) it changes the format of the email from that point on, where I just want the text. I normally just finish typing, open the font window and set everything back to normal. :(

    I was just hoping that there was some simple key sequence to only copy text and not the formatting. But I guess not.
     
  7. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #7
    :confused: r0k's tip will do it for you in any apps that have a Paste and Match Style command (and why didn't I think of this! I always use that command), Mail.app being one of those. If you only ever want just text in Mail you can tell it to compose messages in plain text by default instead of rich text (there's a toolbar toggle button for it too if you change your mind).
     
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    #8
    Excellent! And there it is, in the Edit Menu, sometimes. I've never noticed it before. Tunnel vision, I suppose. Or just old habits die hard. I use Excel a lot and it only has Paste Special.
     
  9. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #9
    Funny thing is that, for me, this doesn't work. Paste and Paste matching format give me different results, both of which are different then the target document. Sadly this appears to be application specific. I wish there was a standard OS command like Shift-CMD V to paste text only. But I guess not. Oh well.
     
  10. judgeFire macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #10
    You can create a simple 'service' using Automator, which you can then use to copy items with. It won't work for copying in apps that don't support Services (Office, cough), but for copying stuff from Safari etc. it's fine.

    - Open Automator
    - Pick 'Service' from the suggested templates
    - Make sure the top line of text and pulldown menus on the right reads 'Service receives selected text in any application'
    - From the Library on the left, click Utilities, then locate and drag one 'Run Shell Script' from the list of Actions to the large workflow area on the right.
    - By default, it should offer to run 'cat', which is what we want. (This unixy utility, which you can also run from the Terminal, simply reads and writes text, but doesn't understand fancy formatting.)
    - From the list of Actions, drag a 'Copy to Clipboard' to beneath the 'Run Shell Script' action.
    - Save the service from File > Save, naming it something like 'Copy unstyled' or such.

    Done. It takes the selected text, runs it through cat and blurts it out on the Clipboard ready to be pasted.

    This new service will appear as a shortcut in your right-click contextual menu, by itself or in a Services submenu. And in its real home is in the Application > Services menu. From 'Services preferences' there, you can even assign a global keyboard shortcut for it. Finally, should you want to edit it, you'll find it saved in /Users/yourname/Library/Services/
     
  11. CylonGlitch thread starter macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #11
    For those who may care, I have solved my problem in a variety of ways. 1) Paste and Match Style does work but not the way I was expecting it to. This is OK, I've changed my ways. 2) I started using "CuteClips3", it allows multiple clipboards and optionally the ability to paste as plain text.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  12. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    Can you be more specific because Mail's working as expected for me. Plain paste, yes, it changes the formatting. Paste and Match Style it matches the email. It seems fairly standard that P&MS is command-shift-option-V.

    mt
     
  13. mac-mac-macing macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    #13
    I was confused, too...

    But then I found out it's very easy. You copy like normal, but then when you go to paste, right click, and a list of options will come out. Choose paste special, then unformatted text, and viola! There may be some extra spacing, but that can be resolved normally!
     
  14. WYGK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    #14
    Yes, works for me in very app I've tried: command-shift-option-V

    I've found this particularly useful when copying text from Word, and pasting into WordPress or other web-based software. Word inserts all sorts of formatting garbage, and command-shift-option-V removes it.
     

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