When you highlight a bunch of text and press Ctrl+C, you are copying not only the content of text but the format of these texts as well into the clipboard. Then when you want to paste them into another application, you are pasting both the content and the format all together at the same time. That’s a normal process of Copy & Paste that we do almost every day on our computers. But in a lot of situations, we only want the text being copied and pasted because the format that comes with the text will often mess up the format we’ve already put in place.
Here are some tips you may find helpful when it comes to only copying and pasting the plain text.
In MS Office Word & Outlook
Office applications have a Keep Text Only paste option built in that lets you paste unformatted text into the document. You can click the little down arrow under the Paste button on the Ribbon bar, and choose the Keep Text Only option.
You can even set the default paste option to keep text only if you want. Go to File > Options, switch to the Advanced tab and change the options in Cut, copy and paste section.
In Google Chrome Browser
It’s interesting that Chrome browser has a hidden feature that lets you paste a plain text directly into the browser. Filling up information online with rich text format becomes a quite usual thing, which is why this built-in paste in plain text feature will be useful from time to time.
Press keyboard shortcut
Ctrl+Shift+V in Chrome will strip all the formatting of the content in the clipboard and paste only the plain text into the textbox.
I couldn’t find the same similar hotkeys for other browsers. So if you know, feel free to share.
An Ultimate Tool for everything
But if you need to paste plain text content all the time across the whole system, you will need a tool that is universally available for you at all time in whatever application you are using.
PureText is my choice and has been with me for a very long time. It’s super easy to set up and use. And it always works. It’s one of the tools that I can’t live without. The best of all, it’s free and portable.
It works on all Windows systems, from Windows 95 all the way to Windows 10 with the support to both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. Download a version that is suitable for your system, and simply run it. When it’s launched for the first time, you will need to do a little setup to configure which hot-keys you will be using to paste the pure text. I always use Ctrl+G, but you can choose whatever suits you.
And if you are running a recent version of Windows 10 (version 1607 and above), you can now install PureText directly from the Windows Store. It’s the same tool but the Store provides a simple install, uninstall, and automatic updates to new versions of PureText in the future.