Copy and paste. It is a simple function that we perform many times during the day. I doubt you even think about it much.
Until, that is, the text you paste into another document comes with all the formatting and underlying code that you then have to take time to strip out.
The problem is when you copy text from a website page or other document, in addition to the visible text, you are also copying the underlying code for that text. The code could include the font description as well as text attributes like bold, underline, and italics. Most of the time I do not want these other attributes; I am looking just for the text.
There are a couple of ways to make sure that when you paste the copied text, you get just the text.
Copy and Paste with Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word (as well as all other Office products) has common keyboard shortcuts for Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-P). These shortcuts make it quick and easy to copy and paste text from one place to another. However, they do not modify or strip out the underlying attributes contained in the copied text.
After you have copied the text block you want to move, right-click and a menu of options will appear. Under the “Paste Options:” the furthest to the right is called “Keep Text Only” and will paste only the text without any formatting.
You can also access the same menu in the ribbon bar by selecting the drop-down arrow under “Paste.”
An Alternative: PureText
I do use other programs besides Microsoft Word where I want to paste copied text without formatting. Evernote is a good example. I have talked about Evernote quite a bit over the years, and I continue to use it to store documents, website information, and personal notes.
Evernote does have a built-in way to remove formatting from the pasted text. Simply select the text, right-click, and choose the menu option “Remove Formatting.” It does work just fine.
Another option that works across any program or platform is a program called PureText.
After installing the program by running the PureText.exe file, you will see a “PT” icon appear near the clock on your taskbar. When you click on this icon, you will remove formatting from the text that you have copied to the clipboard.
By right clicking on the same icon, you can set up PureText to use its hotkey to paste text instead of using the standard Windows command CTRL+V. The default hotkey is Windows+V.
PureText is a simple program that solves a simple problem. The latest version is 6.1 and has been supported for quite some time.
Before you install this program on your desktop computer, you should double check with your IT department to make sure they are comfortable with installing a third-party application.
What tricks and tips do you have for removing formatting from text you have copied?