3 Simple Ways to Strip Styling & Formatting in Text on Mac OS

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Do you want to quickly remove text styles and font formatting from certain text? Here are two three super-fast ways to do just that, and they don’t require third-party downloads, either features are built into Mac OS X. The first two methods use an alternate copy and paste command that removes styling in the process, and the third trick will use TextEdit to remove all styling. Both solutions work great if you want to delete or format when copying from the web to emails, and can save you the embarrassment of sharing horrible and unprofessional font styles with the world.

1: Strip Styling & Formatting with a special Paste & Match Style Command

There is a change command to change the way pasting works so that it “matches the style”, which if you paste into a plain text document or new email composition will remove all font styles and formatting in that paste process, regardless of what is saved on the clipboard. It’s just a variation of the normal copy and paste trick:

  • Copy the text as usual with Command + C
  • Paste the copied text and adjust the current style with Command + Option + Shift + V

Note the difference from the normal Command + V paste trick, including formatting. Thanks to @hozaka and others for pointing out this mod series on twitter and in the comments, and thanks Rob for clarifying the feature.

2: Remove formatting with the alternative cut and paste commands

What to alternate now? Many don’t know this, but in addition to Command + C and Command + V, there is an alternate set of cut and paste commands available in Mac OS X that also use an alternate clipboard, but also have the added benefit of removing formatting from copied text .

  • Highlight the text and press Control + K to ‘cut’ without formatting (instead of command + c)
  • Stick with in the desired place Control + Y (instead of command + v)

Again, these alternate cut and paste commands remove all formatting and style, and they also use an alternate clipboard, so you don’t rewrite anything on the primary clipboard. Since the clipboards are different, you need to be consistent in using the commands and you cannot move from one to the other without pasting the text elsewhere and then copying it again. The downside is that not all apps support their use, so you may want to use the following trick instead, which is universal as it depends on an individual application.

3: Remove text styling and formatting with TextEdit

TextEdit, the simple text editing app included in all versions of Mac OS X, and you can use the built-in rich text conversion capabilities to strip the formatting very quickly. Here’s everything you need to do:

  • Open a new TextEdit file and paste the formatted / formatted text
  • Touch Command + Shift + T to convert the document to plain text and remove all formatting
  • Select all and copy again to get the version without style on the clipboard

This will remove all formatting, but keep simple line breaks respected by plain text documents.

The end result of both approaches looks like this, just plain plain text without the style, formatting, fonts, colors, or whatever that makes it look unprofessional:

Formatting and style removed from text by quick conversion

You can also just open documents in TextEdit and re-save them as plain text to convert that way, or you can easily convert batch files with the textutil command-line tool included in all versions of Mac OS X.

I have to do this with every email, is there a better way?

If you’re constantly getting funky formatting from emails and you use the OS X Mail app, consider toggling the preference toggle to always send emails as plain text rather than formatted text. This makes all outgoing emails look normal even if you are responding to a comic disaster.

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3 Simple Ways to Strip Styling & Formatting from Text in Mac OS X: FAQ

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The time to complete the 3 Simple Ways to Strip Styling & Formatting from Text in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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