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How to Paste Text Without Formatting Almost Anywhere

Fingers pressing Ctrl+C to copy text on a PC keyboard.
Jasni/Shutterstock.com

Copy-and-paste moves more than just text around. It often brings along formatting from web pages and other documents. You can paste without formatting in nearly any application to get just the text without the extra formatting. Use this keyboard shortcut.

No formatting means no line breaks, no different font sizes, no bolding and italics, and no hyperlinks. You won’t have to spend time removing formatting elements from your document. You’ll get just the text you copied as if you had typed it directly into the application you’re pasting it in.

To paste without formatting, press Ctrl+Shift+V instead of Ctrl+V. This works in a wide variety of applications, including web browsers like Google Chrome. It should work on Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux.

On a Mac, press Command+Option+Shift+V to “paste and match formatting” instead. This works in most Mac apps, too.

This keyboard shortcut unfortunately doesn’t work in Microsoft Word. To paste without formatting in Word, you can use the special Paste option on the ribbon to “Keep Text Only.” You can also set Word’s default paste options to “Keep Text Only.”

The "Keep Text Only" option for pasting text in Microsoft Word.

RELATED: How to Change the Default Paste Setting in Microsoft Word

If this keyboard shortcut doesn’t work in your application of choice, there’s always the low-tech method: Open a plain-text editor like Notepad, paste your text into it, and then select and copy the text. You’ll get the plain text copied to your clipboard and you can paste it into any application.

For a faster way to do this, we’ve previously shown how to use AutoHotkey to automatically remove all formatting from the text you copy to your clipboard, too.

RELATED: How to Paste Text Without the Extra Formatting

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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