Do you ever go berserk when copying and pasting text from one source to another?Many times when we are copying text from one document to the other, we prefer not to bring the original text formating over to the new document. You may be familiar with several different ways to paste into new documents or applications using plain text, but I am quickly going to offer a pasting option that is becoming standard in applications, as well as two other solutions that you should know about when the first option does not work. Having these options ready to go can greatly increase your typing and editing workflow.
[ CTRL + SHIFT + V ] Method
I came across this handy little shortcut while working in a program notorious for grabbing formatting from a copied text’s source — Adobe’s Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver is an HTML editing software for web design. When it grabs formatted text from another source and pastes it into a web page, the result is usually a mess.
In one of the online help guides, I discovered that instead of hitting [CTRL + V], you can simply hit [CTRL + SHIFT + V], and the software will bring up plain text pasting options.
As it turns out, with a little more experimentation, I have found that many other programs (especially in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite) make use of the shortcut.
Where else? Content management systems (CMS) like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress know that when you select [CTRL + SHIFT + V], you want to paste unformatted text into the text editor.
This little trick doesn’t always work; hence the, ‘Sixty percent of the time…,’ but where programs are accepting this method, you can maximize your time spent curating and creating content.
Microsoft Word Method
As I mentioned above, [CTRL + SHIFT + V] doesn’t always work. For example, it does not work in Microsoft Word. However, Word and other programs in the office suite have some built-in short cuts that make it easier.
First off, if more often than not you prefer to paste without text, you should simply change your default pasting option. Do this inside of Microsoft Word (2013 & Office 365) by going to FILE > OPTIONS>ADVANCED. In the “Cut, copy, and paste” section, season to taste the following options:
- Pasting within the same document
- Pasting between documents
- Pasting between documents when style definitions conflict
- Pasting from other programs.
There are some other items you may want to tweak in this section as well. These options can be changed inside of Publisher, PowerPoint and other office programs.
Additionally, while [CTRL + SHIFT + V] does not work in Office program, you can still use the normal paste command, [CTRL + V]. After doing so, the paste options dialogue box displays. You can click on this box to open it and select your pasting option. Your three default options will be to keep source formatting, merge formatting and plain text only.
To speed up this process, learn the keyboard short cuts. After hitting [CTRL + V], press the CTRL button on your keyboard, you will notice the paste options dialogue box opens up and displays all three options. The keyboard shortcuts for pasting options are as follows:
- Keep the source formatting – [K]
- Merge formatting – [M]
- Keep text only – [T]
The NotePad (Old School) Method
To do this quickly and effectively, you need to know some shortcuts and become comfortable with the work flow. The goal is to minimize the time spent using the mouse and taking your hands away from the keyboard.
This method is almost obsolete now since there are so many other, better options for pasting plain text. This method works for Windows users. Those using Mac and Linux would need to adapt the workflow below with the shortcuts and text editors for these operating systems.
In case you didn’t know though, pasting into Windows programs like NotePad will remove most formatting picked up in other software programs like Office. You can then recopy the text from NotePad and place it in the document that requires unformatted text. Here is generally the method and shortcuts I use to speed up this process.
- CTRL + C: Copy the original text from a document
- WINDOWS BUTTON: Type “NotePad” hit ENTER (This opens NotePad quickly)
- CTRL + V: This pastes into NotePad simultaneously removing the text formatting.
- CTRL + A: Selects all text in NotePad.
- CTRL + X: Cuts and copys all text from NotePad
- In order ALT – SPACEBAR – C (or ALT + F4): Closes Notepad.
- Go to document requiring unformatted text and select CTRL + V
Back in the day when it was more common to use the Notepad method, I had the above workflow down to seconds. It takes some practice to make this method fit into your workflow. Fortunately for you, in most situations, the previous two options I highlight in this post will work best.