In Windows, there is a great tool called “PureText” which sits in your tray, and can remove formatting from copy/paste actions if you want to. In stead of pasting into notepad, and then copying it again, you now can use the Windows-V combination to paste without formatting. It works in any program, and I’m a fond user of this little gem at work.
In OSX, you can do this with a key combination, Option-Shift-Command-V. Besides being the silliest and most awkward key combination ever to do a simple paste-action, it does not always do the job properly. I found this great tip where a simple applescript removes formatting from the items in your clipboard.
If you don’t know how to save this script, do the following:
- Open the Apple Script Editor (use Spotlight if you don’t know where to look for it)
- In the editor window, paste the following text:set the clipboard to «class ktxt» of ((the clipboard as text) as record)
- Click “Compile” and then select “Archive -> Save As…”
- Save the script as an application (anywhere you think is appropriate)
- Drag the resulting app into your dock to have it handy.
It looks like a lot of work, but these are the absoluut smallest steps I can help you with. It’s really simple. When you’re done, select any text you want to copy, and press Command-C to copy it. Then, before pasting, start the app you just made. You’ll here the system beep indicating that it’s ready. Now you can use Command-V and presto, plain text, no formatting!
I use this a lot to copy text from mails and documents into my Evernote, and it works fine. The only small irritation is the extra mouseclick.