Friday, March 4, 2022

Pure Paste 1.1

Sindre Sorhus (tweet, via Ryan Jones):

How many times have you pasted some text into an email and ended up with a mess of different font sizes?

Pure Text lets you paste as plain text by default. It sits in the menu bar and clears formatting (fonts, colors, bold, links, tables, etc.) from the text you copy. However, it does not touch unrelated content like files, images, etc. It also ignores content copied from password managers.

You can also choose to manually clear formatting whenever needed instead of automatically.

It’s free, and the new version lets you automatically exclude certain apps.

Note that it does strip images that are mixed in with the copied text. And, for apps like OmniOutliner that use different characters for plain text vs. rich text, it will give you the plain text characters rather than just removing the formatting.

Most of the apps that I paste into support Paste and Match Style, and for the ones that don’t I’ve been in the habit of pasting into an empty BBEdit window and then copying again in order to clear the formatting. So I don’t think this is really something I need, but it’s an easy way to get the behavior most users probably want most of the time.


Update (2022-03-07): Sören:

Microsoft Office does this better. After(!) pasting, it shows you a contextual menu where you can choose different modes of which styles you wish to keep, and each one comes with a live preview (and they also come with an access key if you remember your preference for this case).

That’s cool, but unfortunately Excel doesn’t have a one-step Paste and Match Style command.

Update (2022-04-19): Josh Centers:

There are numerous ways to solve this problem. Some are free, and others take advantage of a commercial utility that you may already have for another purpose. If the built-in solutions don’t work in your particular workflow, turn to one of the alternatives.

9 Comments RSS · Twitter

Ben Kennedy

I use the BBEdit trick too or, if I'm in a more unixy mood, execute pbpaste | pbcopy in a shell before doing the paste.

I use for this.

Website is and describes it as "A little bit of scratch paper 📝 that lives on your Mac menu bar."

Things pasted in it do not persist across reboots (and presumably app quitting, but never tested that).

The UI consists entirely of a drop down text windown in your menu bar that you can paste text into, type into, copy text out of. That's it.

I changed the keyboard shortcut for Chrome so that instead of normal paste it would always do the paste without styling.

For years I wondered why I couldn't copy paste tables within the same Google doc.

Moral of the story, edge cases are edgy

Martin Steiger

What's the difference to the OPTION + COMMAND + SHIFT + V shortcut?

That you don't need three hands ;)

CopyPaste Pro (older) and Copy Paste (newer) are the best clipboard managers, hands down.

I used to paste into the web browser URL bar to remove formatting (Cmd-L, Cmd-V, Cmd-A, Cmd-X), but I now use Chrome's Cmd-Shift-V option.

My systemwide "scratch paper" is Spotlight. I type into Spotlight, then Cmd-A Cmd-X to grab it.

Typinator offers the ability to paste & match style via text expansion. Alfred users can do this via the Snippets feature, and I imagine any text expansion application is likely to support the behavior.

This looks pretty cool. I have tried to implement this behavior by (1) mapping Command-V to "Paste and Match Style" in the App Shortcuts in the Keyboard System Preference and (2) creating an Automator Workflow that I can manually envoke to execute `pbcopy | pbpaste`.

These mostly work, except when they don't and then I have to go back and re-copy and manually execute the command. Also, not all apps have "Paste and Match Style".

I think the ideal behavior for me would be for cut/copy to preserve bold, italics, and hyperlinks but eliminate any typeface or type size, which would be determined at the paste site (I don't know if the Mac pasteboard even supports that). It would also be necessary to be able to revert this stripping of typeface and size on the rare occasion when you want it. This would need to be done by a global command... otherwise "cut" would be kind of destructive in removing the styles (you'd have to undo and do some special "cut and preserve style" which would be awkward).

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