How To Paste Without Formatting on a PC or Mac

Did you ever have the problem with formatting texts you paste from a website to your Microsoft Word? The entire text you paste can be recognized as a header, but you can have other formatting issues too.

Deleting and reformatting everything by hand can take too much time sometimes. That being said, there is a way to paste a text without formatting and this article will teach you several ways to do that.

Let Notepad Help You Out

Windows Notepad is the most basic text editor you can use. It doesn’t recognize any headers, colors, or other formatting options, so every text you paste into Notepad will be in basic format. However, the text you’ve pasted into Notepad will still need some manual formatting in Microsoft Word. Copy your text and then paste it in Word. Select the headers, colors, and other formatting features you want.

Microsoft Office Special Paste

Microsoft Word is a complex, high-quality text-formatting program with Special Paste as one of its core features.

You can use Word to format a text you pasted in three different ways.

paste options

  1. Keep Source Formatting – This option will preserve the original formatting of the text you copied. That includes colors, the size of the letters, headers, footers, and other features. You can use Ctrl+K when pasting, instead of Ctrl+V.
  2. Merge Formatting – This option will format the text you copied based on the rest of the text in your Word file. It’s handy when you want to add a quote or a section of an existing article to your text document. Use Ctrl+M to paste to merge formatting.
  3. Keep Text Only – Use this option if you only need the text and not the original format. The text you paste will appear like a basic text without any headers, color changes, and so on. Press Ctrl+T to paste your basic text.

paste options 2

The little bubble that appears when you want to paste something will ask you which type of formatting you want to paste. You can also use the “Paste Special” option (top left corner) and keep the text you pasted exactly the same as the original.

Use PureText to Get Things Done Faster

The previous solutions work but you have to set everything manually every time you paste something. If your job requires a lot of copying and pasting, you could be better off with a small program that does everything automatically. PureText is one of the best tools for the job. It’s a free Windows program that copies and pastes the text you want automatically into a Notepad file.


PureText doesn’t require installation since it’s a dedicated Windows program. You need to download and unzip it, and you’re ready to go. It’s ideal for editors and people that do a lot of text formatting.

Use Dedicated Browser Extensions

We all know that Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers have numerous extensions designed to make surfing the net easier and more enjoyable. Copy Plain Text 2 is there for Firefox users. It will allow you to copy any text without formatting. Add it to the browser and set it up to your preferences to cut down on your formatting time.

The Chrome extension is called Copy as plain text, and it works like the FireFox version. However, it doesn’t have any shortcuts, which can be a problem if you copy a lot of pages.

Mac and Linux Users

Stripping the formatting the copied text is possible on Mac and Linux too, but the process is a little different.


  1. Press Shift+Option+Command+V together to paste the copied text without changing the format.
  2. Use TextEdit (Mac’s version of Notepad) to cope and paste your text in the basic form. Choose “Format>Make Plain Text”, or hold Command+Shift+T to paste it directly.
  3. If you want to make this the default way you paste text throughout the entire System, go to “System Preferences> Keyboard> Keyboard Shortcuts> Application Shortcuts,” and select the “+” icon to add your shortcut. Find the “Application” box and select “All Applications.” Next, find the “Menu Title” box and type in “Paste and Match Style.” Lastly, find the “Keyboard Shortcut” box and type “Command + V.” Click “Add”.

Linux OS

  1. The latest Linux versions allow you to paste text without formatting by pressing Ctrl + Shift + V.
  2. Paste the text into a text editor like Gedit, and it will strip the text from all formatting. Similar to what Notepad does on Windows.
  3. Use the same extensions available for Chrome or FireFox.

Congratulations, You Are a Pasting Master

Use the methods explained above to paste any text without formatting. They will speed your work up substantially because you won’t have to re-format everything manually. Show your boss and colleagues at work how the pros do it.

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