How to Paste Text without Including Formatting

Martin Wilson

May 29, 2022

Copy and paste are more than just a way to move text around. It can also bring formatting from websites and other documents. It is possible to paste text without formatting into nearly any program to obtain the text without any formatting. Make use of the keyboard shortcut. There are no formatting elements, meaning there are no lines, no distinct sizes of fonts as well as no bolding, italics, or hyperlinks. There's no need to work hours removing the formatting components from your documents. The text is copied as if you'd pasted it directly into the program you're pasting it into. This guide is all about how to paste text without including formatting.

To copy without formatting, use Ctrl+Shift+V in place of Ctrl+V. This can be used in many applications such as web browsers such as Google Chrome. It works on Chrome OS, Windows, and Linux. Instead of copying and pasting, "paste and match formatting" may be done on a Mac by pressing Command+Option+Shift+V. This works with most Mac applications as well. Unfortunately, this keyboard shortcut doesn't work with Microsoft Word. To paste text without formatting in Word, you can utilize the unique Paste option in the Ribbon that says "Keep Text Only." Also, you can modify Word's default paste settings in the direction of "Keep Text Only."

Methods to Paste Text, Without Formatting

Using several simple techniques, we'll demonstrate the best way to paste and copy with no formatting.

Paste Without Formatting Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are required the ability to cut and paste text regularly, it is important to be aware of the proper techniques for doing this. There are many effective methods through apps as well as keyboard shortcuts. For Windows, although it's not universally available, most apps can use this method of Ctrl and Shift for copying without formatting. This includes Chrome, Firefox, and Evernote.

To copy text as simple text on the Mac, it is possible to use the somewhat awkward shortcut Option + Cmd Shift + V for a paste without formatting. This is a universal shortcut; unlike Windows, it should be effective everywhere. Technically, the shortcut copies and copies the formatting; however, it has the result of eliminating all formatting.

Using Native Option in MS Word

Text can be pasted without formatting in MS Word using a special "Paste" feature in the Ribbon. After copying your target text, make sure you hit the Paste button on the MS Word ribbon. There are three options to choose from for keeping source formatting Merge Formatting and 'Keep Text Only. At the same time, the first option retains the originally used format while the second preserves the basic formatting such as bullet points and bold letters. However, it changes the font to fit your document. The third option copies plain text into Word and removes all formatting.

Use Paste Options in Microsoft Office

Office applications, specifically Microsoft Word, are one of the most frequent culprits for unintentional text formatting. To prevent having to fix each part of the text you copy into the Word document, you may benefit from the paste options Office offers. When you've pasted something into Word, Excel, or other Office applications, check your Paste Options box. Move the cursor over it, and you will be able to select from three choices:

  • Keep Source Formatting is similar to normal paste. The text will be pasted exactly as it did the moment you copy it.
  • Merge formatting can make the font of the text pasted to be the same as that of the document. However, it will keep the basic text formatting options such as Bold or Italics.
  • Keep text Only allows you to write without formatting.

Instead of using the panel that pops up after you've pasted the text, you can click on the right-click to access the identical Paste Options in that menu. You can also use Ctrl+Alt+V to launch the Paste Special dialog. It gives you the same options without modifying the paste method following the time.

Paste Into Notepad First

Most text boxes allow rich text, which is why they keep the format of the text you have copied. However, text editors such as Notepad don't allow anything more than simple text. Due to this, you can use Notepad as a middleman to paste text with no formatting. Copy text, then inserts it in Notepad, after which you copy it back. When you copy it from Notepad will produce an unformatted version that doesn't have any formatting.

If this option is viable, however, we suggest alternatively using one of the options above if you can. This method is a good backup option. However, it's not the most efficient. To speed up the process, copy and paste the text into an easier-to-find plain text box such as the address bar on your browser or the search box in the menu bar at the top of your screen.


In addition to the techniques described above and many document editors online, such as Google Docs, WordPress, and CMS applications, also provide native options for copying and pasting text that does not have formatting. Therefore, no matter your needs, you'll always find an option for you to paste and copy text that does not have formatting, either online or offline. Try one of the above methods and find out which catches your eye.

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