Shift-Ctrl-V: paste without formatting

This is the single most useful keyboard shortcut I’ve ever found, but it seems no-one knows about it; at least, if they do, they didn’t tell me at any point in the first 33 years of my computer career.

If you copy (Ctrl-C) from a web-page, or a Word/OpenOffice document, or any other source that has formatting, then when you paste the copied material into a document that supports formatting (such as another Word/OpenOffice document or a WordPress post), the formatting — or at least, a broken attempt at it — will be pasted in. That usually means that you get fonts you didn’t want, that are inconsistent with the rest of the document. I imagine this is the cause of most of the horrible Font Soup you see in too many MS-Word documents.

This is a proper pain if, to pick a purely hypothetical example, you’re putting together a book based on your own blog-posts.

So instead, use paste-without-formatting. In OpenOffice (and its derivatives: NeoOffice, LibreOffice, etc.) this is on the Edit menu as Paste Special…, but you can use the shortcut Shift-Ctrl-V (or Apple-Ctrl-V on a Mac) to invoke it. It pops up a small menu of paste styles: double-click on Unformatted Text and you’re done.

It turns out that although there is no corresponding menu-item in the WordPress composer, the keyboard shortcut works — in fact, it works even better than it does in OpenOffice, as it doesn’t bother with the menu and just does the paste as unformatted text.

Shift-Ctrl-V: it’s your friend.

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8 responses to “Shift-Ctrl-V: paste without formatting

  1. If I’m using Open Office a lot sometime, I will try it.

    It doesn’t seem to work in MS Word 2003 (that’s what I have access to right now). The closest you can get is: Alt+E, S–that brings up the Paste Special menu.

    Furry cows moo and decompress.

  2. Aram Hăvărneanu

    Why do you use any kind of Word?

  3. Looks like another reason (if one were needed) to switch from MS-Word to LibreOffice!

  4. In Outlook 2010 and Word 2010, I was able to achieve a similar result with Ctrl+Alt+V, which brings up the Paste Special dialog. From there you can choose “Unformatted Unicode Text” to remove the formatting.

  5. Aram wrote:
    “Why do you use any kind of Word?”

    Because it’s there, because I can, because I’m lazy, and because that’s what they use at work.

    I’ve used Open Office some in the past. As Windows XP falls Really Completely Totally–We’re-Not-Fooling-This-Time out of support, I’m looking at slowly migrating to Ubuntu Linux.

    Also to be clear–I do almost nothing in Word, Microsoft or otherwise. It’s mostly spreadsheet, spreadsheet, spreadsheet. And at work it’s the database, MS Access. And I don’t think that part will change any time soon.

  6. It doesn’t work for me in Firefox. )-:

  7. On Mac OS it’s Shift-Clover-V of course, the clover replaces control there.

    In Chrome, the corresponding menu entry says “Paste and Match Style.”

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