Paste Unformatted

When copying text from one application and pasting it into another one, you usually get to keep the formatting of the text as well. With formatting, I here refer to font size, text color, bold, hyperlinks, et cetera. There are times when you don’t want to keep this formatting, but just the plain and unformatted text content.

I’ve always solved this using a couple of different strategies:

  • In browsers, I would temporarily paste the text into the URL address field, and then copy it anew from that field. That field doesn’t support formatting, so it would result in plain text.
  • When copying from various other applications, I would temporarily paste the text into Notepad, and then copy it anew from the plain text there.
  • In Microsoft Office I created a macro for pasting unformatted text
    (File > Paste > Paste Special > Unformatted text)

After using the macro for a while, I really miss that functionality elsewhere, just because of it’s simplicity. I bound it to Ctrl+Shift+v and it feels like that combination is now imprinted in my genome, because I keep using it all the time, even on other people’s computers. 🙂

Now, there are many different clipboard managers out there, but I couldn’t really find a simple one that would cater my needs, and nothing more. Most of them had lot’s of functionality, which is great for those who need that, but they also consumes more memory.

My tiny application is very simple, and very small (only 11kB). When run, it hides in the background. Whenever you press Ctrl+shift+v, it will remove all formatting from the contents of your clipboard, and then paste the unformatted content right where you want it.

Please note that to run this application, you need to have the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 installed. (You can get the framework for free right here.)

Download link: PasteUnformatted