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Anyone know of a way to simply select and copy text from a file open in Quick Look?

Our project managers really enjoy sending out change requests as attached .doc files, and I'd really love to be able to hit spacebar, copy the text, and paste the text into my preferred editor without having to fire up Word (or Office alternative).

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you want it in your clipboard, how about:

textutil -convert txt -stdout file.doc | pbcopy

If you want it in a TXT file, textutil can put it right there for you too.

If you aren't on the command line, then you can make this an app via Automator and bind that to a keystroke other than QuickView Space

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Nice. I didn't even consider textutil. I've added your command to my bash aliases and am passing the filename as an arg. Also, for others reading who may not like CLI, I also forgot about right-clicking and selecting "Open With" TextEdit, which has a much smaller footprint than Office. – HaL May 5 '11 at 14:09
I dod not know about textutil, thanks for the tip! – fnurl May 6 '11 at 7:22
@Hal you can also set TextEdit as the default app for .doc, so you don't have to navigate sub-menues, just open it... – user588 May 15 '11 at 20:27

If you really want to copy text from Quick Look you can try the default

QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE

Open and paste this on the command line

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE

press return and restart the Finder (or Logout and Login) and you can select and copy text direct in QL.

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Please notice that the activation of the "Text-Selection-In-Quicklook"-Feature could lead to the bug described in this question: QuickLook having problems displaying some images – bobndrew Aug 2 '14 at 21:44

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