On my MacBook, I have various lists and information, of which I use TextEdit to edit. Usually, these will have indents where I use tab to create kind of charts with columns. Like so:

Item 1 [TAB] Info 1 [TAB] Info 2

Item 2 [TAB] Info 3 [TAB] Info 4

I also use Evernote. It is a great app, but the text format support seems awful. When I copy these lists like the one above to Evernote, apart from the first column, I get a zig-zag of all the various parts.

I've researched for a way to correct this within Evernote, but there doesn't seem to be one. Is there a way, to convert (using an application, AppleScript, etc.), type everything in a completely different text software as TextEdit, modify the settings in TextEdit, or anything else to make it so that copying text to Evernote results to what the original text was?

  • This is not really an answer on how to do this in Evernote, however... I gave up on Evernote quite a while ago because of the lack of support of styled text, tables, etc. While it is not a perfect solution I have been using the Free Microsoft OneNote, and it's pretty good. you do have to sign up for a live.com (free) account though... Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 11:32
  • Thanks for the comment Steve. Just to make sure (so the post doesn't get flagged), my question isn't really about Evernote but about how to have the correct text formatting so that pasting in applications like Evernote will work correctly. About Evernote, it is sad that support and development are so awful for such a great app. Such a waste of opportunity. Regards.
    – samseva
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 16:11
  • It's all about what the destination app supports. the clipboard will hold all formatting but if you past a rich text document with pictures, fonts, styling and tables into (for example) BBEdit all you get is the text, tabs and spaces. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


For me, this only appears to happen when copying from a plaintext document to a rich text document (or vice versa.)

Make sure your source and destination text programs are the same format. If your setup is like mine, Evernote is rich text, so make sure you haven't set TextEdit to plaintext. With TextEdit open, go to 'Format > Make Rich Text' (shortcut: Shift + Command + T).

If your setup is different then mine, then maybe Evernote is plaintext. Which would mean, if this error is still occurring, that your TextEdit is set to rich text. Use the same menu shortcut to switch it (or go to 'Format > Make Rich Text'.)

In either case, switching your TextEdit document will result in the table zigzagging like you mentioned. But if, going forward, you format your tables in the text mode that matches your destination's text mode, the problem should abate.

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