I want to copy some text that contain control characters (example: LF, NUL, BEL, etc...)

Seemly OSX defaults don't let me, if I choose for example a text that is like this:

'abcdNULefg' to copy and paste, it pastes only 'abcd'

  • Where are you copying the text containing control chars from?
    – John N
    Dec 6, 2016 at 8:19
  • sublime text, but this happen in any editor that rely on the clipboard.
    – speeder
    Dec 6, 2016 at 16:48
  • Sorry, I'm still trying to get a handle on what you're attempting. These are ANSI control chars? How do they appear in Sublime? (Presumably you're not literally seeing "NUL", but a 1 character sequence?) Where are you pasting them?
    – John N
    Dec 6, 2016 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


You can try using this method.

From the finder menu > special characters > latin. Once there, select any characters you like and add to favorites.

Also, once copied, From the edit menu > Paste and Match style.

  • And how I do that to handle large texts littered with such characters? Using your instructions the only thing I could figure is insert the stripped characters back one by one.
    – speeder
    Dec 6, 2016 at 1:30
  • You can use the second part of the answer.. paste and match style once something is copied. Dec 6, 2016 at 1:32
  • What I mean is, I need to copy for example a text that is hundreds pages long and contains lots of characters OSX by default doesn't copy at all, that tool there don't let me tell OSX to copy those chars, I would have to manually copy parts of the text, paste, then paste the special chars from the tool, then copy the next part, paste, then paste the special chars form the tool again...
    – speeder
    Dec 6, 2016 at 1:35
  • Also, I am trying to do the thing your suggested, and the characters I want (NUL for example, mentioned on my post above) don't show up at all.
    – speeder
    Dec 6, 2016 at 1:37

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