Is there any way to copy text (not paste) without copying the accompanying formatting? In some programs, you may have an option to paste just the text to strip off any formatting copied with the text, but in other programs there is no such option - it’s just a straight paste (with any formatting coming along with it). I want to know if there is any way to copy only the text so there is no formatting to have to worry about.

1 Answer 1


No, but there are ways to remove formatting from the text in the Clipboard, so that pasting will be format-free.

I use this Terminal sequence:

pbpaste | pbcopy

which takes the existing clipboard text and 'rinses' it through raw text.

I have this in a shell script, which I can call from the scripts menulet.

Or you can paste into a plain text editor, like BBEdit, and then copy again.

  • @JesseP. What apps are these?
    – benwiggy
    Apr 22, 2022 at 6:32
  • @JesseP. Office 2016 and 2021 both have Paste and Match Style, which ignores formatting on the pasteboard. There's also a Paste Raw Text menu item, which you can configure to have a shortcut. MacOS Services are also definitely available in Office. If you update your question with reference to Office, I'll explain how it's all done in my answer.
    – benwiggy
    Apr 22, 2022 at 11:16

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