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When I use Gmail and Google Docs (With Firefox 3.6.6), I often cut text from another HTML or PDF document.

When I paste this text into the document body, Gmail and Google doc will paste the text and the formatting. I almost never want to copy the formatting from another document, and I instead need to clean up the formatting afterwards.

Is there a magic key combination so that I can just paste the text, and not the formatting? (RANT: That's a dumb default behavior, and is becoming more common ever since Word switched to this behavior many years ago. How often do people want to copy the formatting?) Can I make this the default behavior for my Gmail or Google Doc editor?

I assume this behavior is mostly within the Google Application. I am also assuming that this behavior is common across most Google Apps. If this is actually a web-browser bug feature, let me know.

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1  
This is a web-browser feature. For example in Chrome, paste and match style, matches the current formatting in your gmail message or google doc. –  phwd Jul 13 '10 at 19:54
    
I used to only ever use plain-text email, and I still do between domains, but within an organisation it's incredibly useful to be able to cut&paste a table of data and paste it in as a table. Ctrl+Shift+V as described below, in Chrome/Linux, works fine. –  Phil P Jul 14 '10 at 1:41
    
@Philippe Harewood had the correct answer, but it is in a comment. Phil, go ahead an answer and I'll mark your answer as correct. I misunderstood what was happening here. This is not a feature of the Web Application. It is actually a feature of your web browser. Some web browsers (like Chrome) support this plain text paste by default. Firefox can do this through a browser extension. –  Stefan Lasiewski Mar 2 '11 at 20:43

7 Answers 7

up vote 54 down vote accepted

It seems that the browser must enable this feature, so far I haven't seen anything for Safari.

Chrome, PC: Ctrl + Shift + V

Chrome, Mac: Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + V

Firefox, PC: Ctrl + Shift + V

Firefox, Mac: Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + Option ⌥ + V

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2  
The other options will be in Gmail to just click remove formatting (last menu item to the right before <<plain text) and in Google Documents it is one extra step Format -> Clear formatting –  phwd Jul 13 '10 at 20:01
    
Sorry if this is off-topic, but I'm curious how you created the "key" look. –  dgw Aug 3 '10 at 0:08
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@Voyagerfan5761: It's an html tag. Just type whatever you want surrounded by <kbd> and </kbd>. –  Senseful Aug 3 '10 at 0:25
    
Ah, right. I'll look in the CSS to see how that's done; it's a very neat effect. Thanks. –  dgw Aug 3 '10 at 3:05
2  
This works in Firefox since version 4, but the Mac shortcut is Cmd+Shift+Opt+V (see bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=410986 ). –  Nickolay Apr 7 '12 at 8:09

It's not a webapp answer, but I use a program called PureText. It just sits in your system tray and provides a hotkey (configurable) that will paste the current clipboard contents as plain text. I absolutely love this feature. I have it set to WINDOWS+v

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Alas the add-on "Copy Plain Text" by Jeremy Gillick (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/copy-plain-text/) does not do the trick. As the name says, it "Copies text without formatting...". The question here is about pasting. Yes, this is different if your source is not a browser.

I did not find a firefox extension to help here. But PureText does it. Thanks to EndangeredMassa for pointing out.

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As @eagle mentioned, Ctrl+Shift+V will work in Chrome. There is an addon for Firefox that claims it will solve your problem: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/134/

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In the new version of Gmail/Google Docs there is a keyboard shortcut for pasting without source formatting:

Ctrl+Shift+V

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Presumably the Mac equivalent would be Command+Shift+V? –  Al E. Oct 17 '13 at 13:04
    
Command+Shift+V works for me on Firefox now. This didn't work when I originally posted the question. –  Stefan Lasiewski Oct 17 '13 at 18:07

What I do is to open a tab of Google Translate, paste it there, and cut from there, and then paste to where I need (Gmail, Docs, whatever).

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3  
I usually use Notepad instead. –  Senseful Jul 13 '10 at 19:57
    
I usually just use vi, notepad.exe or something. It's simpler. –  Stefan Lasiewski Mar 2 '11 at 20:14

If you're the sort of person who always has a terminal window open, and you're on OSX or another OS with shell commands that give you pipe-access to the system clipboard, you can set up something like this:

alias stripstyle='pbpaste | pbcopy'

Then whenever you want to paste without formatting, just go into your terminal and type stripstyle and voila, whatever's in the clipboard is deformatted.

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