Sometimes after I write an email I want to go back and copy/paste the text. In my sentbox after opening the email I get the text formatted to a width. In the reply it is also formatted to a specific width.

How do I get the text in a way so I can copy/paste it to a Word document as normal paragraphs instead of a Gmail formatted width email?

  • I use a clipboard manager that has a keyboard shortcut for "paste as plain text." Alternatively, Word has a feature for pasting as plain text, I think. If not, look for the little thing you click to tell it what sort of paste you had in mind. Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 2:05

3 Answers 3


You can simply click Forward (or press F if you have Keyboard shortcuts enabled) and then the Plaint Text button from the toolbar.

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Or if your text is already in Plain Text, then GMail by default breaks long lines in a specific width by adding end line character. In order to remove these breaks you have to do it manually from Word (unless you have any other text editors that have this as an option) like this:

  1. Select one paragraph
  2. Ctrl+H to Search and Replace
  3. Put ^p in the Find field
  4. Put a single space in the Replace With field
  5. Click the Replace All button
  6. Continue with the next paragraph
  • 1
    ^p didnt work in word. Do i type ^p literally? Your answer helped me find a solution. Notepad++ has an unwrap menu option/button that solved my problem perfectly.
    – user3183
    Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 14:32
  • this doesn't work for ubuntu Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 20:19

Have you tried "Show Original" from the message drop-down menu? That gives you a monospace font view of the entire e-mail message including headers.

  • This is not going to work because the original text contains all the formatting information as well..! :)
    – Lipis
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 13:37

This is my experience on my computer (IE7) and may not apply to your situation. A simple copy and paste. I don't even have to open the Email. I use my mouse to highlight text desired, right click copy, open a word document and paste.

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