Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I want a paste-plain-text key combo in Windows

For a while, Windows apps have started to implement Paste Special commands that allow you to paste text that you copied with formatting, like HTML or RTF, as plain text, scrubbing out the formatting before the paste. This is handy whenever copying from one document to another.

But it's too slow to go to the menu. Let's make a Windows standard for this. We have Ctrl-V for paste; what about Ctrl-G for Paste-Special-Plain-Text?

I know, I know, I can get a clipboard scrubber app for this. I can even assign the scrubbing to a hotkey using a hotkey utility. I can prove I'm a geek any number of ways; I want this built into my operating system, thank you very much. I want a standard, that is available on any Windows box I sit down at.


  1. Most apps on the Mac implement a "Paste and Match Style" command, as option-shift-command-V. I use it all the time when pasting wackily styled text into emails and I want the pasted text to match the style of the email.

    No help to you, I know. But being a Mac Geek, I couldn't resist sharing.

  2. That's a good one, Mikael. Matching style would be handy. Maybe a better paradigm.

    You've got the right idea. You should tell someone at MS to review the Mac interface and try to glean good practices to adopt from it. I don't know why Gates never thought of doing that himself... ;)

    I just noticed that Personal Knowbase has a Ctrl-E shortcut for Paste Special->Plain Text. I upgraded to ver 3 recently, maybe they added it. It's nice.

  3. Hmm, being a recently converted Mac user and more of a nerd than a geek, I suppose I just learned a trick from Mikael.

  4. Welcome Doug! I can't wait to see you at the next Secret Mac Meeting! We can talk about Aaron!

  5. Paste special doesn't even work for me in Outlook. I feel dumb now because it hadn't occurred to me to google for a clipboard scrubber. I just did and found one made by the company that also makes another useful app, DisplayFusion (a must-have if you rdp to a machine with multiple monitors. ClipboardFusion http://www.binaryfortress.com/clipboardfusion/ automatically scrubs formatting (or can be configured not to). This is exactly what I want. I almost never want to copy formatting. If I do, I'll right click and disable scrubbing for the time being.