How to Copy/Paste Plain Text Without Formatting on Mac

Copying and pasting text is a basic function that we use daily while working on our computers. However, sometimes when we copy text from a website or document, it comes with its formatting.

This can be an issue if you want to paste the text into another document without the formatting, especially if you’re using a Mac. Luckily, there are keyboard shortcuts that can help you paste plain text without any formatting on a Mac.

Why Paste Plain Text?

There are several reasons why you might want to paste plain text instead of the original formatted text.

  • It helps to maintain consistency in your documents if you’re using different fonts and styles and also saves time as you don’t have to manually change the formatting every time you paste text.
  • And, it can be useful when you want to copy text from a website and paste it into a document without any unnecessary formatting or links.

Basic Keyboard Shortcuts For Pasting on Mac

plain text mac
  1. Select the text you wish to copy by highlighting it with your mouse or trackpad.
  2. To copy the highlighted text, hold down the Command key and then press the “C” key. Move your mouse cursor to where you want to paste it.
  3. To paste it, hold the Command key and then press the “V” key. Or right-click and select the “Paste” option.
plain text mac

Keyboard Shortcuts for Pasting Plain Text on Mac

There are two keyboard shortcuts that you can use to paste plain text without formatting on a Mac:

Command + Shift + Option + V – This shortcut will paste the text as plain text, removing any formatting.

plain text mac

To use these shortcuts, follow these steps:

  1. Copy the text you want to paste.
  2. Place your cursor where you want to paste the text.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcuts mentioned above (Command + Shift + Option + V).
  4. The text will be pasted without any formatting.


These shortcuts work in most applications on a Mac, including Microsoft Word, Pages, and Google Docs.

Use ‘Paste and Match Style’ on Your Mac

paste plain text macos

A feature known as “Paste and Match Style may be familiar to experienced Mac users. Instead of pasting in the text and formatting, only the text is copied, adopting the format of the document you’re pasting into.

paste plain text

I’m copying a paragraph from a 12pt Roboto document and pasting it into a 14pt Arial document, so I’ll probably want the paragraph to be 14pt Arial to maintain consistency.

If that's how you prefer to work, there's good news: macOS allows you to change the shortcut keys so that Paste and Match Style is the default!

Use Sublime Text

What is Sublime? Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose. It features rich support for plugins, macros, syntax highlighting and code folding, as well as superb performance.

paste plain text macos
paste plain text macos

Using Sublime Text is a easy way to paste text without any formatting on a Mac. Simply open Sublime Text and create a new document. This will open a new window.

Now, paste your text into this window. The text will be pasted without any formatting.

I’ve used this method for pasting text without formatting on a Mac for years, and it has worked perfectly.

Set ‘Paste and Match Style’ as Default on Macbook

Open the Keyboard preference window (Go to System Preferences > Keyboard) and select “Shortcuts” tab. On the left column, choose “App Shortcuts.”

Paste Plain Text Without Formatting

To add a new shortcut, click the “+” button.

Use the “All Applications”, and fill in the “Paste and Match Style” at Menu Title. (The letter must be precisely that, with the correct capitalization). Check the image below.

Click the box, type in a keyboard shortcut, and then press Command (⌘) + V from your keyboard. Then, click “Add”.

When you paste with the keyboard shortcut (⌘+V), only the text will be pasted, not the formatting.


You can also paste the formatting, which you will need to search for the plain “Paste” in your Edit menu.

paste plain text

Read more: 13 Best Writing Apps for Mac

Other Useful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Apart from these shortcuts for pasting plain text, there are several other useful keyboard shortcuts on a Mac that can help improve your productivity and efficiency. Some examples include:

  • Command + C: Copy selected text
  • Command + X: Cut selected text
  • Command + V: Paste copied or cut text
  • Command + Z: Undo previous action
  • Command + F: Open find and replace function
  • Command + B: Bold selected text
  • Command + I: Italicize selected text
  • Command + U: Underline selected text
10/3/2023 – Update
  • Add more content and images to make it really useful for a new Mac user.


“Paste and Match Style” is a handy shortcut on the Mac that allows you to paste text without the original formatting. With this feature, users can copy plain text from one document or app to another while maintaining the style of their choice.

This post is helpful for pasting plain text into programs such as Safari, Notion, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and more. If you need further information on the topic or assistance with this process, please comment below.

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Solomen is the founder of and is at his happiest when he's working with technology and is able to help others. In his free time, he often listens to Baroque music and goes swimming. Feel free to contact him on social media!

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