How to Paste Plain Text and Strip Formatting in Notes for macOS

Copying and pasting text is a routine activity that we all do in macOS. And there’s a good chance that you’re using the macOS version of Notes. Notes is great because of its integration with iCloud, but one of its downfalls is the fact that, when you paste text from a webpage, it will copy that webpage’s font size and text color whether you like them or not.

That might be okay in some cases, but in most cases, it’s an annoyance. Here are two ways to get around it.

Alternative Paste Method

This is probably the simplest and fastest method to paste as plain text (a.k.a. strip text of its formatting).

  1. Copy a piece of text.
  2. When you’re in Notes, click Edit in the top menu bar.
  3. Click Paste and Match Style.

Alternatively, if you’re a keyboard shortcut-user, you’ll want to use the following method. Even if you’re not, it’s worth it to learn these simple keyboard shortcuts — they’re a lot quicker.

  • Copy a piece of text using Command+C.
  • In Notes, use Command+Shift+Option+V to paste and match style.

Of course, there’s a caveat with this method: it doesn’t technically strip the text’s formatting, it just changes it to the formatting in your particular document.

If it’s a new and blank note, that’s probably okay. But if you have a note that already has wonky text formatting in it, your pasted text will match that style. Not a huge issue, but something to keep in mind.

TextEdit App Method

If you really want to strip a piece of text from its formatting entirely, you can use a plain-text application.

While there are great third-party options available online, for the purposes of this how-to, we’ll use the one included free with macOS: TextEdit.

  1. Copy a piece of text.
  2. Open TextEdit (you can find it via Spotlight, or in Applications).
  3. Paste the text into TextEdit. (Command+V)
  4. Use Command+Shift+T. This will convert all the text in the document into plaintext and strip it of its formatting.
  5. Copy that text, and then paste it into Notes.

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