Pasting without styles using cmd-V

Most OS X programs offer two options to paste text: ‘Paste’ (cmd-V) and ‘Paste and Match Style‘ (opt-shift-cmd-V). By default ‘Paste’ pastes with styles, whereas ‘Paste and Match Styles’ pastes unformatted text. I usually prefer to paste without styles and pressing opt-shift-cmd-V is not that easy. So, I have been looking for ways to change cmd-V to paste without styles.

As it turns out, it is pretty easy to remap the keyboard shortcuts for ‘Paste’ and ‘Paste and Match Style’ and I can recommend this to most writers.

However, if you use the clipboard manager CopyPaste, remapping ‘Paste and Match Style’ to cmd-V is not an option, for its clipboard history seems to work only if cmd-V is mapped to ‘Paste’. Fortunately, CopyPaste itself has an option to let ‘Paste’ and cmd-V paste without styles (‘Paste all text Clips plain without styles’ in ‘Preferences → General’). If this option is enabled ‘Paste’ and ‘Paste and Match Style’ both paste without styles and there is no menu option to paste with styles. If, in addition, ‘Command-option-V toggles pasting text styled or plain’ is enabled, opt-cmd-V pastes the most recent clip with styles.

The ‘Paste all text Clips plain’ setting also determines whether CopyPaste’s wonderful clip browser (activated by holding down the command key after pressing cmd-V) pastes with or without style. There is, however, no option to toggle that behavior. On the few occasions that I want to paste with style from the clipboard history, I option-paste from CopyPaste’s menu. CopyPaste’s clip palettes can be used in the same way.

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