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MacMost Now 879: Paste and Match Style

Normal copy and paste of text will include the text font, style and other attributes. But if your intention is to just copy and paste the raw text, then you will want to learn how to use Paste and Match Style. You can use this in most apps, including Pages, TextEdit and Microsoft Word.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at Paste and Match Style.

Many years ago it used to be that if you copied text from one document to another you would only copy the text. So if you were working in one document and say you were using a large bold font and the other document used a small thin font you would paste it in there and it would obey the style of the second document.

But now when you copy it not only copies the text itself but also the styling, the font, the font type, and all sorts of other attributes like the color of the actual characters. So when you paste it in you get all of that.

So let me give you an example here. I am at a page on my website and I selected this text here. I'm going to select the text and I'm going to Copy. Now notice the text uses a certain font, verdana actually, and it's also kind of a gray color, it's not pure black.

I'm going to switch over to TextEdit where I've already started a document and typed a line. You notice that the font here is set to Hervetica regular at 12 point. Now I'm going to paste in.

You can see what I get is verdana at 14 point and it's got that gray color. So it changed the color and it changed the font even though that is not what I was using. So you may have already guessed how to get around this.

I'm going to Undo so I am back to where I was. You saw in Edit there is also a Paste and Match Style. Now when I do that you can see that it matches Hervetica regular 12 point and it is black.

So it got rid of all the styling of the web page I was copying from and it just used the style that was already here which is probably what you want to do a lot of the time.

The same thing also happens if you go to Pages. Here I am using Hervetica regular 18. If I Paste you can see I get all that but if I Past and Match Style then it stays with the same font.

Notice that there was a keyboard shortcut that was the same between TextEdit and Pages and that is to hold down the Option key and the Shift key as well as Command V. So you just add Option and Shift and then you get Paste and Match Style instead of Paste.

It even works that way if you go into a non-Apple app like Microsoft Word. So here I am, if I Paste into there and sure enough I get everything with the style. Undo and I look and I see it is not called the same thing, it is called Paste and Match Formatting, but you can see the keyboard shortcut is the same. Sure enough it works the same way.

Paste and Match Style is especially useful in very style conscious apps, like say Pages, where you have so many different aspects of font. If you paste without matching style and you say, hmmmm I want to change it back, you've got to change lots of different things like the size and the color, and styling and the weight and all these things of the font, even the spacing of the lines and things like tabs will come through if you paste normally.

So it is important to get used to using Paste and Match Style. Maybe use the keyboard shortcut if you do a lot of copying and pasting between documents especially if they are documents from different apps.

You can see if I alter the selection area and include the title here, which in this case is a link, I even when I go to say TextEdit here, I paste that in, I even get a link here. This is clickable you can see. So it is even more critical that I use the Paste and Match Style here which gets rid of the link as part of it.

So I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 7 Responses to “MacMost Now 879: Paste and Match Style”

    Jettsenn Zyrex
    6/17/13 @ 10:46 am

    Such a simple thing. You have saved me so much time.

    Thanks for the video.


    John Jung
    6/20/13 @ 9:23 am

    Terrific…so simple to do and such a time saver. Never even knew you could do this…thanks!!!

    6/20/13 @ 11:44 am

    This is brilliant. It saves me so much time and less to think about as I work. Thanks for the video.

    Mark Alberhasky
    6/20/13 @ 12:17 pm

    As always, insights into problems for which you didn’t even know solutions existed. I ALWAYS appreciate your newsletters Gary!

    6/20/13 @ 12:50 pm

    Gary, the paste & match works great with text edit, but links carry over when paste & match is used with word (for me, the links were the big headache in copying text). However, if you’re in word, you can use ‘paste special,’ located just above the ‘paste & match style’ command and choose ‘unformatted text,’ which will strip out the hyperlinks.

    6/21/13 @ 3:18 am

    This has driven me mad for a lifetime. As usual, a great time saving tip, thanks for the video.

    Ray Alston
    8/2/13 @ 7:15 am

    Ditto all the other favourable comments… a real time saver especially with the keyboard shortcut. Thank you again, Gary.

Comments Closed.