Question of the Week
When I copied some text from Microsoft Word and pasted it into a Gmail message, the message got all messed up. Is there a better way to copy-paste text?
— G., Consultant in Thimphu
So why does the text get “messed up”? When you copy content from one application to another, it’s not only the pure text that is being copied. The formatting of the text is also copied. What’s formatting? Glad you asked! Formatting includes the different fonts, font sizes, colors, and other cosmetic information that influence the makeup of the text. If the content includes tables or images, these are often included as well.
Now that we understand what was copied when you clicked Copy, let’s move to the pasting stage... When you paste the content into the Gmail compose box (or any other application, for that matter), all that formatting can often wreak havoc in your message. You often want to copy just the plain text to the destination application. Luckily, there is an easy trick. Instead of a normal Paste, you can use the Paste as plain text option. This will paste just the text without all the excess baggage. This nifty option usually appears just below the normal Paste option (see figure). You can also use the Ctrl+Shift+V shortcut to achieve the exact same effect (hold the CTRL and SHIFT keys while clicking on the letter V).
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