Better Paste Takes The Annoyance Out Of Pasting Formatted Text

Better Paste Takes The Annoyance Out Of Pasting Formatted Text

Windows only: Better Paste is a simple, lightweight application (or AutoHotkey script) that tweaks the default Ctrl+V paste shortcut such that it pastes plain text every time; if you want formatted text, simply hit Ctrl+Shift+V.

Photo by me and the sysop.

A little background behind the motivation: I hate formatted text when it comes time to sit down and do a serious session of copying and pasting. I rarely if ever want to retain formatting when I’m pasting something to a different destination, but for some reason it’s the default.

Adding a shortcut to paste plain text isn’t a new idea by any means—previously mentioned application PureText, for example, adds a universal hotkey to strip formatting from pastes (Win+V by default), and I suspect a lot of AutoHotkey-savvy readers are already doing something similar. Frankly, I don’t want to use a special hotkey to paste plain text. I want a special hotkey for the very rare occasions that I want to paste formatted text. Hence Better Paste, a simple AHK application/script I had Dustin quickly whip up for us this afternoon.

If you’re not an AutoHotkey user, you can simply download the EXE here, extract the portable application, and run it from anywhere. It doesn’t have any options; it just sits quietly in your system tray, plain-textifying your pastes except when you hit Ctrl+Shift+V.

If you are an AHK user, and you simply want to add a few lines to your own script, here they are:

$^v:: ClipSaved := ClipboardAll ;save original clipboard contents clipboard = %clipboard% ;remove formatting Send ^v;send the Ctrl+V command Clipboard := ClipSaved ;restore the original clipboard contents ClipSaved = ;clear the variable Return $^+v:: Send ^v;just send the regular paste command Return You can also download the source here. It’s nothing all that fancy, but I know I’ll be much less annoyed from now on.

Better Paste


  • Mac only: command-option-shift-V to “paste with destination formatting”. Has been in there for yonks.

    I wonder how Linux solves it… or do they just work with plain text all the time?

    • Linux being linux, it’s not necessarily consistent…

      Generally though, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V copy and paste with formatting. To copy without formatting, you just highlight the text, and then middle click to paste.

  • As an avid Autohotkey user I can’t believe I never thought to set this up before
    I am sure Dustion coded it better than I would have
    Added to my permanently running script – works great

    Oh – you might like to lay out the script a little better in the article – I had to break it up in the appropriate places for it to work in my script

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!