Mac OS X: Clear text formatting when copying from websites

Sometimes copying from websites leaves your text with strange formatting, links, unwanted graphics and spacing when you paste it into Microsoft Word or to an email message.  One way of clearing this up is using the Services menu, if your source application supports this. 

  1. Start by selecting the text you want to copy let’s say from a website opened in Safari.
  2. Go to Application Name menu, in this case the Safari menu > Services > Summarize.
  3. A new window will open and you will see a clean version of your text. Drag the slider to 100% so all your text is included.
  4. Copy the text and paste into your text editor such as Microsoft Word.

An alternative method, if your source application doesn't support the Services menu, is use the make plain text option in TextEdit

  1. Open TextEdit from the Macintosh Hard Drive > Applications > TextEdit.
  2. Copy your text from the source website, then paste your text into TextEdit.
  3. Then choose Format > Make Plain Text (Command-Shift-T).  This should strip most of the formatting.

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