Sanitize Your Clipboard Text

Sanitize Your Clipboard Text

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I'm guessing this is mostly a geek problem, but I frequently find myself starting up NOTEPAD, pasting in some formatted text, selecting all of the now-unformatted text, copying it again, and pasting it into some other application. Does this sound familiar? I don't know how many times I've wished for a special paste command that would automatically remove all of the text formatting for me. I seem to need it most when pasting to .Text, FrontPage, or Word.

To alleviate this frustration, I figured it was finally time to write a small utility, so I fired up Visual Studio 2005 and wrote a simple proof-of-concept. Right after I had something functional, I decided to search the internet to see if someone else might have written a similar tool. I don't know why I didn't do this first. Turns out that there are a few solutions, and after trying them, I've decided that I like the simplicity and functionality of Steve Miller's PureText. It's a single EXE that you can put anywhere you'd like, it lives in the system tray, and a simple click of the icon automatically sanitizes your clipboard text. Or, if you don't want to click the icon, you can simply press Windows+V (customizable) to sanitize and paste in a single step. Simple and beautiful.

I wish I had seen Duncan Mackenzie's post back in August...or quite frankly, about 10 years ago.

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  • "I seem to need it most when pasting to .Text, FrontPage, or Word."

    Have a look at the smart tag that appears when you past formatted text into Word (and I think FrontPage). It has several options, one of which is "Keep text only". This will do want you want quicker than another application.

    Unfortunately I don't think the FreeTextBox editor in .Text will ever have this.
  • Hi,

    This is indeed a nice utility. I myself use Clipomatic for similar functionality. It also clears the formatting from clipboard data and doubles as a clipboard history. The last few items I put on the clipboard will be remembered as plain text, and can be pasted back with the press of a (configurable) keystroke.

    Clipomatic: http://www.mlin.net/Clipomatic.shtml


  • On many programs there is a "Paste Special" menu option that lets you pick whether you want to paste formatted or unformatted.
  • Thanks, Raymond. Yes, I'm aware of the "Paste Special" commands, but unfortunately, implementation isn't consistent, so I can't depend on it everywhere I need to paste. After using PureText for only two days, I'm hooked. The power of Windows+V is awesome.
  • PureText - copy text without formatting
  • Michael - thank you for the link to PureText. I found your page while googling for exactly the same thing, having got tired of the Notepad - Paste - SelectAll - Copy roundabout. I'd already discovered there's no easy way to do it in vbscript or javascript.

    But I hadn't found PureText - so thanks again for that!
  • Mike,

    Many thanks.  I'm another of the ones who has been looking for just this to avoid the notepad shuffle.

    Bliss! - well, not quite, but certainly very useful.

    Rick

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