HTML Paste

ux desktop

Fri Feb 01 21:29:00 -0800 2008

When using web-based editors like GMail or Google Docs, I often grab something from a web page or other document and paste it in. In almost every case, I just want the text - no formatting. Perhaps I’m pasting an email address, a web url, or a longish phrase that I don’t want to manually retype.

Using most of these editors, the formatting information is carried across. This is a good thing in some circumstances, but in most cases it’s quite annoying. Pasting a name into an email and have it be a slightly different typeface, size, and weight from the surrounding text just looks bad.

The solution I’ve been using is to pop open a blank TextMate document (on the Mac) or a gedit window (on Ubuntu), paste the text in, then re-select it and copy it again for paste into the final location. This is pretty lame though. Anyone have a better technique? Maybe operating systems should start adding a context menu item, “Paste as Plain Text.”