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Mac hints and tips

Copy and paste text and style information

Copying some text in an application like TextEdit, Pages or Keynote and pasting it somewhere else in the document seems at first sight to be quite a simple task, but it there is actually more to it than you might think. Of course, you want to copy the text and paste it elsewhere, but text in these applications, and other similar ones, are not just plain characters. They are styled in a particular way. For example, they are in a specific font, they have a particular size, they are bold or italic, they might even be coloured, and so on.

The big question is, when you paste the text into the new location in the document do you want to keep all this information and paste in the text exactly as it was, or do you really want to paste just the text and to match the style that is in use at the paste location?

You can do both of these copy and paste actions, and more. Select some text in TextEdit, Pages or Keynote and choose Edit, Copy. Move the cursor to the place you want to insert it and select Edit, Paste. This type of copy will retain the orginal style of the text, including the font, size, colour and so on. You can use the keyboard shortcuts, Command+C to copy and Command+V to paste.

If you want to paste in just the text and to match the style of the text and the insert point select Edit, Paste and Match Style. You can also press Option+Shift+Command+V. Now here's an interesting thought, suppose you have styled some text in one part of the document and you want to apply the same style in another part. You can actually copy and paste the style! Go to the style you want to copy and select some text. Press Command+Option+C to copy the style. Select the text that you want to style in the same way and then press Command+Option+V. No text is copied and the text you select is simply styled in an identical manner to the text you copied.

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