Here’s a tip for using your Mac’s ability to cut and paste text much more efficiently.

First, a little appreciative history. Back in 1984, the ability to “cut and paste” (or “copy and paste”) text was one of the Macintosh’s original killer applications. Apple actually introduced this ability on the earlier, unsuccessful Lisa, after Steve Jobs had seen it used experimentally at the Xerox Corporation Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). However, it was the original Mac that popularized this now-essential computer function (and yes, I find it ironic that there isn’t yet a cut and paste feature on the iPhone/iPod touch.)

Typically when you copy text from one document or application and paste it into a new document or application, the original font, font size, and font color is preserved, possibly clashing with the formating of the new document. This means you have to go back and reformat the pasted text to match the surrounding text’s font.

However, for many Mac applications (Pages, Mail, TextEdit) there is a simple way to force the copied text to match the font of document it’s being pasted into. After copying text, navigate to the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Edit, and choose “Paste and Match Style” from the drop down menu.

If you prefer to use a keyboard shortcut to paste your text , hold down the following keys at the same time: Command-Option-Shift-V. Normally to paste text, you simply hold down Command-V at the same time. Note that the Command key is stamped with an Apple on many Apple keyboards, and is located next to the Spacebar.


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