One of the annoying issues in the Mac’s clipboard is that, for the most part, what you cut or copy stays that way when you paste text back into a document. In most text copying and pasting whatever the format is in the original also gets pasted back with formatting intact. It only takes a few extra steps to reformat the original format but it’s extra work that could be eliminated with a toggle switch built-in to OS X.
Or, just use Plain Clip.
This clever Mac utility does exactly that. It resides in the background and watches what you cut or copy. If the copied text has formatting, Plain Clip reformats it to plain text which makes it easier to format when pasted back into a document later. Once you setup Plain Clip there’s nothing to do other than use it.
Configuring Plain Clip is easy, too. It comes with a number of options that can remove blank lines or line breaks, replace tabs with spaces, remove consecutive spaces and replace them with a single space, or simply convert everything to ASCII.
Some text (Microsoft Word, I’m looking at you) contains embedded control characters which can also be removed automatically. Plain Clip does a little of what TextSoap does, or what can be configured in PTHPasteboard (a clipboard manager), but both come with hefty price tags, do far more than Plain Clip, and have a steep learning curve. Plain Clip, once installed, isn’t even visible. It just works to strip formatting from copied or cut text so when you paste it elsewhere, the pasted text is plain text.
Not bad for donationware.