Pasting Plain Text with TextExpander

David Sparks explains how he pastes plain text with the help of TextExpander:

I just invoke the clipboard formatted as plaint text. My snippet is xpt (X-Plain-Text). This works everywhere on the Mac. (Even Microsoft Word.)

I use the same snippet with a different abbreviation: ‘,,clip’ instead of ‘xpt.’1

This is probably my most-used TextExpander snippet. I rarely do a simple ⌘-C, ⌘-V when I’m working with text—you just never know what you’re going to get.

When working on the Sunday worship guide for 2 Pillars Church, for example, it’s not uncommon for me to use bits of text from a number of different sources. One person might send me text in the body of an email while another uses a Word document. I might also use text copied from our website or pull in our various liturgy elements from Planning Center Online. This snippet gives me a clean formatting slate to work with regardless of the source of the text.

If you work with formatted text, then you should give this a try. Not ready to invest in TextExpander?2 There are a number of apps and clipboard managers that offer similar plain text pasting features.


  1. I’ve thought about shortening the abbreviation, but my muscle memory is too deeply ingrained at this point.

  2. The $35 price tag might seem steep, but I can’t recommend this application enough. Well worth the price.