Applying default formatting to a small text selection?

Is there a shortcut to apply default formatting to a selection of text (not an entire document)? I have notes files where I have stuff pasted in all sorts of different formats, and I’d like to be able to convert individual chunks into my default formatting.

I know how to copy and paste formatting using Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-C and Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-V, and I know how to change to “no style” using Opt-Cmd-0, but neither of these is ideal. The first requires you to have a chunk of clean text at hand for copying, and the second only changes style, not all of the formatting. Thanks!

Highlight, then Documents > Convert > Text to default formatting.



Do you mean you want to remove things like text size, font, bold, italics, etc?

You can create a character style (rather than a paragraph style) with the default settings – easiest way to do this is to select some text from an unamended default paragraph, and then Format > New Style from Selection. Call it something (e.g. ‘Plain Text’) and give it a shortcut. Make sure the Formatting dropdown box is set to Save Character Attributes and both Include font family and Include font size are ticked.

Now, when cmd-opt-0 (Apply Default Style) doesn’t quite remove all the formatting, you can select the affected text and apply your new Plain Text style.


The method I use, if the conversion menu command or “No Style” isn’t thorough enough, is to cut the text and then use Edit ▸ Paste and Match Style (⇧⌥⌘V) to fully strip out all formatting on paste.

Note that in some cases you may need to hit the up/down arrow key to move the cursor away from where it was, and then back. The reason for this is that the previous text’s formatting is held on the cursor temporarily, so if you paste right back into the same spot and that spot previously had formatting you don’t want (like italics), then the whole chunk will paste in italic.