This is something that's been annoying me for a while. With the current trend towards "rich web applications" it seems that some application developers are doing something funky with textarea elements to allow the pasting of styled text... GMail, Yahoo Mail etc.

At least this appears to be the case with Firefox. When copy & pasting something from another HTML page (or another application) into one of these special textareas, any formatting is preserved. Now in MS Office and LibreOffice (on Windows at least) this is traditionally solved by having a "Paste Special" menu where you can choose what you want to paste, with/without formatting and many other options. There doesn't appear to be any such equivalent in Firefox.

I already have the "Copy link name" extension to Firefox which allows me to strip out all the hyperlink guff and just copy the visible text. But that only works for hyperlinks.
Actually most of the time when pasting between websites, I don't want to carry over the formatting from the other one.

Just wondering if there's a config option to paste plain text in Firefox? And ideally an addon so you can quickly toggle that option?

Cheers, B

  • Firefox should add support for Ctrl-Shift-V (or equivelent on Mac & Linux). This functionality and key combination are widely supported.
    – Tom
    Jan 28, 2013 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


I've been using a Firefox extension named Extended Copy Menu (fix version) for a long time. It adds "Copy as Plain Text" and "Copy as Html" items to the Edit menu (in addition to the regular "Copy" command). Using the former causes all the formating to be stripped out of the selected text before it's placed on the clipboard.

  • Very cool. Be amazing if there was a way of re-binding ctrl+c to use that menu option with the keyconfig addon. Also would be good to have a "Paste as Plain Text" menu option. But it works perfectly as it is. And it's much better than using a Windows-specific utility like PureText to achieve the same result. Thanks!
    – batfastad
    Jun 7, 2012 at 12:57
  • @batfastad: If you're using Windows you could map it to ctrl-c using AutoHotKey. BTW, it's customary to also upvote the answer you accept.
    – martineau
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:01
  • Yeah I was thinking of a way to re-map the key within Firefox, not globally. I normally upvote on StackOverflow and ServerFault. Can't upvote on here as I need 15 reputation ;)
    – batfastad
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:17
  • AutoHotKey can make the remap only apply to Firefox. I have some hotkeys defined that work exactly that way. As for being unable to upvote, there you go...;-)
    – martineau
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:36
  • BTW. having a "Paste as Plain Text" in Firefox wouldn't help you paste the text into some other application -- but a "Copy as Plain Text" does. Thx.
    – martineau
    Jun 7, 2012 at 18:00

Use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V.

If you happen to have the Adblock Plus add-on installed it might have overridden it with displaying the "Blockable Items on current page" sidebar.

In this case enter "about:config" in your address bar, then search for the key "extensions.adblockplus.sidebar_key", remove the CTRL+SHIFT+V association and restart the browser.

  • This works but only in rich text editor areas. In normal textfields / textareas, it will do nothing – no need to, Ctrl+V is fine since there can be no formatting anyway here.
    – tanius
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:28

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