How to swap Paste with “Paste and Match Style”

Most computer users are already familiar with the copy and paste commands: select some content such as text, copy it (⌘-C or use the Edit menu), and then paste (⌘-V) it into another document, another app, or even another Apple device with Universal Clipboard.

Advanced Mac users may also be familiar with a feature called “Paste and Match Style” (⌘-Option-V) which instead of pasting in the text and formatting, only the text itself is pasted, adopting the format of the document you are pasting into. For example, if I’m copying a paragraph from a document that’s in 12pt Times New Roman into a document that’s 10pt Arial, I probably want that paragraph to be Arial so it looks consistent. For many power users this is the preferred pasting method.

Good news if that’s your style: macOS lets you swap the shortcut keys so that Paste and Match Style is the default!

  1. Open the Keyboard preferences pane (Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard)
  2. Click the “Shortcuts” tab
  3. On the left column click “App Shortcuts”
  4. Click the “+” button to add a new shortcut
  5. Use the settings “All Applications”, enter the menu title “Paste and Match Style” (it must be exactly that, including the correct capitalization), then click the the keyboard shortcut box and press ⌘-V. Click “Add”

Now when you paste using the keyboard shortcut you will only get the text and not the formatting. If you do want to paste the formatting as well, you will need to find the plain “Paste” in your Edit menu.

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or to find a local Apple consultant.