How to Avoid Copy and Paste Formatting Issues

— Written By

Sometimes when you copy and paste from outside of our WordPress ecosystem, you’ll notice that paragraphs are spaced weirdly or there are strange characters that were not in the text when you copied it. This is usually because the HTML and CSS code that gets copied in the background from one site can react much differently when added to another.

To help remedy this, it is important to make sure you “clean” your copy before you paste it in our WordPress Editor. Make sure you are copying the content in “Plain Text” to help avoid any formatting issues.

In many instances, the quick and easy way to strip out any formatting in content is to copy the text, then use these key combinations to paste:

  • Mac: Command + Shift + V
  • PC: Control + Shift + V

If that method doesn’t work for you, using TextEdit (Mac) or Notepad (PC) can also help.

On a Mac

  1. Open TextEdit from your Applications folder. Finder > Applications > TextEdit
    Applications folder
  2. Paste your content into a TextEdit document. If you see an Edit menu at the top, go to Format > Make Plain Text. (If you don’t see an Edit menu at the top, you are already in Plain Text mode.)
    Edit menu
    Plain text
  3. Once it’s in Plain Text, re-copy it and paste it into your WordPress Post.

On a PC

  1. Paste your content into a Notepad document.
  2. Re-copy and paste into your WordPress Post.

If you have any questions related to content formatting or anything else, please contact the EIT Help Desk by emailing

Written By

Jeff Ware, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionJeff WareDigital Content Technician Call Jeff Email Jeff Extension Information Technology
NC State Extension, NC State University
Posted on May 13, 2020
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