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How can I create a plain text document?

What are plain text documents?

A plain text document is a kind of document that doesn’t preserve formatting – for example links or words in bold, italics, with underline, images, colors, different font types, tables, lists with bullets/numbers. These files are normally saved as *.txt.

In cases where you wish to paste text from another source into Moodle or Turnitin, it is recommended to copy from a plain text document, as formatting coming from other software has been found to create issues.

To create a plain text document:

On Windows

  1. Press + S (on your keyboard).
  2. Type Notepad.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Paste any text into the white area.

On macOS

  1. Press Command + Spacebar (on your keyboard).
  2. Type TextEdit and press Enter.
  3. Click Format > Make plain text (from the top menu).
  4. Paste any text into the white area.

On Chromebooks

  1. Create a new Google Doc.
  2. Paste your formatted text.
  3. Press Ctrl or Command + A (on your keyboard) to highlight the text.
  4. Click Format (from the top menu).
  5. Choose Clear formatting.

You can now copy the unformatted text and paste it into Moodle or Turnitin.

Pro tip

When you want to quickly copy a small piece of text (eg a sentence) and paste it without formatting, you can paste that text in the address bar of a new browser tab first and will automatically lose its formatting. You can then copy from there and paste it into Moodle.

Pro tip for Chrome users

When pasting text with formatting in Chrome, right click on the area where you want to paste the text and select Paste as plain text or paste using the keys Ctrl + Shift + V on your keyboard.

Updated on May 13, 2022

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