As the free word processor included as part of Macintosh operating system, TextEdit has a relatively basic interface yet powerful features that can meet most users’ basic word processing requirements. The rich text format options in TextEdit allows users to modify fonts, size, color and more. Meanwhile, in other cases we may need to use the Plain Text Mode which removes all formatting and produces only plain text.
Here’s how to convert existing Rich Text file to Plain Text one in TextEdit:
- Open the document you want to convert to Plain Text on the Mac.
- Head to Format menu on the top bar and choose Make Plain Text from there.
- Click on OK when you are prompted that the text will remove all formatting.
You can also hit the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + T to open up the Make Plain Text window. Once you click the OK, all the formatting in the currently editing window will be removed immediately and only simple, plain text remains.
If you use Pages or Microsoft Word as the first choice for word editing while use TextEdit to produce pure text without any formats, you can consider to set Plain Text as the default mode in TextEdit. Here’s how to use Plain Text by default in TextEdit:
- Launch TextEdit from the Applications folder, Spotlight or Launchpad.
- Head to the TextEdit icon on the top bar, and choose Preferences from the menu.
- In the New Document tab, check the option labeled Plain Text under the Format.
Now all new TextEdit windows will open in Plain Text Mode. If you want to roll back the change, go back to the Preferences window and select Rich Text instead.
Besides, there are many other 3rd party word editing apps focusing on plain text and coding, like BBEdit, TextWrangler, TextMate, or Sublime Text. Yet TextEdit is always my preferred plain text editor as it is free, handy and well integrated with macOS.
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