How to Clear Formatting in Google Docs

Whether you’re a student or a professional, formatting is an important part of any document. There’s also a lot of different types of formatting, and you’ll often find yourself using many of them in a single document.

Unfortunately, Docs is also notorious for messing up formatting, so it’s useful to know how to clear it. Figuring that out can be confusing, though, so in this article we’ll walk you through how to clear formatting in Google Docs.

How to Clear Formatting in Google Docs

If you’re on PC, you can remove formatting by clicking the Clear formatting button in the toolbar at the top. This icon resembles a T with a slash through it. Alternatively, you can remove formatting by opening up the Format tab and selecting Clear formatting.

Below, we’ll walk you through both methods step-by-step:

  1. Open docs.google.com, sign into your account, and create a new document or edit an existing one.
  2. Highlight the text you wish to clear formatting for.
    Google Docs Web Text with Formatting Highlighted
  3. Click the Clear formatting button in the toolbar at the top of Google Docs. This is the icon that looks like a T with a slash through it.
    Google Docs Web Clear Formatting Button in Toolbar Above Highlighted Text with Formatting
  4. Alternatively, you can click the Format tab and select Clear formatting at the bottom of the menu.
    Google Docs Web Clear Formatting in Format Menu

If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, you can clear formatting by hitting Ctrl + \. Do this after highlighting the text you wish to clear formatting from for quick formatting removals.

Copy and Paste Without Formatting in Google Docs

If you find yourself copying and pasting often, it might be better to paste without formatting altogether. This saves some hassle, and time, by removing the formatting of whatever is on your clipboard and just pasting the plain text.

There’s two ways you can paste without formatting in Google Docs:

The first method is to click the Edit tab in the toolbar above your document and select Paste without formatting. This will paste what’s on your clipboard as plain text.

Google Docs Web Paste Without Formatting in Edit Menu

The second way to paste without formatting is through using keyboard shortcuts. For Windows users, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + V, while for Mac users, the keyboard shortcut is Command + Shift + V.

Like the first method above, this will strip the formatting from the text on your clipboard and paste it as plain text.

Clearing Formatting in the Google Docs Mobile App

Clearing formatting in the Google Docs mobile app is similar to doing it on PC. Once you’ve opened the desired document and enabled editing mode, you can clear formatting by highlighting text and using the toolbar.

  1. Open the Google Docs mobile app, sign into your account, and create a new document or edit an existing one.
  2. If editing an existing document, tap the Edit button in the bottom right corner of the preview screen.
    Google Docs Mobile App Edit Button on Preview Screen with Formatted Text in Preview
  3. Highlight the text you wish to clear formatting for. Tap and hold the text until a character or word is highlighted, then drag the handles to highlight the entire text (or tap Select all above).
    Google Docs Mobile App Text with Formatting Highlighted
  4. Tap the A icon in the toolbar at the top,
    Google Docs Mobile App Format Icon in Toolbar at Top With Highlighted Formatted Text
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu that appears and select Clear formatting.
    Google Docs Mobile App Clear Formatting in Format Menu

Conclusion

Google Docs offers a variety of ways to format your documents, ranging from headers to borders. At the same time, adding many different layers of formatting opens the door to a host of problems, thanks to Docs being somewhat finicky.

As a result, it’s a good idea to know how to remove formatting altogether. Otherwise, you might end up with a document that easily leads to miscommunication with others. 

Leave a Comment