Ask Your Question

Calc: copy range as unformatted text?

asked 2019-01-04 17:05:28 +0100

dubx86 gravatar image

updated 2019-01-06 16:10:58 +0100

When copying multiple cells of text (e.g. a column with text entered in each of the first three rows), the expected result is to paste the text from those three cells as three lines of unformatted text in another app. This is the result that occurs when copying from Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. However, the actual result with Calc is an attempt to paste a PNG file (e.g. when pasting in Slack) or insert a table of three rows (e.g. when pasting in Gmail) rather than pasting unformatted text.

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


I tried copy range as you wrote from Excel to Calc and I got right data in the same cell. I didn't see any PNG. What version of LibreOffice do you use?

kompilainenn gravatar imagekompilainenn ( 2019-01-04 18:25:43 +0100 )edit

LibreOffice Copy-paste from one spreadsheet to another works fine. This issue is when copying the range to a word processor.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-04 20:43:11 +0100 )edit

Works for me with Paste Special, then choose Unformatted text.

BigRAl gravatar imageBigRAl ( 2019-01-05 15:28:50 +0100 )edit

Thanks for the comment. I updated the question to specify for apps where Paste Special is not an option.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-05 17:37:13 +0100 )edit

3 Answers

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2019-01-06 18:12:11 +0100

You haven't identified the OS you use. The problem is likely to be system-dependent, because it's system clipboard operation that is used here. I suspect you mean Windows.

However, it might well be the problem of those applications you mentioned. What LibreOffice does is putting its information into Windows clipboard in as many formats as possible, to allow wide variety of other applications to choose most useful for them. And believe me, LibreOffice knows many formats.

But it's the task of the other application to choose the best from the offered range. And it's not a LibreOffice's task to limit the offered range. So if the target application does not allow you to choose the desired format, and it chooses the one by default that doesn't fit your needs, then it's something to be requested from the app's developers. In the mean time, you only may use workarounds like intermediate applications.

edit flag offensive delete link more


I am using Linux. My current system clipboard configuration works just fine (copying unformatted text in a range of cells) with Google Sheets but not with Calc.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-06 23:41:09 +0100 )edit

It could simply mean that Sheets don't offer that many formats that LibreOffice offers. Thus the target applications don't use them.

But I'm not a Linux expert - so everything possible.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-01-06 23:43:08 +0100 )edit

For example, I can copy a range in Google Sheets and it pastes in Slack as unformatted text. I copy a range in Calc to paste in Slack and it uploads it as a PNG file. My deduction was this is based on the default format of the copy operation rather than the paste operation of the target application.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-06 23:50:49 +0100 )edit

You copy from GSheets. Let's say that GSheets offers 3 formats: plain text, RTF, some GSheets-specific native format. They are all simultaneously in the clipboard. You now paste to Slack. It checks the available formats, and chooses based on internal sorted format list. Let's say it prefers PNG over GIF over RTF over plain text. It doesn't find the two first in its list; it doesn't know anything about GSheets own format (that has the most accurate information); it finds RTF, and uses it (and doesn't use TXT).

Now you copy from LO Calc. It offers plain text, RTF, own Calc native format, XML, HTML, and PNG. You paste to Slack. It again checks the available formats, and it doesn't use available RTF, because it finds PNG that if ranked higher by that app.

I don't claim that that is definitely what happens ...(more)

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-01-07 00:15:40 +0100 )edit

That seems logical. I guess that would distill my question to "Calc: can you limit the text file formats for copying?" Otherwise, I suppose I would need to explore the configuration of my clipboard manager to see if it can be resolved that way.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-07 15:42:38 +0100 )edit

answered 2019-01-05 19:53:16 +0100

ANUP gravatar image

Mine is working fine with gmail. If not in your case you may try - Copy desired cells and go to Writer and Paste Special -->RTF Copy it again and paste where you desire. It should work.

edit flag offensive delete link more


The desired result is to paste unformatted text. Copy in Calc, Paste Special in Writer and then copy again for another app is an inefficient workaround.

The core problem is how to paste unformatted text in an app that does not support Paste Special.

dubx86 gravatar imagedubx86 ( 2019-01-06 16:04:44 +0100 )edit

answered 2019-01-05 16:06:44 +0100

kompilainenn gravatar image

Copy cel range in Calc and then in Writer :

paste special

Rich text formatte (RTF)

and you'll get a table in Writer

edit flag offensive delete link more
Login/Signup to Answer

Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2019-01-04 17:05:28 +0100

Seen: 84 times

Last updated: Jan 06