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Copy Text from Word Processing Documents

July 17, 2018 — Jim Neumann

Many of us have files from word processing applications, like Word or Pages, in our databases. These kinds of files are proprietary and not editable in DEVONthink. However, you can preview them. But what if you need to copy some text from one of them? Do you need to fire up your word processor just to make a quick copy of some text?

The preview in DEVONthink is an Quick Look generated view. Once upon a time, Apple allowed you to select text in Quick Look but they removed that ability in later versions of macOS. However, with some formats, including Word and Pages, you can select View > Text Alternative in DEVONthink to see a view of the document’s text. Then you can copy the text as you wish.

Bear in mind, Text Alternative delivers the pure text of the document and will not preserve formatting.