Tuesday Tip: Copy text from word processing documents

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 Apple 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.

2 Responses to “Tuesday Tip: Copy text from word processing documents”

  1. You mentioned that MS Word files are proprietary, but from what I understand, Microsoft made the formats open in 2010, allowing any application to edit these files. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML

  2. Jim Neumann says:

    Note: Making a format’s specification doesn’t make it non-proprietary. It just means the documentation is open. It also doesn’t make editing them a simple matter.