How to Clear Formatting in Google Docs

336848 How to Clear Formatting in Google Docs

Google Docs is a popular word processing application that allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents online. One useful feature in Google Docs is the ability to clear formatting from text, restoring it to the default formatting. Here is a guide on how to use this feature effectively.

When to Use Clear Formatting

Here are some common situations when you may want to clear formatting in Google Docs:

  • Remove unwanted formatting – If you copy and paste text from another source, it may retain formatting that is inconsistent with the rest of your document. Clearing the formatting will remove this.
  • Start fresh – If you want a section of text to have no special formatting, clearing the formatting will set it back to the defaults.
  • Prepare text for a new style – You may want to clear existing formatting to apply a new, consistent style to a section of text.

How to Clear Text Formatting

Clearing text formatting in Google Docs is very simple:

  • Select the text – First, select the text you want to clear formatting from by highlighting it with your cursor. You can select partial or entire documents.
  • Clear formatting
  • Click the “Clear formatting” icon in the toolbar (it looks like a T with a line through it).
    • Or go to Format > Clear formatting in the menu.
    • Or use the keyboard shortcut *Ctrl + * (on Mac, *⌘ + *)
  • The selected text will be restored to the default font face, size, coloring, and styling.

Here is a 90-second video showing the process:

Clear formatting video

Clearing Formatting from Other Elements

The clear formatting option can also be used to clear styling from other elements besides text:

  • Tables – Select the table and use the clear formatting option to clear borders, shading, alignment, etc. Structure will remain.
  • Images – Select the image and clear formatting to restore original size, border, position, etc.
  • Lines and shapes – Use clear formatting to remove borders and shading.

So if other elements have unwanted styling applied, the same process can restore them to defaults.

Tips for Using Clear Formatting

Here are some useful tips for effectively using the clear formatting tool:

  • If you only want to clear certain attributes like bold or italics but retain others like underlining, highlight the text and click the specific buttons in the toolbar to toggle them off instead.
  • Be careful when selecting entire documents to avoid accidentally clearing formatting you want to keep.
  • Consider using keyboard shortcuts to improve workflow speed when clearing formatting in multiple areas.
  • Clearing formatting does not remove hyperlinks. You have to manually remove any links.

Troubleshooting Clear Formatting

In some cases, the clear formatting option may not work as expected. Here is how to troubleshoot issues:

  • Make sure you have selected text before trying to clear formatting. If no text is selected, nothing will happen.
  • Try clearing your web browser’s cache and cookies and reloading the Google Docs page.
  • Disable any browser extensions and plugins to see if they are interfering.
  • As a last resort, try clearing the formatting in a different web browser like Firefox or Edge to rule out Chrome-specific conflicts.

If you follow these tips, you should have no trouble effectively removing unwanted formatting from text, tables, images, and other elements in Google Docs using the handy clear formatting feature.

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