Copying texts and other elements of a website in Firefox always includes the format of the elements. This means that a text with a headline will exactly look alike after pasting it into an editor that supports this formats. Pasting it into a plain text editor like Notepad would delete the formatting and display the text text only.
The problem begins if plain text should be copied into a rich text editor. One solution was to copy and paste the text into a plain text editor first and copy and paste it again into the rich text editor. This would ensure that only the plain text would be pasted into the rich text editor.
Ryan Cook developed the Firefox extension Extended Copy that provides a solution to this situation. It adds two new commands to the Firefox right-click menu: Copy as Plain Text and Copy as HTML. The first option, Copy as Plain Text, copies the text without formatting which makes it possible to paste it into a rich text editor directly.
The second option, Copy as HTML, copies the text and the underlying html which can be useful when editing source codes or working with tables or lists.
The program is also available for Internet Explorer. Both editions can be downloaded from Ryan's website.
Update: The Firefox add-on is no longer available. An alternative in the form of Extended Copy Menu is available which you can use to copy the selection of text in the browser either as plain text or as HTML. To use the add-on simply install it in Firefox, restart the web browser, and either select the copy as plain text or copy as html from the context menu when you right-click after selecting text in the Internet browser.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.