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My knowledge of the processes involved is limited to my personal experience,
but I see that when I copy from a spreadsheet and paste special, the dialog
box limits the format that is pasted, but does not allow the removal of all
formatting. When I paste to gedit then copy from gedit and paste special,
the 'unformatted text' option is presented (as this was the only option
presented, I presumed that gedit removed the formatting). This text is
converted into the proper format when it is pasted into a properly formatted
cell. I have not tried to do a simple paste to see if the formatting is
still present, as you suggest. In my case, being able to strip the
formatting from the entry is the primary goal as that allows the data to be
formatted according to its function (date and time, date, time, number). All
previous attempts failed because the formatting remained attached to the
entry. Manually removing the formatting mark from each entry, one entry at a
time, was prohibitively time consuming.

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