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Copying and Pasting from Word

Sanitizing Text When Working on Websites

Copying and pasting from Microsoft Word can be a common challenge when using various content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla. In this guide, we’ll address this issue and provide straightforward solutions to prevent it from occurring.

Sanitize Formatted Text Before Pasting

When you copy content (text, tables, images, etc.) from another program, like Microsoft Word, and paste it into a browser-based editor, additional formatting information embedded by Word may come along. This extra formatting data can sometimes lead to unexpected issues in the editor due to the differences between the two programs, as Word’s formatting is not always compatible with pure (or optimal) HTML.

Copying and pasting from Word works best when you sanitize the text, removing that extra formatting. Here are two ways to do that:

  1. To mitigate formatting issues when transferring content from Microsoft Word to a web browser editor, consider an intermediate step. After copying from Word, paste the content into a plain text document using programs like Notepad on Windows or TextEdit/TextWrangler on Mac. Once pasted into the plain text document, select all the text, copy it again, and then proceed to paste it into the desired web browser editor. While you might need to reapply certain formatting elements like bold or italic in the web browser editor, this method helps ensure a cleaner transfer of text without the interference of additional formatting information from Microsoft Word.
  2. An alternative approach to ensure clean text when copying from Microsoft Word to a web browser editor is to directly paste the content into the editor. Once pasted, select the recently pasted text and locate the “Remove Formatting” button, if available. Alternatively, some editors may offer a “Paste from Word” option specifically designed to handle Word-formatted content. Using either of these options should help eliminate any extra formatting, providing a cleaner representation of the text in the web browser editor.

The first method is probably the best way to do it. WordPress has a good system for pasting from Word and so does Joomla.

If you need to copy and paste tables, then please note that you will have to rebuild the entire table again in HTML. Sorry.

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