This has happened to every single one of my clients at one point or another. They type up their press release in Microsoft Word and when they paste it into the Article Body editor in the Press Release Tool, things get…well…wack. Spacing either is non-existent or seems to double in size. The font face is all wrong including the size. Bullets turn into micro dots or nothing at all. It can even break your site if things go really south.
A Quick Background on Microsoft Word
When you copy the content from a Word doc, along with it, you are copying thousands of lines of proprietary Microsoft code that when pasting into the editor you do not see unless you are brave enough to click on the Source button. Browsers give a good try at trying to read this code and interpret it correctly, but many fall short. The end result is a very unstable and random translation of your document into a web page. Every single content management program is faced with this challenge so many editors, including the one we use for your Newsroom, come packaged with a scrubber tool to combat this.
Using the Paste from Word Icon
In the tool bar of the editor, there is a paste icon with a blue W. This little gem will allow you to paste what you’ve copied to your clipboard from the Word doc and in turn scrub it clean of the majority of the Microsoft code. Basic types of formatting ie: bolding, numbered or bullet lists, hyperlinks, etc. will remain intact, but everything else is stripped out allowing the site’s style guide to dictate the line spacing, line height, font family and size, etc. Here’s how to use it:
- Highlight your content in your Word doc and click the copy button (or Ctrl-C).
- Go to your browser where you have the Press Release Tool loaded and scroll down to the Article Body editor.
- Click on the editor’s “Paste from Word” icon.
- Click inside the box in the popup and hit Ctrl-V (keyboard shortcut for pasting).
- Leave the two little checkboxes checked
- Click the Ok button to close the popup.
- Your content should now appear inside the article body editor in relatively decent shape. You can use the editor’s other icons to apply more bolding, hyperlinks, embed images, etc. Check out the blog post on “Mastering the Editor” for a more in-depth coverage on how to do perform these types of formatting techniques.
NOTE: very complicated document layouts may require a different approach all together. For example, if you have a Word Doc that portrays lots of data in tables (think Financial Earning Release types of press releases), you may want to turn your Word doc into a PDF and just upload the file in place of pasting it into the Body editor.
Using the Paste as Plain Text Icon
There is a second alternative to using the “Paste from Word” scrubber; the “Paste as Plain Text
. This works very similar to the "Paste from Word" scrubber except all formatting….every bit of it…is stripped out. You’ll need to go back through and re-apply any bolding, underlining, hyperlinking, bullets, etc. But, this is a sure fire way of getting the content from Word into your editor without having to go to war. The “Paste from Word” option works very well 90% of the time, but it is not perfect
. On the flip side, you’ll get very consistent results with the “Paste from Text” scrubber. It’s always good to have more than one choice ;)