Just about everyone uses Microsoft Word. Well, we don't at SpinWeb because we're Mac users but that's a discussion for another day.
Because Word is such a common tool for managing documents, many people paste content from Word into their website pages and expect it to look the same.
If your website is built on a Content Management System (as it should be) then you have the freedom to manage content, change images, and generally make day-to-day updates to the website.
Text on the web works differently than text in a word processor. As a result, if you copy and paste content from Word into a web page, it can cause all sorts of formatting issues and even cause the text to be "broken" beyond repair. Microsoft Word is notorious for adding all sorts of terrible code into web pages that ruin formatting. This can result in a sad face for marketing people.
We'd like to help you learn to love website content again with two quick tips for pasting from Word (or any other word processor) into your CMS.
Use Notepad as a Bridge
If you're on Windows, like many of our clients are, there is a built-in application called Notepad. Notepad is a very lightweight scaled down text editor that doesn't have a whole lot of functionality. This makes it great for "cleaning" text.
To use Notepad as a bridge, you would first copy the text from your Word document and then paste it into Notepad. Then, copy your text from Notepad and paste it into your web page. This usually results in cleaner text and better formatting. You may need to go back and add formatting that was stripped out (like headers, bold, etc.) but this is much quicker than trying to fix broken content.
Use the "Clear Formatting" Button
Many CMS platforms will have a magical button in the toolbar called "Clear Formatting." We use a couple of different platforms, usually Accrisoft Freedom or HubSpot. If you're a SpinWeb client, your website is probably built on one of these platforms.
On Freedom, the button is located at the right on the toolbar:
If you select all the text in your web page and press this button, it should clean out all the extra "Word code" that may have been inserted. Again, you'll need to go back and add your formatting but this is much easier than wrestling with text that has been "contaminated" by Word.
In HubSpot, the option is under the Style menu:
Remember, you need to highlight all the text on the page first and then choose the Clear Formatting option.
If you're using a CMS other than Freedom or HubSpot you will likely find a similar option in the toolbar and it should function the same way.
If you're in charge of managing website content, we're pretty sure this tip just saved you hours of frustration. You're welcome, and happy content editing!