Blog Boot Camp

The first rule of blogging: Don’t cut and paste from Word.

The second rule of blogging: Don’t cut and paste from Word.

Why is transposing copy from Word bad? For starters, Word imposes a lot of HTML formatting onto any chunk of text. Just about everyone uses some kind of template in Word, which in turn can give your copy a nice Georgia font with 16pt type. Which is great when you’re editing on a desktop, but when you copy this into the blog, though, all of that HTML gets carried over. If Word has added div tags and span tags and the like, all the HTML can cause your blog to start looking super funky. This is especially true if you’re using an older browser, like IE6. Not to mention, writing in Word, copying it, and then cleaning up the text can take you three times as long as simply composing in WordPress.

So, I’ll say it again: don’t cut and paste from Word.

Still, as much as I repeat that mantra, I know that for a lot of writers, the idea of composing in something other than MS Word is tantamount to asking that you write your e-mail in WingDings. And judging by the number of posts with wacky fonts, colors, and point sizes, it’s pretty clear that the ol’ Word cut-and-paste method of blogging is not going to die out anytime soon. So, if you must write in Word, please try to follow either of these simple methods to ensure that all that bad HTML doesn’t screw up your post.

Method 1: Click on the “kitchen sink” editor button in the “Write Post” screen. This is the little button, second from the right, that says “Show/Hide kitchen sink” when you mouse over it.

When you click on it, a second row of options shows up. Click on the button half-way across that has a little “W” MS Word icon. That’ll bring up a window for you to paste your MS Word copy. Once pasted, click “Insert” and you’ll be golden.

Method 2: You can also click on the “HTML” tab (next to the tab that says “Visual”). Paste your text from MS Word here. Then click back on “Visual” to return to the visual editor.

Still confused? Here’s a little video tutorial:

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