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Web Tip: Pasting Text Can Be Your Best Friend, or Your Worst Enemy

January 30, 2013
Paste as Plain Text

Text that is designed for a printed page is much different than text designed for viewing online. The formatting and flow, the margins, the colors and styles are different. You are not publishing just one page. You are creating content that will be viewed alongside other web pages.

Web content is also not just viewed on a web browser screen, it is viewed from smart phones and tablets, consumed through RSS feeds, read aloud to people on text-to-speech devices — viewed both in and out of doors in various environments.

Avoid using a word processor such as Microsoft Word to style your text. Pasting text from Word — or even from a web page or email — will bring in unwanted styles to the web page, and can cause you frustration when trying to edit: headings and line breaks may not work right, fonts and margins become difficult to remove, and other problems may crop up.

When pasting text, remember to paste as Plain as Plain Text (use the button in the toolbar), then adjust the text using the website's text editor. (If you must copy from Word, use the Paste from Word button to clean up the styles.)