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Many people use Microsoft Word to create content and articles, after all, it is a word processing program.

However, problems arise when they want to import that content into a web page.  If you’ve never looked at HTML source code for a site, you may not know the difference . . . but trust me . . . anything that comes out of Word is a mess when it gets to the web.

Not only does it clutter up and slow down your site with unnecessary code, but the garbage code can also break your site’s design layout.  I recently received a support request for a client because a section on her site was messed up.  The client had posted a new article, pasting the content from Word, and a mangled site was the result.  I had to go into the article itself and strip out all the Microsoft tags to get it to work.

Pasting from Word

You should never copy and paste content from Word directly into your content management system.  The WYSIWYG editors for WordPress and most of them for Joomla have a “Paste from Word” icon feature.

  1. Copy your content from Word.
  2. Click the “Paste from Word” icon and a dialog box will appear.
  3. Paste your content into the dialog box and hit save.

This will normally strip all the Microsoft junk code from your content.  However, some editors have configuration settings for what gets stripped and what doesn’t.  If that is the case (such as with the JCE editor for Joomla),  you may need to test the settings until you get just the right combination.

With any content management system (CMS), you platform theme is going to contain a stylesheet that specifies what each element of your site should look like, resulting in a cohesive look.  You do not want font and style tags in your content, because that will override the theme settings.

Fast and Easy with Dreamweaver

If you have a copy of Dreamweaver,

my favorite way to prepare content for the web is by pasting the Word content into a blank HTML file in design view.  It usually does a pretty good job of converting the format to properly structured paragraphs.  Then I copy that and paste it directly into the WYSIWYG content editor in the CMS.

Final Tips

If you have a site with a layout that was fine but is suddenly out of whack, check first your most recently added content.  Look for any extraneous tags.  That will most likely be the culprit.

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