Tag Archives: microsoft office

Do Not Blog Using Word

Think Before You Say Yes!

Think Before You Say Yes!

Lots of people hate Word.

I am not one of them.

I use Word constantly. I’ve studied it, written about it, taught it. I find that Word is much richer, much more versatile than most users imagine.

In short, I like Word.

But Word is word processing software. Word is not blogging software. Word creates all sorts of weird code in the background that tells Windows how to display and print MS Office documents. For instance, if you look at the code, you’ll see lots tags that begin “MSO”

MSO is not a tag that browsers understand. WordPress cannot parse it. Firefox cannot parse it. Even Internet Explorer chokes on it.

Software is code.

When you copy and paste a document written in Word directly into your blog editor, you are not just copying the words. You are copying the code. If you look at the HTML editor in WordPress after you paste in a Word document, you will see tons of awful code.

WordPress tries mightily to translate Office tags into PHP and HTML – but fails. Font sizes are changed from11 pt to X-small – and they look awful. Scores of nested div tags are broken or left open, so that only half the post is visible.

In extreme cases, your blog’s design is destroyed. Your sidebar may disappear, your header graphics may be displaced, your fonts may all suddenly change to Time New Roman 6 pt.

All this so you can use spell check?

Please – if you write offline – fine. Compose in Word, spell check in Word. But paste only plain text.

The simplest way to do this is first copy and paste your document into Notepad or some other text editor and then copy that document and paste it into WordPress. The add your formatting – bold, italics, etc – in the WordPress editor.

(You can also use the “Paste as Text” button on the TinyMCE visual editor.)