Never Paste Submitted Content from any WORD PROCESSOR

What if somebody submitted an article as a Word.DOCX file?

If a member sends in an article submission and it comes as a WORD Processed file, there is a technique that can be used to sanitize the text before pasting it into a WordPress editing window.

Step 1)  Open the file in your word processor.

Step 2)  Identify the pace between every paragraph break and add one additional CARRIAGE RETURN.  This will separate the paragraphs with an additional blank line and will make it look like the paragraphs are separated widely.

Step 3)  Select All in the word processor and Copy it to the clipboard.  The easiest way to do this is with the cursor inside the word processor window (which has the text you want to copy) and click CONTROL+A (this is the hotkey combination for Select All).  Then immediately click CONTROL+C (this is the hotkey combination for Copy).

Step 4)  Open an old-fashioned NOPEPAD application on your PC.  It must be the old-fashioned and ancient NOTEPAD, not your Markdown Edort, and not Microsoft WordPad.  Both Macs and Windows PCs still have such a lightweight and clean NOTEPAD application.

Step 5)  Paste the clipboard contents into NOTEPAD and save the file on your computer, just in case.

Step 6)  With your cursor inside the NOTEPAD text area, perform another Select All and Copy.

Step 7)  Switch to your internet browser where your WordPress News Post editor window is available to take the newly cleaned text as a Paste from the clipboard.

Step 8)  Click the Save Draft button to save what has been transferred.

Now begins the formatting process.  Keep it simple, check paragraph breaks (looks like a carriage return of separation between paragraphs, no indents or tabbing is recognized by the Internet).  Inside WordPress work your way through the pasted text and determine where to put back the bullets, numbered lists, justification, and the various headings.  This is much faster than trying to wrestle out incompatible word processor formats that cause rendering errors on the internet.


Computer-based Word Processors debuted in 1976, but today’s modern word processors began development with Windows and Macintosh operating systems in the early 1980s.  All of the traditional Word Processors worked differently, stored their information differently, and had different forms of formatting text.  When the World Wide Web was created in the early 1990s, it became evident that text rendered on a web browser page needed to be standardized.  Netscape, the first “true” rendering browser, began standardizing web page text and graphics formatting.  Before the 1990s ended, a worldwide standards body published the one official list of text formatting for website information display.  They selected a simplified version of what began inside those old and proprietary Word Processors.

Word processor formatting is far too tedious and continues to be incompatible with the standards of rentering text and graphics on the web.  In today’s world of journalism, reporters are asked to type their stories directly in web-based editors, piping their work effort into the newspaper’s master database.  This is how Trail Sweep is designed to work.  Staff Authors log directly into the Trail Sweep database using a “Tiny Editor” (that is actually the brand name of the one used by WordPress). Tiny Editor has all the formats standardized for the Internet.

Journalists no longer use computer software word processors.  The Internet tools are far better because they simplify the writing process as well as the submission process.  And who can afford to re-format the bloated junk that screws up submissions copied and pasted from Microsoft Word, e[pecially when dealing with a deadline?

For those journalists that travel around remote locations around the globe, where internet connectivity is lacking, necessity has invented the Markdown Editor Application.  Markdown is the unofficial name given to Internet formatted text.  More popular than traditional Word Processors, Markdown Editors are taking over.

There are many Markdown Editors that can be acquired as free applications (try an Internet search).  Most are designed to run on both computers and smartphones.  Many Markdown Editors are now cloud-connected so that journalists can access their work everywhere and all the time.  Most MarkDown Editors have evolved into managing the reporter’s notes, as well as being the place where the article is written.

Save yourself from hundreds of formatting fixes, and work directly in an Internet-based Markdown Editor.  This is the WordPress Tiny Editor.  The editor has two lines of icons at the top, representing the allowable formatting that Trail Sweep offers, such as headings, paragraphs, indents, bullet lists, numbered lists, bold, italics, justification, etc.

Notice that underlining text on the web has fallen out of favor.  It is still available as code but has been removed from the Best Practices list.  Underlining is often used to signify that the text leads to a hyperlink and will often be inserted automatically.  Therefore, content creators are warned not to use underlining to minimize reader confusion.