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31 Mar 2014

Copy'n'paste content

In an ideal world, all content entered on a site would be typed straight into the WYSIWYG input box and formatted there. In reality however content is usually written elsewhere, such as Word, and copy'n'pasted in.

Any content written in an outside source such as Word will generate 'behind-the-scenes' HTML which, when pasted, is imported into the WYSIWYG and can have a variety of effects on the end page, ranging from changes in font style, font size, to increasing page weight, to potentially breaking the page altogether in some browsers. SEO is also affected by much of the imported code, especially from Word.

Drupal's input boxes usually come with the functionality to either 'Paste from Word' or 'Paste as Plain text'.

Paste from Word

This manages to strip out some formatting but in our experience it tends to still leave in a lot of extraneous code.

Paste as Plain Text

Using this ensures that all code is stripped out. It will also strip out all formatting so this will need adding / re-adding once content is insterted. Although this might not seem ideal as your content might be pre-formatted, it's important to note that the web content needs to conform to the Contect Guide / Styles, ensuring proper use of headers etc.

Ctrl + Shift + V method

The above paste methods tend to vary across browsers (eg: Chrome sometime adds in some 'span' code into the editor). Another, and potentially faster way is to use the 'advanced paste' method. Simply copy from your source (eg Word) and paste straight into the input box using Ctrl + Shift + V.

Other formatted content

If content does come from Word in particular, there are additionally some characters which will need replacing in the Drupal input box. 

These types of content are 'transformed' in Word into non HTML characters and will not be understood by many browsers, being replaced on-screen by odd system symbols.

These tend to be:

  • Dashes: -
  • Quotation marks "
  • Apostrophes: '
  • Ellipsis: ...

Each instance of the above will need replacing in the Drupal input box. Just delete them, pop in the correct character/punctuation and hit save - all sorted!

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