Copying from Word into a Content Editor web part? Please… just don’t.

This is a bit of a “drive-by” blog post, in that it’s not overly techie in nature. It’s just a plea to those who figure that pasting content into a Content Editor web part directly from Word is a great idea…

Please don’t. For both your sake and the sake of your SharePoint support person.

When you put content into a Content Editor web part, SharePoint generates all the HTML code behind the scenes so that things render pretty much like you see it on the screen… also known as WYSIWYG (pronounced whizzy-wig, and stands for “What You See Is What You Get”)

When you copy content from a Word document, it’s actually pasting the Word HTML into the web part, so now you have both the Word HTML *and* SharePoint’s HTML. Sometimes they play well together, and sometimes… they don’t.

If someone calls me and asks for help making a bulleted list look right because the third and fourth bullet have different spacing and they can’t seem to fix it, it’s usually because they copied the original list from Word, and then they tried to edit the list in SharePoint. Different HTML, different spacing…

If you’re hardcore and up to the task, you can open the Edit HTML option and wade through all the HTML, removing extra Word styling and tags. It’s not fun.

Or, you can take the content, copy it to something basic like Notepad, erase all the existing stuff in the web part, and then paste the non-formatted text back in. Format it within SharePoint, and things will be consistent.

I want your page to look good just like you do. But I really don’t want to take dozens of lines of HTML and clean things up for you. Just don’t copy directly from Word if you want to update the page in SharePoint later on.

2 responses to “Copying from Word into a Content Editor web part? Please… just don’t.

  1. I always use the free tool called Pure Text to strip out all the tags before I paste. Works well.

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