5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2010 9:28 AM by Jerry Silver RSS

Copy/Paste from Word Into ECN Editor

Jerry Silver

For those of you that have created some content in Word, and want to publish it as a document on ECN, here are some guidelines for doing that.  I've found that you can’t just copy and paste from Word into the ECN rich text editor. Unfortunately, the invisible Word markup gets pasted along with your text, which can really mess up the formatting.  This is also true if you copy/paste from an Outlook email message.


If you don't want to recreate your content from scratch, there are a couple of approaches you can use if your content is in Word:


  1. The easiest approach is to convert your document to plain text.  This removes all formatting but will retain paragraph and line breaks.  You then copy the text into the ECN text editor and reapply formatting using the editor's formatting controls.  To save your document as plain text in Word, choose File, Save As..., select "Plain Text" from the list of file types, then accept the defaults in the File Conversion dialog.  The file will be saved with a .txt extension.  Then, open the .txt file in Notepad or other text editor, and copy/paste the content into the ECN editor.
  2. Alternatively, if you want to preserve formatting you can save your Word document as filtered HTML: File, Save As…, select “Web Page, Filtered” from the “Save as type” drop down list.  You can then open the resulting HTML file in a browser and copy/paste from the browser into the EDN rich text editor.  This will remove most of the Word-specific markup, but you may find that Word adds unnecessary whitespace that the ECN editor will convert to non-breaking spaces, causing big spaces to randomly appear throughout your document.  If this happens (you may not see the problem until you save your document), switch to HTML mode, copy the HTML and paste to a simple text editor like Notepad, and then delete all occurrences of non-breaking spaces.  The string of non-breaking spaces will look something like this (if you can't see the image below, just click on the blank space and the image will pop up):




"nbsp;" preceded by an "&" is referred as the "character entity reference" for a non-breaking space in HTML geekspeak.  You'll see one occurrence of the entity reference for each non-breaking space in the document, and multiple adjacent spaces will appear strung together, as shown in my example. (ECN won't display that string of characters even if it's quoted, so I had embed it as an image - the things I do to help my fellow community members).  You can safely delete all occurrences.  Then, copy the HTML back into the HTML editor mode in ECN (make sure that you overwrite all of the original HTML).


Even if you save from Word as filtered HTML, you may still need to do some manual reformatting.  The easiest way to do this is to select the text that needs reformatting, then click the "Remove formatting" icon on the toolbar to remove the existing formatting.  You can also try selecting the "Paragraph" style for the selected text.  Some trial and error may be required here.


Note that in either of these two approaches, you will still need to upload any images contained in your documents.  If you have any better ideas for converting from Word, please share them here.


Message was edited by: Jerry Silver.  The original post discussed copying/pasting to HTML mode to remove formatting, but saving as plain text works better as it preserves paragraph and line breaks.