Many people use Microsoft Word as their primary tool to create content.
Here are tips to keep in mind when using Microsoft Word and WordPress together.
- Less formatting in Word = Better result in WordPress
- Problems with Positioning:
- Text on the Web is designed to resize and reflow. That works against precise positioning of text and other objects in columns. For example, tabs are not possible on the Web. Indents don’t always work properly.
- If you want text and objects precisely aligned, don’t try to fight the nature of the Web. Consider saving the document out of Word as a PDF and uploading it to your WordPress site. You can then link to it from a page or post.
- Problems with Mixed Formatting: WordPress may get confused by a lot of mixed formatting. For example, research publication pages can give WordPress a bad headache, resulting in proper formatting in some places, and wrong formatting in others.
- Problems with Lists:
- Be wary of trying to use the numbered list for outlines. If you go too many levels down, the list may go haywire.
- Bulleted lists may also go haywire if you try to indent them too many levels.
- Problems with Fonts:
- Try to use no more than two fonts per page.
- Be aware that Word includes many fonts that may not be available on the Web. The theme on your Website may override the fonts you choose. This will not show in the Editor, but will show after you update the page on the final version. Always proof your pages on the front end (the side the visitors see).
- Problems with Tables: Tables may behave unpredictably; your website theme applies formatting to tables that may not appear when you work on the page in the Editor. Column widths in particular may be problematic, along with trying to align an image inside a table cell.
- Problems with Photos: Word allows you to insert and save photos inside the document; WordPress does not. WordPress requires that each image be saved separately and inserted into the page or post via the Add Media button. To save the image out of Word, right-click the image and choose Save as Picture, then in the File Save box, choose *.png or *.jpg. Remember – filenames should never have spaces in them – use dashes instead or initial caps.
- Problems with Drawing Objects: If you have used a drawing object to highlight text, you may wind up having to take and edit a screen grab and save it as an image, and then inserted into the page or post via the Add Media button. You may need image editing software and some practice to do this.
- Problems with Footnotes: If your document has footnotes, they may need to be redone manually.
- Problems with Headers and Footers: WordPress does not have headers and footers, and does not really have page numbers.
- Problems with Styles: Chances are strong that custom-created styles will not come across in copy and past from Word and will need to be redone. They will still be subject to overrides by your site’s theme, which determines things like fonts, font colors and sizes, line spacing, and list and table formatting.
How to Fix Garbled Text/Formatting
If you copy and paste text from Word and the formatting gets garbled, try using the eraser icon on the Editing toolbar to strip out the formatting, then reapply the formatting inside WordPress.
If you get totally stuck, contact CALS IT for help. We can go into the HTML of the page and used advanced techniques untangle the formatting.