November 14, 2011

Quick Tip - Avoid Hidden Format Problems


When you're inserting content into your newsletter, website or blog, you're often copying it from other documents.  I suggest you always compose in Word (or similar) to take advantage of its spelling and grammar-checking functionality.

Your formatting in Word may not be the same as your default formatting in these various applications.  While there are a raft of applications that make it easy now to do your own newsletter, website and blog, most of them are converting your content to html code in the background.  When you copy in text that is already formatted, you're possibly creating problems behind the scenes.  As well, you'll end up with differing fonts and sizes that all have to be corrected before you publish.

You can avoid the potential for problems by stripping off all formatting before you paste into the application.  An easy way to do this is to use Notepad (or similar).  You simply open a blank notepad document, paste your content into it, then copy and paste from there into your application.

6 comments:

  1. This is so true! It's a pain when you come across these formatting problems. Still - I enjoy the pleasing look of Word much more than Notepad. Ah, the more work I make for myself simply because I like it better that way. :)

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  2. Francis, I most often start off in Word myself. Then copy to Notepad and then into the application. Sounds like a lot of work but it does show up in the quality of the finished product. I keept a blank .txt file sitting on my desktop for easy access since I'm doing this all the time.

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  3. great tips Linda I'm always running in to this problem!

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  4. Well, you know how I feel about a desktop full of icons... but your idea of the blank .txt file to speed up the process did inspire me to go and add Notepad to the first menu on my start bar. It will be an extra click for me but I still get to see Wile E.'s face on my wallpaper.

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  5. Good tip. I often have the problem with my own email marketing program. Even when I reuse a template, there could be several formatting issues that can only be removed with HTML editor. It is time consuming...

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  6. Sylvain, I call those artifacts but really they're more like ghosts I guess. They don't always show up but when they do, icky stuff happens.

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