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Lesson 9 – Part 2 – Adding Text From Other Software

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Understanding that there are two views and two modes of the text editor, adding text to a WordPress and Genesis theme post or a page still has some tricks associated with it. There’s a bit of difficulty that you need to be aware of in order to easily add text to these pages.

We’re going to take a look at the various ways of entering text into this. This is something that trips up beginners regularly. If you’re comfortable cutting and pasting text inside of word processors you assume that you can easily cut and paste text out of a word processor into one of these posts but in fact, there’s a little bit of trick to it.

Cut and Paste Text Out of a Word Processor

If we open up a Word document for example, let’s say we want to copy this text and place it in a post. We copy that block of text and if we come over here and just paste it, it looks like it’s okay.

There is this TinyMCE button here that’s designed specifically for you to paste microsoft-based or other word processor code to get rid of all of the extraneous word processor stuff that used to get added to this. Obviously, WordPress has improved its ability here and is now stripping out that extra code during the pasting process which is actually terrific.

Add Text with Variable Formatting

Let’s see what happens if we paste a block of text like this that has variable formatting in it. We’ll just going to go in here and delete everything. The very first time I taught this 2 and half years ago, you really had to go through a lot of work in order to get this stuff the way you want it to be.

In this case, it’s a template doing the formatting of the text but obviously the text was formatted as a list and it didn’t come across formatted as a list. Let’s see what happens if we paste from Word this way, it’s going to happen exactly the same way.

Add Text from Word Without Using the Paste from Word Button

You can see this strong tag here, WordPress realized this was bold so rather than giving it a heading tag or anything like that, it just made all that text bold. You could just take all of this and make it a list. Now, it all drops into a list format rather than being individual lines. In any case, it is possible to do this from Word without using the Paste from Word button.

You can see the HTML code for the list was added when we selected all that text and then made it into a list? That’s what the HTML viewed hides, it hides all that extra code type formatting.

Add Text from a Google Document

Let’s go ahead and paste from a Google document. We could just take tonight’s outline and paste it directly in and that doesn’t look too bad. Let’s come over and take a look at the HTML view and it has inserted its standard HTML code but doesn’t have any extra code weirdness. It did a better job of identifying the list than Word did so it’s a perfectly acceptable way to do this.

Add Text from an HTML Document

You can also do this from an HTML document. Let’s go to and come over to our Finished Projects page here. We could copy this text out of an HTML page, scroll down here, copy it, come back over to our page and paste it. Actually, it ends up pasting the image as well.

If we come over and look at the HTML having pasted from an HTML page, it lost its more comfortable formatting, everything got piled in there. If we hit update and look at the project, that turned out better than I thought it would. It loses some of the styling as it gets transferred across and this is not the image, it actually isn’t inserted. This image that’s being inserted is actually a reference to the other page.

You can copy HTML and let’s copy it from over here without images, come back over and paste directly from HTML, it actually doesn’t look too bad. If we come over to HTML view, it  lost our spaces a bit, come back over and refresh this page and actually it pastes pretty nicely.

Cut and Paste Text in the Visual View of the Text Editor

This is a big change over the way WordPress used to take cut and paste and it simplifies the presentation I was going to make here tonight.

Right now, this is an h2 tag, we could come and make it a paragraph tag so it’s no longer h2, this is an h3 tag and stays h3, come back over here and make this h2 again. Actually, it looks like in version 3.3 of WordPress, cutting and pasting directly the text into the visual view of the text editor actually produces a decent result.

I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t do that. What I used to suggest is that you do this with as little formatting as possible because the formatting used to be problematic, it didn’t use to cut and paste text like this.

What I used to recommend was to not paste text directly like that but rather insert it as plain text and add formatting to it after it had been inserted. That’s still the way I actually do everything, I generally don’t type in the WordPress text editor, I usually make a document, I paste the unformatted text in then come back in and reformat.

As it turns out, pasting directly from either your word processor, Google docs or an HTML page works pretty well and certainly works much better than it used to work.

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