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How to Cut & Paste Text From Other Software

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As I said, people create content for their small business pages and posts by simply typing it into the visual view of the text editor. But a lot of people will add their text to a page or post having typed it someplace else first. And so we’re going to talk briefly about the ins and outs of adding text from other software.

This used to be a massive pain in the rear end when I first started teaching this in 2010. You couldn’t paste a document from word into the editor without getting more lines of trash code then you had lines of actual text. But nowadays it’s not nearly that bad and it’s actually pretty straightforward.

Pasting Text from a Word Document

This is a word document that I’ve been using for a long time. I make references to older versions of Word but this is Word 2016 so I’m just going to change that text quickly, 2-0-1-6. In this document I’ve got different kinds of styling on the text. This is a heading one. This is normal or paragraph text. This is heading two and these are heading two as well. Here’s some bold text and these are lists. See it’s marked as a list.

I’m going to copy all of this and come back over to our professional services website that we are creating here. And I’ll paste it directly in. You can see it already looks pretty good. This is an H1 tag but as you’ll find out when we talk about headings you don’t want to use H1 tags in your content. So let’s just change that to H2. You don’t have to select the entire heading text. All you have to do is put your cursor in and choose the styling.

This came over as heading two. The italicized text got is in italics. This bold text is bold. Notice, however, it brought over the list but it did not bring over any colors. Let’s switch over to the text view and you can see in the text we’ve got an H2 tag, a paragraph and paragraph. We’ve got a strong tag for the bold text we’ve got an em tag for the italicized text. Here’s another H2.

We’ve got an unordered list in the li tags. You can see it comes in there nice and cleanly. So if you are a word person, you can’t do better than composing your content in word and then just pasting it directly into the document because it works flawlessly.

Pasting Plain Text, No Formatting

Now if you’re not a word person, I’m going to show you a couple of other options. For example, I’m going to show you how to insert plain text. This is just plain old text with no formatting in it whatsoever.

Let’s copy that and paste it here in the visual view. It looks okay but, of course, there’s no styling – no headings, bold text, italicized text or lists. We want to begin styling the text now so that it’s easily read by visitors to your site. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago we looked at the Google search engine starter optimization guide.

Let’s add a heading. Come on over and click your mouse in the line and say heading two. That works. To bold or italicize text just select the text you want and click on the B or I tool. I’ll choose some text to bold and then we’ll do some italics. Let’s add another heading. Come along here and click on that and say H2. So that’s how you do the formatting work.

We could just as easily have pasted that text in the in the text view and it would have been exactly the same.

Somebody asked me about Evernote. I don’t know how useful that is but it’s worth an experiment.

Pasting Text from Google Docs

Next I’m going to show you what it looks like when you paste from Google Docs. It turns out that right now it’s not that great. You end up needing to fix some of the formatting. I’ll open my sample text google doc. Let’s copy this text from it and come over to our site.

Come over here to all pages and open up a new document. I’ll paste directly into the visual view. You can see we wind up width weird spacing. We still get our headings, our bolded text, and italicized text but we have all this weird extra spacing.

Let’s flip over to the text view. You can see it’s got the heading tag but it’s also given us a span tag which adds styling that can interfere with the styling of your website. So, it’s not that great to do it this way.

Past in Text View

What I would do if you’re going to use Google Docs is to paste in the text view like this. Now that we’ve pasted it in the text view let’s go back over to the visual view and add the formatting. It’s so much easier to add this formatting than it is to clean up the unwanted formatting that comes with pasting it in visual view.

You also have another option and that is to paste as text when you’re in the visual view using this icon. When you do that you get the message “Paste is now in plain text mode. Contents will now be pasted as plain text until you toggle this option off. If you’re looking to paste rich content from Microsoft Word, try turning this option off. The editor will clean up text pasted from Word automatically”.

So it’s on and now we paste it. And it it didn’t add the heading stuff but it still ended up with weird spacing. And then when you switched back it gets even weirder. So my opinion is, if you’re if you’re pasting from Google Docs, then paste it in the text view and go back into the visual view to add in the formatting you want. You want your formatting to be as simple as possible and doing it this way retains that simplicity.

Test Other Options

Now if you’re not using any of those three systems, I recommend you just test it. Paste it in the visual view and see what it turns out like. Then paste it as text and see what it turns out like and then come over the text view and paste. Then you can decide which one of those is easier to deal with. You can see that the one that slam dunk simple option is the paste from Word.

Lorem Ipsum Dummy Text

Sometimes when you’re working on a site, you know what your page is going to be about but you don’t have any text yet. When that’s the case, I think the best thing to do is come over here and grab some Lorem Ipsum text. The in the way I do that is just search for it, search lorem ipsum. L.-O. R.E.M. I P S U M. And there’s this Lorem Ipsum Lipsum generator.

You can decide what kinds of text you want added to it. You choose the number of paragraphs and then generate the text. You can then just copy it and paste it into the text editor. That gives you a stand in while you’re figuring out what your pages are going to look like.

I strongly encourage you to use Lorem Ipsum text rather than leaving pages empty at least at the beginning while you’re doing some styling. You really can’t figure out what your site looks like until you have content and this is a very simple way to get dummy content.

People often don’t realize that you need text to see what the pages will look like. New people often start trying to make their site look like something not realizing that a typical website can’t look like anything until it’s got lots of words and pictures available to it. This is one of those tools that works I think quite well for adding temporary content.

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