Pasting text into Site Manager from Word documents: Part 1

Design and styling of web content

The design and styling of the University website is created and maintained by the Web Team. The content management system, Site Manager, is designed to allow users to add and maintain the content of their web pages without the need to be concerned with page design, since all the styling is handled centrally in the system. This includes the types, colours, sizes and spacing of fonts, lists and tables.

In order to keep the website design consistent, please do not attempt to change these styles in any way. If you need a new way to format something please discuss it with the Web Team. We can see if it is something that would be useful for other areas of the site as well, and set this up for you if necessary as a style applied centrally in the system.

You should format your text using only the content editor toolbar in Site Manager’s text editor. See Formatting text in Site Manager.

How pasting from Word can adversely affect format and style

However, you will run into problems when pasting content from Word documents. Microsoft Word formats text using its own invisible code. This is then carried through to Site Manager when text is copied and pasted from a Word document, appearing in the underlying HTML code, although it is often non-standard HTML code. The resulting text can look very untidy and isn’t consistent with the style of the rest of the website.

The extra unnecessary code added to your page can make the download time for your page longer, and may even potentially cause your page to produce errors that crash the reader’s browser.


Figure 1: Existing page in Web Support site with correct formatting

Figure 2: Example of the same page content pasted directly from Word

Note the incorrectly styled subheadings and the extra spaces between paragraphs and headings. The font style and size is also incorrect on some of the paragraphs.

You will find this difficult or impossible to fix if you are not familiar with HTML, which you are not expected to be to use the content management system. So to avoid these problems we recommend you use the ‘Paste as plain text’ button when pasting content from Word documents.

Next: Using the Paste as plain text button for pasting text from Word files.