WordPress Tutorial: Cleaning Up Microsoft Word Formatting

If you paste content from Microsoft Word (or any formatted content) directly into the editing area of the WordPress backend, chances are a bunch of formatting code will come with it. Best bet is to use the little “clipboard T” (for plain text, recommended) or if you do have some formatting you’d like to try to keep, use the “clipboard W” (for pasting from Word). Both are located on the second formatting button bar. If you don’t see that button bar, click the icon/button on the right of the top row of icons “Show/hide Kitchen Sink.”

Show / Hide Kitchen Sink

Here’s the video that walks through cleaning up formatting if you do paste in without using the clipboard icons.

February 2010 updated video

If you paste from Microsoft Word directly into WordPress without using the “Paste from Word” button, you’ll usually have some formatting issues. In this case, although the font seemed OK, the browser couldn’t read some of the “fancy quotes” or em dashes and turned them into vertical bars of codey-gobbledy-gook. Here’s how to manually clean it up and get rid of that nasty Word code.

2017-05-25T23:06:57+00:00

About the Author:

I’ve done the big corporate thing. I’ve done the creative writer thing. Now I’m happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in “working their website before their website works them.” I’m also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+

13 Comments

  1. Learn cPanel Videos January 29, 2009 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Bradly,

    Great post and info, I have always preferred to use my word processor only for keeping a place to work on that particular article or project.

    I love wordpress and I have found it easier to past in plain text then format with wordpress.

    Yes Word does create a bunch of garbage when you are pasting directly to wordpress.

    You have sparked my interest here I am wondering how it works with Open Office. I will have to give that a try here soon when.

    Anyway thanks for the great wordpress information.

  2. […] is also an excellent WordPress Tutorial over at likoma.com with complete instructions, including a video, that will show you how to clean […]

  3. […] WordPress Tutorial: Cleaning Up Microsoft Word Formatting […]

  4. dtc July 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Bradley,

    This post helped me sort out issues I was having with the WordPress pages, and from watching your video that I realised it’s because I pasted directly from Word.

    Thanks!

  5. kayseri evden eve nakliyat July 15, 2009 at 1:05 am - Reply

    also an excellent WordPress Tutorial over at likoma.com with complete instructions,

  6. Antalya Evden Eve Nakliyat July 15, 2009 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Word does create a bunch of garbage when you are pasting directly to wordpress.

  7. Wheatgrass Healthy July 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    WordPress is a great platform for spreading all the wonderful information about getting and staying healthy.

    I have ran into this micro soft word issue also and this post did help me resolve it.

    Thanks

  8. […] WordPress Tutorial: Cleaning Up Microsoft Word Formatting […]

  9. suzanna January 27, 2011 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Pitching Machine Heater Thanks a bunch for this awesome post.

  10. Textarea September 29, 2011 at 7:26 am - Reply

    I use Textarea on http://www.mytextarea.com to convert MS Word’s rich text to plain text for pasting into wordpress. It works like a charm!

  11. James Darar February 1, 2012 at 7:07 am - Reply

    I have learnt many thing from this blog and I am sharing knowledge via http://www.loksewaexam.com

    Thank you
    James Darar recently posted … Why to choose a dedicated server?

  12. […] WordPress Tutorial: Cleaning Up Microsoft Word Formatting […]

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