Let’s say you receive a document from a friend who asks you to put it on your WordPress website. You may be tempted simply to select the whole document, copy it to your clipboard, paste it into an editing window, and then publish it to your website. On rare occasions this may give you what you want, but usually you will find that what gets published to your site doesn’t look like the document you copied and pasted. Perhaps pictures are out of place. Bolding and italics don’t come through. Indentations are dropped. Why? Because the editing program you used, perhaps Windows Live Writer or the post or page editor of your WordPress Dashboard, didn’t recognize the formatting and styling codes which were embedded in the original document.
The failsafe way to achieve the formatting and styling you want is to paste unformatted text into the editing window and then use the word-processing buttons along the top of the window to apply indentations, bolding, italics, underlining, and whatever other effects you wish. Then when you click the “publish” or “update” button your copy will display correctly on the Internet.
But let’s say a colleague doesn’t know how important it is to start with unformatted text. Let’s say he/she emails you a Microsoft Word document, with quite a lot of styling and formatting in it. How do you take all of that out? Well, the easiest way is to open the document in a word processor and then go to the File menu and select “save as,” and in the “save as type” window select “.txt”. This will make a new version of the document, a .txt version, which will have no formatting or styling. Once you have saved that .txt file, double click on it to open it in the word processor you’re using. Now you will see all the words, but the styling and formatting has dropped out. All you have left is words, and occasional blank lines where one paragraph ends and another begins. This is good! This is what you want! Now select all of that unformatted and unstyled text and copy it to your clipboard. Then paste it into the editing window which you are using to prepare your WordPress site’s posts and pages. Now that the text is in your editing window you are ready to insert pictures and apply styling to the text, using the buttons above the editing window. When your page looks exactly as you wish, click on the “publish” or “update” button. This publishes the page to your website.
Finally, let’s say you’re working with a group of friends who have agreed to write articles for your website. If you train them to save their articles as .txt files instead of .doc ones, then you can forget the middle step described in the above paragraph. When you receive a .txt file from them, you need only copy and paste it into a post or page editing window, then apply the formatting and styling you wish. You’ll find that this training saves a lot of headaches in getting text to behave on your WordPress website.