Copying and pasting content into WordPress is often frustrating for bloggers. Several different copy and paste issues, such as formatting, images, or linking, can come up. This article will review the most common copy and paste issues when copying text from Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and other standard writing tools.
WordPress Styles & Themes Explained
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) used by over 455 million websites worldwide. The open-source system is robust, and it utilizes two primary sources of code when it comes to text and basic content: HTML and CSS.
Now, we don’t want to teach you coding here. That’s not what you’re here for. But understanding the basic concepts is a must. Let’s review quickly:
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language. It is used to style all HTML tags and allows for greater control over the look and feel of a website and its content.
When copying and pasting content into WordPress, it is essential to know the CSS styling applied to the website and what is already used on the content. This styling can affect how the content looks when published on the site.
In some cases, the CSS may override the formatting applied to the content when it was copied and pasted or vice versa. It is essential to test how the content looks on the website before publishing it.
These styles that are applied apply in one or many ways. Typically, the theme will have master control over the styling. However, due to the various ways one can use CSS styling, you can also style elements directly with some features built right into WordPress and other variables accessible via a page builder like Elementor.
Issues With Copy And Paste To WordPress
Many different issues can arise when trying to copy/paste content from an editor into WordPress. The items that you could be trying to copy might include:
- Paragraphs (standard text)
- Video Clips
Depending on the editor in use, the display settings, the documents settings, and more, there may be multiple issues when trying to copy certain items. The most common problems when copying content is:
- Text changes from headings to paragraphs when pasted
- Text changes color
- Links are lost or broken
- Images do not upload properly (error on upload or linked)
- Table formatting changes
- GIFs or Icons disappear
- Quotations show as standard text (paragraph)
There are numerous other possibilities, but these are the most common issues we’ve found our publishers have come across. Sometimes the problem is theme controlled. Other times it’s an error in the processing of a document. Let’s talk more about some of the most common issues and what we can do to resolve them in two steps: Copying and Pasting.
Step 1 – Copying Text, Images, Tables, And Other Content
Copying your documents into WordPress will start with a choice: Do you want to copy the way the document looks, or do you want to copy the contents only and control the appearance via theme/styling?
Most web publishers will choose for the latter and want to copy ONLY the content, not how the writer or content creator has styled the work. Usually, web owners have a set style set up on their site. The preferred method is via a template publishing concept. One must prepare the content before copying to remove any possible styling when choosing this methodology.
If you copy and paste the text into a WordPress post or page, the formatting may change from how it looks in the text editor. It is due to how WordPress processes the text and how the CSS applies to it.
In your word processor, use the “Copy As HTML” or “Copy As Plain Text” options to copy text as formatted. It will copy the text without any of the styling or grammar. Another way to do this (on PC) is to use:
CTRL + C (to copy)
CTRL + SHIFT + V (to paste WITHOUT FORMATTING)
Using the standard CTRL + V will paste both the text AND any applied formatting.
When copying images, tables, or other content from a word processor into WordPress, it is best to use the standard copy/paste method. However, image sizing may not suit your website, so ensure you are using something like ShortPixel to compress the images and resize them accordingly.
The Trouble With Tables
Copying tables is one of the most notoriously bugged issues when copying and pasting into WordPress from a text editor. At the Farm, we like to use Google Docs for our writing because it’s super easy to share between team members. Similarly, it’s somewhat of an industry standard, so it’s wise to use it anyway.
We’ve noticed on multiple occasions that tables often don’t copy and paste into WordPress very well. Here are a few tips to help avoid issues when copying and pasting tables into WordPress:
1) Try to avoid styling the table in your text editor. It’s much easier to copy and paste into WordPress if there is no styling. This rule includes not having a title row that spans over multiple columns. This sort of table layout seems to break when pasted into WordPress.
2) Avoid spanning rows or columns. If you can help it, try to avoid spanning a row or column across multiple other columns or rows. For example, using a table where the top row is a header, as mentioned above. The heading may be a collection of several cells merged across a row. When pasting into WordPress, this often gets broken and messes up the table. The solution is to use a typical heading above the table instead of including a title in the table itself.
3) Use a theme with built-in table functionality or add a plugin like Tablepress and use that for your tables.
Copying Text Without Copying The Formatting
As mentioned earlier, the best way to copy and paste text and articles content is via the following:
CTRL + C (to copy)
CTRL + SHIFT + V (to paste WITHOUT FORMATTING)
Command + C (to copy)
Command + Shift + V (to paste WITHOUT FORMATTING)
Step 2 – Pasting Text, Images, Tables, Lists, And Content To WordPress
The easiest way to paste into WordPress is to use the above-mentioned keyboard commands to copy and paste without formatting. However, there might be odd situations where this is not the case.
For example, say you have a writer who pasted all their work into the dashboard but copied all the formatting. Now your posts will look different from your branded content on your site.
In this case, you will need to solve the issues that your writer inadvertently created. Also, you’ll want to train them on a better methodology. We’ll take a look at those solutions in a minute. But first, let’s just define the two locations where you’re going to want to paste content.
Copy And Paste Text To A WordPress Page
The first place people are likely to copy and paste to WordPress is on WordPress pages. Pages differ from posts because they are considered fixtures of the website structure. On the other hand, posts are considered more of a fluid resource added to a site and not necessarily integral to the basic structure of the site itself. Pages are most definitely essential to site structure. Posts are additional to site structure (although still technically a part of it).
Copy And Paste Text To A WordPress Post
Posts are the most common area to paste when doing copy and paste in WordPress sort of work. Posts are where the bulk of issues creep up when copying to a WordPress draft.
The Post Page
When copying and pasting posts into your website, you will see the standard block editor built into the latest version of WordPress if you don’t have any content yet uploaded. We prefer using the block editor for its simplicity. However, you also can convert to a classic editor, which acts more like a standalone text editor by the way it appears and functions.
We have found that copy and pasting into WordPress works best using block editing capabilities. Depending on the document version and software you are using, it may paste as a classic block. If that is the case, merely convert to blocks, which usually fixes any initial issues with pasting the content.
Copy And Paste Into WordPress Issues And Solutions
Issue 1: Content Is Posted But Formatting Is Weird Or Broken
When you copy and paste the content into WordPress, you may sometimes see that the formatting is weird or broken. Various causes might make this happen, such as copied text, including formatting, images, tables, lists, etc. In this case, there are three possible solutions that you can try.
Solution 1: CTRL + SHIFT + V (PC) or COMMAND + SHIFT + V (Mac)
The first solution is to copy and paste the text without any formatting. We discussed this above, and we’re mentioning it again because this was often ignored when inputting content to WordPress.
Solution 2: Use And Editor Like Google Docs And Clear Document Formatting
The third solution is to copy and paste the text into a word processor like Microsoft Word (PC – paid software), Google Docs (Chrome Browser – free), or Pages (Mac). Once the content is in the software of choice (we like Google Docs), you can highlight the entire thing with a select all or click and drag function. Then you can clear the formatting, which is generally found in the editor format headings above. Next, once you have removed formatting, you can copy and paste it into WordPress. Here’s the process:
- Open Google Drive and drag your document onto the drive. Now you can open it in Google Docs.
- Once you have your document open in Google Docs, press:
CTRL + A (on PC – to select all)
COMMAND + A (on Mac – to select all)
You can also select all via the Edit menu tab, as shown above.
- Clear formatting by pressing:
CTRL + / (on PC – to clear formatting)
Here’s what it might look like while you have everything selected but have cleared the formatting.
Solution 3: Paste Text To WordPress Using A Plain Text Editor
There are several free text editors that you can use to copy and paste into WordPress. Windows users will recognize Notepad, and Mac users will identify TextEdit.
These simple text editors will work fine to copy and paste into WordPress. However, it is essential to recognize that we still recommend using the keyboard command to paste without formatting, as mentioned above.
You can also use other text editors. One of our favorites here at Farm 6 Media is the open-source software Notepad++.
Solution 3: Fix The Code Itself (Post-Pasting To WordPress)
Maybe you have decided that you want to keep things the way they are, pasted into your WP dashboard. But perhaps it looks weird, like this:
You don’t want to have the green or the bolded text, so you will want to switch to code view. If you were to drop the entire page’s HTML, it might look like this:
Notice the highlighted section:
<p style=”color:green;font-family:roboto;”>Growing <strong>tomatoes or cucumbers</strong>? <br><br> Here is what you need: <strong>Great Soil </strong> and warmth and <strong>Love</strong> (that should do it).</p>
What you need to do to change the code and make the text normal is to remove all the code EXCEPT for the <p> and </p> tags. The code should look like this, with zero styling:
<p>Growing tomatoes or cucumbers? Here is what you need: Great Soil and warmth and Love (that should do it).</p>
The p stands for paragraph. It is one of the most straightforward text tags in HTML. So, if we have regular paragraph writing and don’t want any style applied, you only wish to the opening <p>, and closing </p> tags present.
Solution 3: Flip To Classic Editor And Convert To Block
Sometimes you can change a block to a classic editor and convert it to blocks. The conversion process often wipes styling; however, the copy/paste without styling method is still easier and faster with less chance of complications.
The Other Side Of The Fence: Copy Text Formatting
What if you want to copy text formatting but not the text itself? Well, there’s a super easy solution:
CTRL + ALT + C (on PC – to copy the formatting of text)
COMMAND + OPTION + C (on Mac – to copy the formatting of text)
Write In WP Directly Or Not?
When you write articles directly into WordPress, you take advantage of several features that aren’t available when writing in a text editor like Microsoft Word. For example, when you write in WordPress, your article is saved automatically as you type, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work if your computer crashes or the power goes out.
In addition, WordPress includes a built-in spell checker and grammar checker, which can help you catch errors in your writing before you publish your article.
The CMS also allows you to create users who can log in to WordPress to write directly in the platform. That way, you can create user logins for each of your writers and have them directly write in the CMS itself.
Many bloggers like to use the login method to ensure their writers input the articles themselves. It can help save from hiring a pre-publisher to do the remedial task of uploading content.
We have found that the best method is to train your writers to write without styling by using a provided template. Similarly, this avoids the writer making mistakes within the website itself.
By using an editorial process that is separate from WordPress, you can create much better content by taking the extra steps to perfect it. However, to each their own, it all comes down to how you manage your content funnel. Either method will work; we have merely opted for the extra steps to ensure accuracy and quality of content.
Not to say that the direct to WP method inhibits quality, but one may want to implement an editorial check process before publishing if writers are inputting directly to WP. It’s a better way of controlling your internal and external linking by having that extra checkpoint before hitting the publish button.
6 Tips To Copying And Pasting Into WordPress
If you’re like most people, you copy and paste content from time to time when writing blog posts or articles for your website.
Our copy and paste guide is the best way to ensure that your content looks great when you post it on WordPress. By following these simple tips, you can avoid common formatting issues and ensure that your posts and pages look polished and professional.
- When you copy text, avoid copying any hidden formatting such as italics or bolded words. Use the CTRL + SHIFT + V (substitute COMMAND for CTRL – for Mac users) method to paste without formatting.
- Make sure before copying your sentence that there are no extra spaces in it. – If present, delete all unnecessary spacing between words, including punctuation marks like commas and periods (unless they’re part of a quotation).
- The first time you copy an image into WordPress, make sure you right-click on it and save it to your computer. Then, upload it to your media library.
- Don’t forget to add ALT IMAGE text to images. You can find this on the right under block settings. The Alt Image text tells search engines what the image is about and can help you rank for that topic.
- Paste the text into the WordPress post or page editor, then press “Enter” twice to create a new paragraph.
- Trust Farm 6 Media for your content and get free support with every subscription order. That’s right, free support for WordPress publishing when you order a standard subscription off our content store. Spaces are limited, though, so act now. If you see there is no availability, send us an email, and we’ll add you to our waiting list.