Start with plain text for easier website updates

If you add text to your website by copying text from other sources, such as email, word-processing documents, online articles, and social media, it's important to convert the text to plain text before pasting it into your website.

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Any text you copy from these sources has hidden formatting instructions that determine what the text size, style, and color should be. For example, if you copy a paragraph from a Microsoft Word document that has 12 pt. black text in Times New Roman and paste it directly into your website, it will retain those instructions and disregard some or all of the text styles and colors that are built into your website. Sometimes the difference is subtle, but over time these differences will make your website look inconsistent and unprofessional. 

A pro tip for handling copied text is to convert the formatted text to plain text to strip away the formatting. Then when you paste the text into your website, it adopts whatever styles your website requires. Squarespace provides a convenient way to convert copied text to plain text directly from the website editor. With Weebly or other website editors, use a plain text editor as an intermediary. You'll find instructions for both types of conversion below.

Squarespace

 

1. Open your website in Squarespace and prepare to edit the page and open the text block.

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2. In another window, copy the text you want to use. This is an example of text from a tweet I want to copy.

3. Go back to Squarespace and place the cursor in the text block where you want to insert the copied text and click the "Paste as plain text" icon.

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3. Paste the text into the Squarespace plain text editor.

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5. Click OK.

6. When you return to the text block, you will see your text copied in. You can see that I still need to do a little more cleanup to remove the words and extra line spacing I don't want. I also need to remove a hidden word "More" that I didn't know was in the text that I copied.

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Weebly and Other Website Editors

 

1. Paste your copied formatted text into a new document using a plain text editor (such as Notepad for Windows or TextEdit for the Mac).
2. Then copy the text from the plain text document and paste it into the text block in your website where you want it to appear.

Any text editor that can produce a .txt file will also work to strip away formatting instructions, but I find it faster to keep a plain text editor open with an empty document and use it to paste text into and copy from.

Using these tips will keep your website looking clean and consistent and it will be plain for all to see!